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a film by Roland Reber and Mira Gittner
Germany 2013, drama, 93 min, rated 16

  • „As if David Lynch and Helge Schneider have worked together. “(Süddeutsche Zeitung)
  • „Sometimes revealingly funny, then sensually erotic. Somnambulistic soul striptease!“ (Deadline Filmmagazin)
  • “Highly erotic ensemble-drama!” (

since 29th august 2014 available on DVD & Blu-ray!
German premiere: International Hof Film Festival 2013
theatrical release: 23rd january 2014

with Carolina Hoffmann, Antje Nikola Mönning, Wolfgang Seidenberg, Marina Anna Eich,
Andreas Pegler, Christoph Baumann, Ute Meisenheimer, Claire Plaut, Thomas Kollhoff
art work: Mira Gittner (camera and editing), Steffen Neder (camera and light)
music and assistant to director: Antje Nikola Mönning.
executive & line producer: Marina Anna Eich
producer: Patricia Koch, Roland Reber, Antje Nikola Mönning.
script & director: Roland Reber. production, sales & distribution: wtp international GmbH


“A film about the human being and its secretiveness, mendacity and banality.” (Roland Reber)

Eight people that cannot be more different meet in a BAR. For one night they escape their everyday life which is paralyzed of rituals and find themselves in a journey to their world of thoughts, their quintessential lust. Oppressed wishes, sexual fantasies and fears come to the surface and forgotten experiences are revealed. The evening takes its course…

A visually stunning cycle between reality and illusion, a carousel of emotions with thrilling twists.

Landlady: “Worse than any desire is when you can feel no more. Here in this bar you get offered an escape because a dream touches everyone. I break pieces of ice under which all desires freeze because we serve whisky called ‘dreams on the rocks’.

Our bar will be filled with old stories until the presence fulfills the search for life.”


“A film about the human being and its secretiveness, mendacity and banality. The film has three levels: first the privacy which has been shot with a very steady and calm camera. It shows the human being in his everyday life. Then the bar which for me is a metaphysical level that lies in between the reality and illusion. And thirdly the illusion which takes place in the head of the people” (Roland Reber)

After 24/7 THE PASSION OF LIFE (2005), ANGELS WITH DIRTY WINGS (2009) and THE TRUTH OF LIE (2011) , ILLUSION has been the fourth film of wtp international GmbH that celebrated its German Premiere at the renowned International Hof Film Festival.

Like all other productions, ILLUSION was produced without public funding and with the creativity and commitment of everyone involved. A small team with various duties and responsibilities within the cast.

Shot on the Arri Alexa camera ILLUSION will be shown digitally from the  23rd of January 2014 in german cinemas and will be out on DVD and BluRay approximately end of july 2014.

The special thing about wtp international film production is their uncompromising dedication to film welding the film production team tightly together since 7 feature films. Additionally to this it’s wtps way of producing – with script, production, editing, sales, distribution, dvd-label, public relation all made by the same team – consequently refusing public funding money and co-production with TV stations to keep creative freedom.

The previous films of the team, which consists of the writer and director Roland Reber, actress, director of photography, graphic designer and editor Mira Gittner, producer, assistant to the director and music composer Antje Nikola Mönning, actress, executive producer, press agent and distributor Marina Anna Eich, besides several other organizing talents, were screened at numerous international festivals.

  • “The films of Roland Reber and his small committed team are discoveries of an independent cinema which are rare in the international film community.”(Feuilleton, Süddeutsche Zeitung)
  • „wtp films with the collective dedication of its team have become an unmistakable trade mark.“ (Blickpunkt:Film)
  • „…Unicum in the German cinema landscape…“ (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

With the feature film 24 / 7 THE PASSION OF LIFE, which had its German Premiere at the Hof International Film Festival 2005, wtp international ventured into the German and Austrian cinema market as a distributor in February 2006. 2009 they managed to land a foothold in the German DVD market with their own DVD-label.

Since its theatrical release 24 / 7 THE PASSION OF LIFE advanced to a “cult film” and will be shown every year in the German Cinemas on 24th of July (international BDSM day). It was also broadcasted at the cultural TV station ARTE on 10.11. 2011.


