Feature film, 90 min., Germany/Holland/Poland, 2019

  • Sunburned
  • Sunburned
  • Sunburned
  • Sunburned
  • Sunburned
  • Sunburned

Short synopsis

Thirteen-year-old Claire is vacationing with her family in Spain. While being neglected by her mother and sister, she meets a Senegalese immigrant called Amram on the beach. As a part of a childish game she makes him a promise she can't break.


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Cast: Sabine Timoteo, Zita Gaier, Gedion Oduor Wekesa, Nicolais Borger
Writer/Director: Carolina Hellsgård
DP.: Wojciech Staron
Scenography: Ben Zuydwijk
Costume: Alette Kraan
Make-up: Susa Jiritano
Editor: Ruth Schönegge
Producer: Nicole Gerhards, NIKO FILM
Co-produced by Johanna Aust, FLICKFILM, The Film Kitchen, Staron Film, WDR, SWR and ARTE
Funded by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, BKM, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Creative Europe MEDIA, nordmedia, FFA, Dutch Film Fonds


Director's note

I remember my own vacations as a teenager with the family; the strange mix of apprehension and boredom that set in as the summer holidays began. The two constants – the burning sun and the unnatural blue ocean, which mixed with a longing for something to break the monotony of the vacation resort. The eternal power struggle between my sister and I, and how we alternated between being friends and in conflict with eachother. I remember how the holidays allowed us to take on new personas, and how our teenage-selves evolved as we encountered new people. It was an intoxicating feeling, closely related to the promise of leaving our childhood behind. Our road to adulthood often took place against the backdrop of poverty and political unrest in the countries we visited. But like most tourists we indulged in the food, people and culture, instead of reflecting upon the circumstances. SUNBURNED is about all this; tourism, immigration and ultimately the dream about Europe. The film centers around the story of two young people and their shared longing for a better existance.



Kristiansand International Children's Film Festival
BUFF Malmö, Sweden
Zlin Film Festival, Czech Republique
Busan Kids and Youth IFF
achtung Berlin, Competition
Feature film SUNBURNED in competition at Max Ophüls Preis 2020
Nordic premiere at Gothenburg International Film Festival, International Competition 2020
International premiere at the Rome Film Festival/Alice Nelle Citta, International Competition 2019

Poster Sunburned


Interview Deutschlandfunk Kultur
Sunburned EPD Max Ophüls
PRESS KIT (German)
PRESS KIT (English)
Interview Hellsgård (German)
Interview Hellsgård (English)


Distributor Camino Filmverleih


Sales Agent


Workshops & Markets

Co-production Market Holland Film Meeting 2016
Johanna Aust / SUNBURNED wins the Cannes Marché du film Producers Network Prize at the B'EST EAVE 2015!
SUNBURNED participated in the Script & Pitch POWR Baltic Stories Exchange Workshop, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, Estonia, Nov 26-28, 2014
Les Ateliers Premier Plans, D'Angers, July 2012, Script Workshop, artistic director: Jeanne Moreau