Please rate this film for the Audience Award

As she casts a remake of Fassbinder’s THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT, a director is plagued with indecision. CASTING is a complex and entertaining commentary on moviemaking, metacinema and set hierarchy.

“Let’s stop there.” Vera, the director, implores. “You’re playing it so… arrogant, so self-righteous, so…”
“At first, at first!” counters Gerwin, the audition reader.
“At first or forever, it’s wrong…” Vera insists.
“How, how…” interjects Gerwin.
“Stop! Let me finish!” Vera shouts.
“We’ll get there,” Gerwin continues. “We’ll get there. 100%…”

Tension is running high and time is running out on the set of Vera’s first television film, a remake of Fassbinder’s THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT. And at this stage it’s very possible the cast and crew will not “get there,” as the production teeters on the brink of stalling or even shutting down. The first day of shooting is rapidly approaching and Vera continues to vacillate as to which actress she should cast as Petra. As casting becomes more and more protracted, Vera’s indecisiveness increasingly exasperates both producers and crew.

Initially, Gerwin was simply grateful to have the work. He was hired to be an audition reader, to act out scenes from the film opposite the bevy of illustrious actresses that arrive on set hoping to land the coveted role of Petra. As a jobbing actor, Gerwin has never managed to secure a major part of any consequence. But now, with each passing audition in which he’s the key scene partner, his confidence grows. Not satisfied to just be a helper in Vera’s project, Gerwin soon dares to hope that he could land the lead male role.

While paying homage to the complexity of Fassbinder’s film, CASTING director Nicolas Wackerbarth also provides commentary on the process of moviemaking, on metacinema and on the hierarchy and power struggles at play within a film crew.


East Coast

Genre Drama
Category Feature
Director Nicolas Wackerbarth
Screenplay Nicolas Wackerbarth, Hannes Held
Cinematography Jürgen Carle
Cast Andreas Lust, Judith Engel, Milena Dreissig, Nicole Marischka, Stephan Grossmann, Ursina Lardi, Marie-Lou Sellem, Andrea Sawatzki, Victoria Trauttmansdorff, Tim Kalkhof
Producers Franziska Specht, Katharina Dufner, Jan Berning
Production Company SWR/Baden-Baden
Length 91 min
Festivals Berlinale 2017, Vancouver 2017, Viennale 2017, Torino 2017, Dublin 2018

Nicolas Wackerbarth Born on May 31, 1973, in Munich, Nicolas Wackerbarth studied acting at the Bavarian Theatre Academy in Munich. After his first roles at the Frankfurt Theatre, he became a permanent member at the theatre Städtische Bühnen in Cologne. Afterwards, he studied Directing at the German Film and TV Academy (DFFB) in Berlin. Nicolas Wackerbarth teaches at several German Film Academies, curates film programs and film talks. and is co-editor of the film magazine “Revolver.” He lives as director and writer in Berlin.

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