„The idea emerged some time ago, but I wasn’t clear how we are going to make this movie. We did think of our other films and said: this time we want to it in another way: doing a very philosophical film without any philosophical text.“ (Roland Reber)

The film has been completed within 2 months (april to june 2013), with a small team, lot of freezing, 200 cans of Red Bull, little sleep and huge committement of everyone involved in october 2013. It celebrated German premiere at the International Hof Film Festival and world premiere at the SITGES International Filmfestival, Spain.


„The special working method of wtp international allows focusing on the creative process. I develop the script and make the directing of the actors on set. Mira Gittner is responsible for the pictures and the editing. I direct softly and don’t interfere a lot. Meaning I am leaving it up to the actors and give a lot of free space to act. I conduct the ensemble in a silent way, more from the back seat. In fact the special working method was the same, but it has become a different film.” (Roland Reber)

Teamwork – literally speaking.

To view filmmaking as a creative adventure is typical for Roland Reber and the wtp-team. Without film subsidies but with a small committed group with multiple tasks for each one of them the results is an integrated art work to which everyone involved has a creative relationship. This approach also leaves lots of space for spontaneous ideas during filming. Only a few dialogues of  the “everyday life”-scenes existed in written form at the beginning of the shooting. More scenes have been written week by week. There was no improvisation. In that way, bit-by-bit, the film was made. Everyone could bring in his creativity and ideas. The VISIONS on the contrary have been developed on set.  Sometimes even shortly before the shooting day. In an old brick manufacture the actors developed the precise realization together with the team. For some this was a very exciting process.


Antje Nikola Mönning playing NIKOLA, being the co-producer and director’s assistant, was for the first time responsible for the music with own composed pieces.

“Since I started playing the guitar at the age of 6 I liked composing my own music. I thought about what kind of music would fit to Claire who sings in our film. She has a beautiful Chanson voice. During riding the bike I got the ideas for the lyrics and melodies. Then it was a teamwork with Mira: she told me which kind of music could fit to the individual scenes and I tried to transcribe it into music or I had an idea (e.g. the choral “oramuste”) which then led to certain images.” (Antje Nikola Mönning)


SUSANNE BAUER                                                 Carolina Hoffmann
NIKOLA                                                                    Antje Nikola Mönning
THEO                                                                        Wolfgang Seidenberg
CLAUDIA                                                                  Marina Anna Eich
ULI                                                                            Andreas Pegler
CHRISTIAN SCHLUGER                                       Christoph Baumann
MAJA                                                                        Ute Meisenheimer
LANDLADY                                                                Claire Plaut
DIETER                                                                     Thomas Kollhoff
BARTENDER 1                                                            Martin Kagerer
BARTENDER 2                                                            Marcus B. Holzhauer
MIRA, WILBUR, MÄDCHEN                                  als sie selbst
GOD                                                                          Roland Reber
BAND “Together”                                                  Stephan Schmalholz,  Sabine Mix
HARLEY RIDERS                                                   Axel Hillesheim, Sandra Heindl,Carsten Buhtz
SOCIAL NETWORK                                               Patricia Koch, Steffen Neder, Maximilian Melerski, Lukas, Böttcher, Anton Eder, Michael Krauss


director / screenwriter                                           Roland Reber
producer                                                                Patricia Koch, Antje Nikola Mönning, Roland Reber
executive producer /
line producer                                                          Marina Anna Eich
music/ assistant to director                                Antje Nikola Mönning
art work                                                                 Mira Gittner, Steffen Neder
DoP / editor                                                            Mira Gittner
light design                                                             Steffen Neder
camera assistant / light                                      Maximilian Melerski
grip                                                                           Lukas Böttcher
production assistant                                             Anton Eder
grip and light assistant                                        Michael Krauss
production│sales│distribution                        wtp international GmbH

year of production                                                  2013
shooting time                                                         April – June 2013
post production                                                       June – September 2013
locations                                                                  Augsburg, Munich, Landsberg/Lech

