PR06 2021

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»Uppercut« by director Torsten Ruether opens the 28th Oldenburg International Film Festival

Unique in its origin story in the middle of the first Covid-19 lockdown, the film tells the story of one night and two people who could not be more different.

Ruether's directorial debut opens the festival as a world premiere.

»Uppercut« is a chamber play, created during the first Covid-19 lockdown. The story and the creative process embrace the ideals of independent cinema. A small team, one location, lots of passion, low budget. On screen this process pays off as two main actors are magnetic: Hardy Daniel Krueger shows a whole new facet of his acting skills and Luise Grossmann is a new discovery in German film who – in addition to her role in the film – has accompanied the indie spirit of the project as executive producer alongside writer, director, and producer Torsten Ruether.


Hardy Daniel Krueger describes the experience of shooting the film this way: »It was a chamber play, a ballet between two actors, two cameramen and a sound man in a very confined space.«


Steph (Luise Grossmann) seeks out Rick's (Hardy Daniel Krueger) boxing basement in Berlin-Wedding one night. Determined to prove her talent, she craves his approval. Rick was a promising heavyweight, but an injury robbed him of a great career. Now he's living the broken dream as a disillusioned coach in a Berlin boxing gym. When Steph confronts him with her unfiltered energy, his faded passion flares up again for one night. A night in which two people meet who could not be more different. Together they work out, talk, fight, cry, struggle and laugh. Steph reaches her limits and Rick goes beyond his.


Torsten Ruether has achieved something unique with his first feature film. In addition to Hardy Daniel Krueger and Luise Grossmann, Ruether was able to bring together great talent behind the camera as well. With cinematographer Maher Maleh develop a unique concept for the film’s realization: With two cameras, the story was shot from beginning to end within three nights, essentially in real time, after intensive rehearsals with the actors. The Chicks, formerly known as the Dixie Chicks, contributed three songs to the film, and Dominic Miller, Sting’s guitarist for 30 years, composed the title song »Steph & Rick« after having seen the rough cut.


On Wednesday, 15 September 2021, at 7 p.m., »Uppercut« will open the 28th Oldenburg International Film Festival with a red-carpet gala event in the presence of the director, actors, and production crew of the film.



Tickets for the opening gala in the Congress Hall are available from August 27, 2021 on our homepage at and from 06 September in the CORE Oldenburg market hall at Heiligengeiststraße 6-8.

For all other events, the central point of contact for advance ticket sales for physical events will be in the CORE Oldenburg market hall from 06 September 2021. Season tickets can also be purchased there.

Photos and more information about these films are available here.