Screened as part of NZIFF 2020

Kids Run 2020

Directed by Barbara Ott

A tough-as-nails boxing drama in the vein of Raging Bull, German filmmaker Barbara Ott’s Kids Run is a captivating portrait of precarity that pulls no punches.

Germany In German with English subtitles
104 minutes VOD



Gabriele Simon
Martin Heisler


Falko Lachmund


Gregory Schuchmann

Production designer

Christiane Krumwiede

Costume designer

Tina Eckhoff


Paradoz Paradise


Jannis Niewöhner (Andi)
Lena Tronina (Sonja)
Peter Schneider (Krusche)
Carol Schuler (Isabel)
Kazim Demirbas (Schrotthändler)
Oleg Tikhomirov (Viktor)
Lorna Ishema (Archana)


Berlin, Sydney 2020


A heady blend of social realism and hardscrabble boxing drama, Kids Run is a powerful slice-of-life fight flick not for the faint-of-heart. Newcomer Jannis Niewöhner gives a fascinating, difficult performance as Andi, a desperate young father-of-three who enters an amateur boxing competition in the hope of paying off his escalating debts. Trapped in a wintry working-class wasteland, Andi and his ilk know only struggle and hardship, not so much living on the brink of disaster as skating constantly along the edge of it. The prize – 5,000 euros – offers less of a path out than a way to simply stay afloat.

Making her feature debut, German filmmaker Barbara Ott’s work here is sensitive but unflinching, never sugar-coating Andi’s bleak circumstances nor making allowances for his violent, hair-trigger personality. Ott commendably shirks the familiar rhythms of the boxing-movie genre – don’t expect a Rocky-esque climactic showdown here. As with British social-realists like Ken Loach, Andrea Arnold and Mike Leigh, Ott’s vision of a hand-to-mouth existence is at times a tough watch, but coloured with vivid, lived-in performances that add a touch of grace to even the toughest situations. — Tom Augustine

About the Filmmaker
Born in 1983 on the German-Czech border, Barbara Ott took a degree in fiction directing at the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg. Her graduation film Sunny (2013) screened successfully at national and international festivals and received numerous awards. Kids Run is her directorial feature debut.