AUSTRIA 75 MIN, 2021
Ahmet is the dutiful son of Turkish immigrants, a tough champion boxer, a diligent soldier who has dedicated himself to «serving the people of Austria». Throughout his life, he has learned to adapt and conform to other people’s expectations.
The desire to feel like himself again, pushes Ahmet to pursue an old dream and enroll in acting lessons, where he is encouraged to connect with his own vulnerability. But this is easier said than done. Ahmet hasn’t cried since he was a little boy. And the more he tries to break out of traditional gender roles, the stronger his internal battles become.
Soldat Ahmet begins as a parable about a Turkish migrant living in Austria. As the film progresses, it reveals a complex portrait of a young man, his quest for belonging, and the power of his emotional world.
Studied Directing at the Film Academy Vienna under Jessica Hausner. Alongside his studies, he also worked as an assistant for Michael Haneke. He got selected for Berlinale Talents, received the START Scholarship for Cinematic Art by the Austrian Ministry of Culture, the Distinction of the Society of Fine Artists Austria and is an official member of the European Film Academy.
Growing up in Germany, Lenz gained his first camera and directing experiences filming himself and his friends doing Le Parkour. His films have been screened and won awards at numerous renowned film festivals and are shown in museums and exhibitions around the globe. His Bachelor- Degree Film Wannabe won the Prix Cler-mont- Ferrand and got nominated for the European Film Awards.
I have known Ahmet since 2014 when I worked with him on my short film project Shadowboxer. What already fascinated me about him back then was his life between the spheres: Austrian citizen with Turkish roots, army soldier and boxer with ambitions. A young man who had to work hard for everything in his life and who, despite the dominant stereotypes around him, refused to submit to them. Moreover, he wanted to break out of them and pursue his enthusiasm for acting.
I can understand the conflict of his life very well, because my family and thus also my own life is shaped by the hurdles of a migration background in Germany: my grandmother is Palestinian, one of my sisters came to our family as a war refugee from Cambodia and my partner, the mother of my son, is Afro-Cuban.
Inspired by Ahmet’s life story and my own goals, in Soldat Ahmet I wanted to pursue questions of identity, home, belonging and the therewith related social constructs. By accompanying Ahmet over the course of more than a year, I wanted to let these worlds collide in a subtle way.
- Visions du Réel, Switzerland
- Diagonale — Award for Best Sound Design, Austria
- Biografilm Festival, Italy
- Sarajevo Film Festival, Bosnia & Herzegovina
- Filmfestival Kitzbühel, Austria
- FIDBA — International Documentary Film Festival Buenos Aires, Argentina
- This Human World Film Festival — Best Austrian Film, Austria
- SANFICI — Santander Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente — Special mention, Colombia
- Bolzano Filmfestival, Italy
- Zagreb Dox, Croatia
- International Film Festival of Uruguay
- Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, USA
- Julien Dubuque International Film Festival, USA
Doker 2022 — Main Competition