International Hof Film Festival, Oct 2013
Sitges International Filmfestival, Oct 2013
International Film Festival of India, Nov 2013
Chennai International Film Festival, India, Dec 2013
Pune International Film Festival, India, Jan 2014
International Split Film Festival of New Film, Spt 2014
International Film Festival Innsbruck, June 2015

  • „As if David Lynch and Helge Schneider would have worked together. “ (Süddeutsche Zeitung)
  •  „…one never forgets a Roland Reber film. They are special… A film that shows that there is much more between heaven and earth no filmschool wisdom could ever dream of.” (
  • “…their work has somewhat of a cult status”. (film-na-dan; entire article)
  •  “In this intimate play, which isn’t limited by film school teachings and has numerous visual effects obtained by complex post production, slumbers the anarchistic independent spirit of Helge Schneider, Christoph Schlingensief, Luis Buñuel and Lars von Trier set in a “Eyes Wide Shut” backdrop.” (Blickpunkt:Film)
  • „Sometimes revealingly funny, then sensually erotic. Somnambulistic soul striptease!“ (Deadline Film magazine)
  •  “A high for all the senses!” (
  •  „…the big discrepancy between the outside and the inner life of the characters appears like a stunning find from reality… a worthwhile little expedition” (
  • „Also the music is worth mentioning in Illusion. In a mixture between most different styles, Antje Nikola Mönning not only succeeds in emphasizing the atmosphere in the Bar, but especially gives to each different dream world a very particular background music “ (
  • „…hypnotizing images! An unconventional, special film.“ (Virus Magazin)
  • „Highly erotic ensemble-drama about eight people who are fleeing from their everyday life into a bar and devote themselves to their sexual fantasies.“ (
  • „There used to be more such cineastic anarchists in Germany – just think of Schlingensief – meanwhile Reber seems to be the last one standing.“ (Rheinpfalz)
  • „The film’s cinematic language impresses with visual and acoustic finesse.” (Filmdienst)
  • “Real big cinema! A must for every true film fan.” (
  • “Indie author’s film maker Roland Reber (“Angels with dirty wings”) once more presents a study about being human, highly symbolic, which oscillates between awkward trash and fascinating  moments  of cinematic art “(Cinema)
  • review at

movie excerpt: Facebook Vision


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sequence: last supper


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INTERVIEW WITH ROLAND REBER (director, writer, producer)

How did the idea appear?

The idea emerged some time ago, but it wasn’t clear how we are going to make this movie. We did recall our other films and said: this time we want to do it in another way: beginning with precise characters and doing a very philosophical film without any philosophical text.

What is the main topic of the film for you?

The human being. The human being and his secretiveness, mendacity and banality. Everyday life in contrast to his phantasies and thoughts. The film has three levels: first the privacy which has been shot with a very steady and calm camera. It shows the human being in his everyday life. Then the bar which for me is a metaphysical level that lies in between the reality and illusion. And thirdly the illusion which takes place in the head of the people.

How was the shooting?

Great and cold. Cold because of the temperature outside. You don’t expect such coldness in June. Great because the actors showed all their phantasies in the brick manufacture, the bar and the everyday life – scenes.

All actors have been great, the ones that I have worked with before as well as the ones that I have worked with for the first time.

Is there any anecdote of the shooting?

There are so many, I could tell hundreds. One e.g. during the castigation-scene. Antje didn’t feel well but not because of what you see in the film but of the cold temperatures.

How was the working method? Wie verläuft die Arbeitsweise bzw Regieführung?

I direct softly and don’t interfere a lot. Meaning I am leaving it up to the actors and give a lot of free space to act. I conduct the ensemble in a silent way, more from the back seat. In fact the special working method was the same, but it has become a different film.

Do you have a favorite scene?

For me there is no favorite scene. For me the entire film is a single connected conglomerate of scenes which I all like very very much, the calm ones as well as the loud ones.

How was the script realized?

First of all I wrote the everyday life scenes, then the scenes in the Bar. The Illusions in the hall were developed by the actors together with myself and Mira who is to be mentioned at the top for the whole film. Due to her multiple functions behind the camera and in the editing and her entire way to be, she decisively shaped the film.


How was the shooting?

