Adrian's dream

A Film by Manuel Fenn

Long term documentary about Adrian who wants to be a professional ballett dancer, and his father, who works on a construction site.


Even as a small boy, Adrian’s goal is already clear to him: he wants to be a ballet star. However, nobody in his family has anything to do with dancing at all. Quite the contrary: his father is a keen digger driver, loves motorbikes and would like to do craftwork and build things with his son. But Adrian does his own thing. At eleven years of age, he is admitted to the State Ballet School of Berlin. From this moment on, the filmmaker Manuel Fenn accompanies Adrian for eight years. The training is hard. In parallel to general education from year five of primary school onward, the pupils at the State Ballet School of Berlin are trained to be professional stage dancers. Every year, children have to leave the school – whether for health reasons, or because they are simply not good enough. But Adrian passes all major tests and gets through all of his performances with flying colours. For him, the school becomes a home away from home. Already as a year five pupil, he spends up to ten hours a day there.

As Adrian grows up over the years, he becomes part of a world which has nothing in common with that of his parents. Andreas, Adrian’s father, freely admits that classical ballet holds little appeal for him – but he sees how important it is to his son. Adrian’s ballet training completely changes the lives of Andreas and his wife Susanne. Despite Andreas’ will to be there for Adrian, the relationship between father and son reaches a critical point when the boy reaches puberty and Andreas begins to fight for his son’s affections in his own way.

When Adrian is 17 years old, just two years away from graduating as a certified stage dancer, he has to undergo an operation on his foot. Due to the intensive physical strain, a ganglion has formed and must be removed. Is this the end?

“Adrian’s Dream” shows the progress of a young individual who sets his life on a clear course at a very early age and pursues his goal with extraordinary determination and energy. The film also shows how difficult it can be for parents to find the right balance between letting go and providing support. In an often strenuous process, they have to learn to be tolerant and to develop trust in their children’s abilities, even if their talents are so different to their own.


Director and Cinematographer: Manuel Fenn
Sound: Christian Lutz, Pascal Capitolin
Editor: Antonia Fenn/ Marc Accensi
Music: Eike Hosenfeld, Moitz Denis, Tim Stanzel
Producer: Stefan Eberlein
Editorial Staff: Martin Pieper (ARTE), Brigitte Klos (ZDF)


Production company

TV Station

Filmfest München 2010
Guth Gafa Inter. Documentary Filmfestival
Aktuelle Potsdamer Filmgespräche
LUCAS – Internationales Kinderfilmfestival
Filmfest Osnabrück
Leipzig Screening
Filmfest Biberach
Kinofest Lünen
Kasseler Dokumentarfilm und Videofest
Goldener Spatz

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