His mother belongs to him. Only to him.

"A superb performance from Yelizar Nazarenko."
"An accomplished, offbeat coming-of-age drama."

Screen Daily


9-year-old Roman follows his mother Oksana, who left to work illegally in Germany. There she lives with Gert, a 62- year-old German widower who suffers from diabetes. Gert tries to make friends with the boy, but Roman struggles for his mother's attention. Suddenly Oksana becomes ill, and Roman is left alone with his rival. Surprisingly Gert turns out to be a good playmate until he dies from a stroke. Roman is now trapped in a remote place, along with a corpse.

Film gallery


Film presentation
.pdf 83.57 kB


Director: Marcus Lenz
Genre: Drama
Original title: Rivale
English title: RIVAL
Country of production: Germany, Ukraine
Year of production: 2020
Length: 96 mins
Screening format: DCP 2K (2048x858) (1:2,39; 5.1, un-encrypted
Original language: German, Ukrainian
Cast: Yelizar Nazarenko, Maria Bruni, Udo Samel,
Scriptwriter: Marcus Lenz, Lars Hubrich

Director of photography: Frank Amann
Production designer: Beatrice Schultz
Editor: Hansjörg Weissbrich, Bernd Euscher
Sound design: Jonathan Ritzel
Sound mixing: Dominik Avenwedde
Music: Caroline Siegers + Evgueni Galperine
Producers: Gunter Hanfgarn & Andrea Ufer
Co-producers: Marina Orekhova, Patrick Waldmann
Production company: HANFGARN & UFER
Co-production company: Belka Strelka, Wildfilms
Supported by: BKM, Filmstiftung NRW, Nordmedia

Film poster

© Mila Teshaieva

Festivals / Awards

Busan IFF - Flash Forward Competition - World Premiere
AFI Fest, USA - New Auteurs
Braunschweig IFF, Germany
Listapad Minsk IFF, Belorussia - Main Feature Film CompetitionYury Marukhin Memorial Award for Best Cinematography for FRANK AMANN
Tallinn Black Nights IFF, Estonia
Kolkata IFF, India
KINO – Mostra de Cinema de Expressão Alemã - Audience award
Sherbrooke IFF, Canada
Cleveland IFF, USA
Bergamo IFF, USA
Maryland FF, USA
International Human Rights FF, Argentina
Shanghai IFF, China
Boulder IFF, USA
Atlantida IFF, Spain
Odesa IFF, Ukraine - Special Jury Mention Award
Zerkalo FF, Russia - Voices Award From The Young Film Critics´Jury
Snowdance, Germany
EspooCine, Finland
PriFest, Kosovo - Global Winner Feature Film
Achtung Berlin Film Festival - Best feature film, Best camera feature film, Best screenplay
Neiße Filmfestival, Germany - Best Script
Europe on Screen, Indonesia
Randfilmfest, Germany
Taipei IFF, Taiwan
SKIP City IFF, Japan - Main Comepetition - Best Director Award
Ukraine! FF, Poland
Achtung Berlin, Germany
Emden FF, Germany - NDR film Award
Ukraine! FF, Poland
Camerimages, Poland
MUSOC - Human Rights FILM Festival, Spain


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