The shooting was great! There was a nice and inspiring atmosphere at the set and the way Roland is directing is awesome. Some days, mainly for the visions, we didn’t have a clue what was going to be shot today and also in the BAR the script said for example “Vision Photography” and I had no idea what it was going to look like, but it worked!

Tell about your role. Are there parallels to your own life?

I think the transformation that Susanne goes through in the film is very fascinating, from a mousy into a lively young woman. Yes, there are parallels, for example the way from the “child” to the woman, but I think everybody goes it. I can understand her transformation very well because I also did it and I am still going through it. I think she managed to do something in which only few people succeed, she accepted her past and herself and is satisfied with herself and therefore nothing can get her out of balance now.

How did you join wtp?

That is a funny story, it happened through my dentist. I had just finished the acting school and she told me she knew people from the film business and gave me their phone number. I thought I just could try; the worst thing that could happen is that they say no and perhaps I could watch or just walk through the scene. And now I’m here!

How were the naked scenes for you?

At the beginning I thought: “no, I won’t do that, I am not as confident as that!” But it was a great team and I approached it slowly and behold I felt very comfortable and they got great scenes.

INTERVIEW WITH ANTJE NIKOLA MÖNNING (role: NIKOLA / production / music / assistant director)

Tell about your role.

The role I play in “Illusion” is a psychologist. She hides behind the mask of progressive analyst phrases, but is probably the most inhibited of all without the necessary dose of alcohol.

Were there favorite scenes?

Beside the Vision “God in everyday life” I also liked the vision of my character very much. I created it myself from the beginning to the end. I thought it was fascinating that the greatest sexual fantasy of a psychologist is a raping orgy with castigation. She would hardly admit this to herself or others, because within her patients there certainly are also victims of violence. In psychologists circles it is known for a long time, that the most common masturbating fantasy of women is a rape, but this survey is not allowed to be published. But in our film we want to portray the true, blunt desires of people, that is why for me the scene had to be as brutal as possible

What is the meaning of the BAR for you?

The Bar… does it exist at all? Or is it just a part of the world of dreams into which the protagonists hide, to confront themselves to their true core within a secure area? For me it is a gate to the world of thoughts existing in every person. An area of (self-) awareness, which people leave again (or not…), some happy, some shocked about what they found out. I think it is good that it is left open whether it leads to any changes in the everyday life.

You did not only play the role of NIKOLA but also composed the music to the film. How did the idea to the music arise?

I liked composing my own music ever since I started playing the classic guitar at the age of 6. When it became clear, that we wanted Claire to sing in the movie, I thought about which kind of music would fit her nice chanson voice best. Mostly the ideas for melodies and lyrics came while I was motorbike riding. Then it was an interaction between Mira and me: she told me what kind of music she imagined for particular pictures or scenes and I tried to realize it, or I got an idea (like the choral “Oramuste”) which then led to certain images.

INTERVIEW WITH MARINA ANNA EICH (role: CLAUDIA / production/ sales/ press)

Tell about your role.

My character has a “normal” life, as certainly many people know it: got to know a man quite early, abandoned her studies because of that, got married early and finds her caught in the everyday routine after a while. She is content with herself and her life. The BAR shows her what her inner desires are and that she would rather live a totally different life.

What is the meaning of the BAR for you?

For me it is a mirror into which everybody can look deeply into himself/herself and is like this being confronted with his/her inner self. It intensifies emotions and brings supressed desires, thoughts and fears to the surface. The BAR is a transcendent area, a kind of door. All guests have the opportunity to go through that door to “know as they are fully known”. A confrontation with what makes them “human” and their attitude towards it.

You are not only actress but also executive producer and line producer and also responsible for the distribution and public relation. How do you manage these multiple functions?

I cannot explain exactly how it works. I think if you do the things you do with heart and joy, more is possible than you would have imagined. I definitely ran short of sleep. But that was not too bad. There was always enough red Bull and coffee. An additional positive aspect is surely the film team, consisting of few very competent people which made a calm, quick and effective shooting possible. Anyway I can say that the preparation and shooting time of ILLUSION was very nice and funny even though during the shootings in the hall it was unusually cold for June with only 4 °C. It certainly was very stressful to play my own role and at the same time be responsible for the locations, the logistic schedule of the crew and the shooting schedule as well as for the well-being of the other actors. But as one can see it worked out perfectly without harming the atmosphere at the set or the shooting.


