of the Body

Student-Oscar® nominated Experimental Short Film


With me is life, but what is there without me? What is my essence? I try to understand myself. Dancing. I show and observe myself in different places. I wake up in water, explore boundaries in urban chaos. I recognise myself in my inevitability and yet I lose myself on the way to freedom.

Prisoners of the Body is a metaphorical exploration of movement itself. Music accompanies its journey into the world – along five chapters, set in different scenarios. In this liaison of film and dance, the camera itself becomes the protagonists expression – and dances.

Germany 2020
Genre: Experimental, Dance
Runtime: 26:28 min
Language: English

Elisa Maria Nadal – Writer & Director

Elisa was born in 1985 in Southern Brazil. After a serious accident, she had to give up a career as a professional dancer. She studied social communication and journalism in Curitiba, Brazil, where she received various awards for her documentary thesis “Tele-Visao”. Afterwards she moved to Munich to study documentary film at the University of Television and Film. Alongside, she studies Media Art at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich. In recent years she shot in Germany, Brazil, Nepal, Bulgaria, Iran, Turkey, Greece and India.

Mateusz Smolka – Director of Photography

Mateusz discovered his great fascination for the craft of artistic image creation as a child. As the son of an established painter, the Pole by birth immersed himself in the milieu of painting and sculpture from an early age. He began his cinematic and cinematographic art at the age of 20 on film sets in Germany and the USA. This was followed by studying cinematography at the University of Television and Film, Munich (HFF). After cinema, television and documentary films as well as award-winning short films, music videos and commercials, he graduated with his internationally awarded film „All I Never Wanted“. His Debut Feature Film “Running Against the Wind“ was submitted for the 92nd Academy Awards 2020 in the category “Best International Feature Film “.

Gonçalo Cruzinha – Choreographer

Goncalo studied dance at the “Escola Superior de Dança” in Lisbon and at the “Fontys Hochschule” in Tilburg / Netherlands. In Berlin he completed an advanced training in dance therapy. As a freelancer he worked with various choreographers and directors from Portugal to China. In 2019 he received the Young Choreographer Award from the City of Stuttgart. Under the name of Azimuth Arts and Dance Ensemble, founded in Stuttgart, he signs its artistic work has an ensemble. The ensemble consists of a group of artists, labouring with different crafts producing all kind of art forms.


Cast & Crew

Gonçalo Cruzinha, Cintia Rangel, Luca Tomao, Diego Da Silva, Elisa Maria Nadal, Selene Travaglia,
Anastasia Stefanidou-Strack, Kathrin Knopfle, Jeff Pham, Francesca Ventre, Elise Scheider, Sonja Golubkowa

Gonçalo Cruzinha

Bahtiyar Bozkurt, Ersin Çilesiz

Writer & Director
Elisa Maria Nadal

Director of Photography
Mateusz Smolka

Production Design
Kathi Ganzer

Yatri Niehaus, Frank Müller

Jonas Lechenmayr

Serkan Alkan, SieA

Voice Artist
Antonia Dering

Costume Design
Sylvia Feigs, Lorand Lajos

Hair & Make Up
Lea Reitberger

Sounddesign & Mix
Orange Sound Studios, Paul Majer, Oliver Vorderbrügge, David Wasielewski

Production Company
Directorat Filmproduktion – Munich,
in co-production with Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film – Munich,
with backing from FilmFernsehFonds Bayern


Producer – Bahtiyar Bozkurt
+49 160 841 0743

Director – Elisa Maria Nadal
+49 1520 9653952

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