Project Funding

Sand Girl

DE 2017

Since her earliest childhood, Veronika Raila has been living with severe physical impairments and Asperger syndrome. She can neither speak, nor walk nor fulfill her everyday needs without assistance. When she was a child, her IQ tested zero. Today she studies at university, writes poetry and prose and can express herself with facilitated communication. Veronika possesses a keen mind and a heightened sensory perception. Within Veronika spaces open where reality appears as colors, sounds and abstract shapes. She processes these impressions in her poems and stories.

"Writing is my only means to communicate, to express my feelings and thoughts. Writing is my connection to the outside world. Without it, I would be lost in the depths of a forgotten well."
Veronika Raila

The documentary essay "Sand Girl" takes us on a cinematic journey to the young author's wondrous secret and captivating world. Through associative images, observations of everyday life and selected texts by Veronika Raila the film creates a space for touching encounters and moments of bonding. The focus is less on illness and impairment than the quest for the life force itself. A poetic meditation about what is often hard for humans to grasp, the nature of what we call mind and soul.

"Sand Girl" was produced in close cooperation with Veronika Raila.

Documentary, DE 2017, 85 min, HD, stereo, color, 16:9

script Mark Michel & Veronika Raila
director Mark Michel
camera Ines Thomsen
sound Christian Schunke
montage Andreas Baltschun, Mark Michel, Ed van Megen
co-producer Mark Michel
executive producer Marcie K. Jost
producer Peter Zorn
produced by worklights media production in coproduction wit Mark Michel

Development funded by
Documentary Campus Masterschool 2012
Kulturstiftung Sachsen
BKM – Beauftragte für Kultur und Medien
Production supported by
Werkleitz Gesellschaft e.V.
Davis Lernverband

production funded by
Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung
Kuratorium junger deutscher Film
Kulturstiftung Sachsen