Tell about your role.

As a child I wanted to become a priest and was an active member of the protestant church for a long time. Then the crisis with God came – even if I never imagined him as a Harley rider – and the crisis with the institution, which is lasting until today. For me Theodor lives in a permanent crisis, with God, his profession, his wife, his sexuality, his age, but remains speechless towards this situation and faces it with very little consciousness.

How was it to work with Roland Reber and the wtp team with their special working method? You already participated as an actor in “My Dream”, were there differences?

The development of the story from a first meeting until the last day of the shootings without specific guidelines is an exciting process. Especially as you feel that Roland definitely has a Vision of the whole. “My Dream” was an adaption of a theatre play by Roland and therefore the script was available at the beginning of the shootings, but the freedom was still bigger than for most other projects.

Were there difficult scenes for you?

The scenes in the BAR, in which I didn’t know – just as my character – what it all meant. The Visions, the pictures behind the chatting of the words, were only shot afterwards.


How was the shooting for you?

I enjoyed it a lot. I was very impressed by the work of the crew, to start with Roland and Mira, but also all the others who seemed to communicate silently. And the colleagues in front of the camera were also great, professional and unpretentious. Despite the sometimes not easy circumstances (nearly nude night shootings with 4 °C in a scrapped fabric hall) never a bad word, nobody seemed to be stressed out, and if they were then they wouldn’t let you notice. A very special experience which I don’t want to miss.

Tell about your role. Are there parallels to your own life?

The obvious: Uli is a pitiful guy, whom nobody – and especially no women – would even look at. But in his visions it is exactly what they do. Parallels? I never played a role in which I didn’t discover innumerous parallels to my own life. It were always primates of the species homo sapiens who breathed, ate, drunk, were hungry, were thirsty, digested, pooped, loved, hated, regretted, despised, admired, left, were left etc.. lived and died. Oh yes, I grew up close to the training ground of the FC Bayern and therefore I’m obviously a “red one”. Just like Uli, the character I play. But Uli is not a real Bayern supporter; it is only a projection of his wife, if I understood that right.

Is there an anecdote of the shooting?

Perhaps not an anecdote, but a situation which I think tells a lot about how Roland develops his scenes, lets the scenes develop themselves. On the first day of the shooting he asked me if I knew songs of soccer supporters. I said no, not really. But I could remember a scene during the European soccer championship 2012, when Ireland hopelessly lied adrift 0:4 against Spain and suddenly a “battle song“ intoned by thousands of Irish voices sounded though the stadium. Nothing of the kind “Hi, ha ho, Dortmund is k.o.” or “Tear Bayern off their Lederhosen” but the chorus of a beautiful, very sad Irish song, ‘The Fields of Athenry’.  For 15, 20 Minutes the game became irrelevant and the grass of the Danzig stadium turned into the ‘ Fields of Athenry, where once we watched the small free birds fly. Our love was on the wing, We had dreams and songs to sing, Now it’s lonely on the Fields of Athenry.’.  Yes Roland said, he remembered. And I should sing this song at the end of the scene. And that is why, after a sequence of talking at cross purposes with my film wife Maja, I end up sitting alone in the bathroom with my Bayern Tricot humming ‘The Fields of Athenry’. And damn it, I had this incredibly satisfying feeling one has from time to time in our profession: God knows why, but it is true. It is absolutely true! Don’t you dare, dear Mira, don’t you dare cutting out that scene in the editing!


Tell about your role. Are there parallels to your own life?

Absolutely! But I think Christian has parallels to many people in the new millennium. To those, whose smart phone got more than a true companion – a true friend. To those who cannot get along 15 minutes without having a look at their emails or Facebook, who believe it is an advantage to be constantly available and a disaster if your battery is empty. I think Christian is an extremely modern and current character. Everybody who sees him will recognise a part of himself – if it is only while waiting in a service waiting loop!

