“The Boy With The Teddy” and the rising career of 16-year-old Alessandro Schuster

After a rising career as an actor, at 16 Alessandro Schuster is opening also a new rising path as a filmmaker. His second short film, “The Boy With The Teddy” – a powerful portrait of the challenges of a young boy from a dysfunctional family – surprised the ISA judges’ committee. And the decision was unanimous: Platinum Award for Best Acting Ensemble and Gold Award for Best Young Filmmaker and Best Child/Young Actor.

Besides the Q&A, watch below the behind the scenes video.

Alessandro Schuster

Alessandro Schuster

Born in 2002 in Berlin, Alessandro Schuster is a German actor and young filmmaker. He has appeared in a variety of films and TV productions since 2015, including the short film “Hardships of a Youth”, which has been shown at many festivals, but also in guest roles in series as “Magda macht das schon”, “Großstadtrevier” or “In aller Freundschaft”. Mainly, he is known for “Tatort Dresden”, in which he is playing the son of Commissioner Gorniak since the first episode. He also produces his own short films. His first was nominated for the Camgaroo Award in 2016. In 2017, he produced his latest short film, “Der Junge mit dem Teddy”, writing the screenplay, directing and appearing in a guest role all himself. Currently, he is still going to school.

ISA: What made you decide to make this film?

Alessandro Schuster: I was at a film festival because I was a movie actor there, and I saw so many great films of various genres there, that I had a story idea at night after the after-show-party and wrote it down. At home in Berlin, I wrote the screenplay and said: I want to film that! Anyway, I had the plan to make my own short film with lovely colleagues and professional equipment. But the festival also inspired me.

ISA: What did you want to tell to the audience with “The Boy With The Teddy”?

AS: The film is meant to tell that in our society there are also many children who grow up in abuses and feel no love or security. This is often forgotten.

ISA: How long was the shooting and which were the main challenges on the set?

AS: We had five shooting days, two days for the outdoor scenes and three for the indoor scenes. The biggest challenge was the flashbacks, which play an important role in our film. They were largely improvised linguistically, but this was not so difficult. It was difficult in the post-production to cut the flashes in the film, without it seems too exaggerated. Since we had such good material thanks to our great actors Inga Dietrich and Peter Trabner, it was sometimes hard to say goodbye to a scene.

Inga Dietrich and Peter Trabner performing a funny moment on the set

Inga Dietrich and Peter Trabner performing a funny moment on the set

ISA: “The Boy With The Teddy“ won three awards at the Independent Shorts Awards in July, including two for the actors. How did you put together this cast?

AS: First of all, I have to say that I’m very proud of my entire team. I am especially grateful to my DoP Julian Lück and my parents, who have been very supportive. I knew some of the actors from previous collaborations, such as Merlin Rose, who plays the second leading role in the film. He is a great actor. Also Peter Trabner, who plays a great guest role, I knew by another project. Inga Dietrich, who plays an important supporting role in the film, I didn’t know at all and offered her the role out of my gut feeling. And it was the absolute a right decision. Our young leading actor Ole Hermann, who won the ISA Gold Award as Best Child Actor, I have cast through my agency (agency Rietz) and I’m so glad that I found him! He is so incredibly talented for his young age and also has a great family who has supported him and us. And what he had to play was not easy. I am very pleased for him and for our actors about the awards and recognition of their achievement.

ISA: Which projects are next to you?

AS: The school is a big project that I want to complete as soon as possible. Otherwise, I currently producing and directing two music videos for a young artist. And as an actor, I will soon shoot again for various TV productions in Germany and on September 20, a Til Schweiger film comes with me in a supporting role in German cinemas.

Independent Shorts Awards 2018 © All Rights Reserved