Student film about schizophrenia honored at Meduc Award

Anna Lilly Gansau and Lea Heinert are studying graphic design and visual communication in their 4th semester at Campus Berlin. In 2021, they made their own short film, "Drowning Mind," which received a "Special Mention" at the Meduc Award. They told us in a short interview how the nomination and award came about and what advice they would give students from the design department.

Filmstill from Anna Lilly Gansau's and Lea Heinert's short film "Drowning Mind", which deals with schizophrenia.

Filmstill from Anna Lilly Gansau's and Lea Heinert's short film "Drowning Mind", which deals with schizophrenia.

Congratulations on winning the Meduc Award, a media award and competition for young creatives. What was your first thought when you learned that your film had been given a "Special Mention"?

Lea and I spoke directly on the phone to share the brief moment of euphoria together. The next thought was: how can we continue? Are there other interesting competitions? - A short rush full of happy hormones.

How did the award come about? Did you apply for the competition yourself? If so, what made you decide to submit your short film to the Meduc Award?

In the evaluation form and the feedback email it was written in great detail what the jury liked and we were advised to submit the film to other film festivals and competitions. We think you liked the cinematic realization of the topic very much.

We wanted to get out of our HMKW bubble and our everyday university life and see how our film would be received by a jury of experts and whether we could keep up. In addition, the topic dealt with in the film should be freely accessible to the public and provide food for thought.


In your film you deal with two very important topics: mental health and schizophrenia. Both topics are often still taboo in society. Why did you decide to make a film about it and what was your approach to the subject?

First of all, the cover of the song "Creep" (Radiohead) gave us the impulse. We wanted to make a film that embodied both music video and art film while dealing with a socially relevant topic, so we combined three supporting levels. We worked intensively on the song. Especially the emotionality, radicality of sadness/loneliness and the shifted perception of the self offered an interesting surface for interpretation.

What advice do you have for HMKW students who are thinking about submitting their film project to a competition/festival?

Submit everything! Just do it. Why the effort if no one sees it in the end?

Thank you very much for the interview and good luck for the future and enjoy your studies at HMKW!