Is there an anecdote of the shooting?

Overall the “Oramus” shooting was a highlight. During the carpet chant 8 actors were released on Mira and the crew – with a chant and movement choreography and all the trimmings. It was obvious that this could not happen without any kind of chaos: the CD player had to be repositioned umpteen times, Claire clapped the measures – overall it had the grace of a children’s birthday party.


Tell about your role. Are there parallels to your own life?

The real life of Maja doesn’t have parallels to mine. Maja is married to a reticent, unemployed man, runs a youth hostel and apparently doesn’t meet people a lot. In the BAR she tries to get in touch with the people by telling stupid jokes, which sadly and embarrassingly doesn’t work. The stupid attempt to snatch popularity by pretending to be someone else. I struggled with this for a long time. As I play the role, it must have been somewhere inside me.

Were there difficult scenes?

For me the hours before are difficult, Roland rarely reveals his plans. I’m nervous, keep practicing the text, think about possible costumes, without knowing the scenery which is going to be shot, get more and more impatient, Roland just laughs and smokes another cigarette. When it begins he says 2 or 3 sentences and everything is clear. Over and over again a little-big miracle for me.


Tell about your role. Are there parallels to your own life?

For me the „Landlady“ is not a real character, she is an image of what is happening inside the guests in the BAR. In her songs she describes the key questions and the situation as it is, in her moments of madness she depicts the inner turmoil going on in the characters. She represents what is churned up if we turn our attention to the things which often remain sealed in our everyday life, behind the surface, behind the role we play. If we face what it seething underneath the surface, the most different things emerge, beautiful and ugly ones, but still real and primordial. As I enjoy singing a lot, I am happy that singing has become a part of my role and that I could sing some of the songs Antje Nikola Mönning wrote for this film…and also the moments of madness have certainly already been part of my life…

What is the meaning of the BAR for you?

For me the BAR is an area beyond everyday life, maybe even beyond time and space, in which only the moment matters. Thus it is a free space where everything is possible, which is creating space for the inner self of the guests. Through the encounter of the protagonists, their longings, fears and desires are revealed, which then break through in the “Illusions”.


Tell about your role. Are there parallels to your own life?

Well I’d rather not speak about the skeletons in my closet here. But question you do not answer in life are asked ever again and ever more vehement. Until you answer or others answer for you.

How was it to work with Roland Reber and the wtp team with their special working method?

The script is developed during the ongoing work. Then you have, as due to the “working” title “Illusion”, you certain ideas and fears and then it comes totally different. The team is very small and familiar; therefore there is a quick, flexible and uncomplicated way of working and taking decisions. Things get possible which you would not have thought of and which would take some days of preparation in other productions and people surpass themselves. To work without external producers or public funding makes very free!

Is there an anecdote of the shooting?

Yes, one day was funny. First of all we all swept the floor of a really huge hall because the owner didn’t take care of that and then we dressed in black habits and shot the “Choral” scene. I felt more like a monk than like an actor that day. “Ora et labora”, both were some kind of meditative.

INTERVIEW WITH STEFFEN NEDER (art work and light design)

How was your light design for this film?

For the light, just as the story of the film there are 3 levels. In the reality scenes we tried to make it look normal, have a natural lightning. In the BAR it got wilder, more colorful and loud, as it is in nightlife. You can also see a stage with show lights.

Then, for the third level, one must add that we shot in an old brick-factory with beautiful, big, wide, dusty ways. This is more difficult to design, to let look good, because you have to walk very long ways. But I think we succeeded quite well. Thanks to good cooperation inside the technical crew and all the other divisions it worked out again. There were some very hard days but I think we did well, also regarding the structure. As the story was not clear from the beginning, also the look and concrete light was developed right before shooting the scene.

Obviously I also have indications I can refer to, and then I develop something just before falling asleep or during the night. Then I wake up in the morning thinking: “Yes, we could do it that way, that will surely look wicked. The finishing touch is then made in the team. I appreciate this. I hope it came across, that I am always willing to take propositions of any kind and at least try out and then make the best and most beautiful out of it with everyone involved.