A Short film by Laurens Zautsen
Crowdfunding teaser: 
funded project
donated of €9.000
days to go

Project Information

About the project
LOCKLINEAn overwrought fashion student is confronted with himself by his manic-depressive mother: an ex-carnival singer from Limburg


Since high-school I tried to get affirmation and self-love from the achievements I accomplished. I could study all night long to get a good grade on the exam the day after.  It gave me a lot of stress to maintain this, but I kept on trying to do everything as good as possible.

Still a feeling of anxiety kept chasing me everywhere. No matter how good my results were. I thought I failed my final-exams and then I graduated, without a resit.
Also when I moved to the Randstad to become a filmmaker, I kept on showing the same behaviour. I also got influenced by the general atmosphere of competition that is present among my generation. Every time it wasn’t good enough. Every time I should and would create something better.

This couldn’t hold on forever. A a certain point I broke down. It was then, when I reached my own rock-bottom, that I realised how less I actually cared about myself.
The society we live in is build on the principle that everybody can reach their dreams as long as they work their ass of. If you participate in this rat race and show the best person on earth you’re doing a good job. If you fail, whatever the reason is, you did it yourself.

My main-character, Felix, feels this pressure. He wants to become a fashion-designer and create his own brand. But he is also overworked. He can work on his designs diligently, but the next moment he can’t even bare to look at them anymore which results in him sitting on his bed, doing nothing and feeling defeated. Felix has lost himself in his strive for the best.


Felix, an overworked fashon-student, is traveling back from the Randstad to his mother in the south of Limburg to work on his graduation project. But back home he gets confronted with the similarities between him and his manic-depressive mother, Debbie. Since he isn’t feeling that well himself, he starts to see similarities in their way of living. He starts to get convinced that his own faith is equal to hers. To prove himself he is wrong he tries to give her old past as a regional carnival singer a revival.


We need a high budget to make this movie the right way. We are pour students after all and our government financing and our job at the local pizzeria won’t help us out. We want to create a movie that shows us a believable world. Think about beautiful costumes that show Felix’ passion for fashion and can end up in the septemer issue of the Vogue. We also have a detailed plan for our art-direction that is loyal to Debbie’s particular taste for interior.

Another reason we want to crowdfund is the fact that we like the idea to realise this project with the help of other. This way we’re not only making a film with our cast and crew, but also with the help of everyone that want to mean something for us. So are the members of Laurens’ dad bicycle club willing to help us with moving some of the heavy furniture for the art-direction This way we are trying to make a movie that connects because we aren’t just telling this story for our own. Apart from that is the theme recognizable for many of us. No matter how individual Felix’ situation is, we all know this feeling of putting too much pressure on yourself in certain situations.


In the film I want to maintain a poetic atmosphere. This means that in the story we won’t explain in words what's exactly going on with Felix and Debbie. They don’t get a literal diagnosis on their head. Ambiance in sound and image will become a way to illustrate their feelings and struggles. The situations the characters are experiencing have some level of hilariousness in them. That’s why the film is balancing between drama and comedy.


Phoenix is gonna be a stylised film that uses different kind of imaginary. First we have sensitive images that show us the feelings, thoughts and observations of the characters. For example when we go back to Felix’ memories about his fashion-academy the camera stays close to his skin. A reference for this style is the film 'You Were Never Really Here' (2018, Lynne Ramsay). 

Second we use also more objective perspectives to show the character’s struggles and their relationships with each other. We use frames that display more of the space and take a bigger distance from the characters. For example the first scene where we introduce Debbie and show her connection to Felix and Jos is seen almost entirely in a wide-shot. Through this combination between subjective and objective we get a total-experience that is faithful to Felix’ mental journey and his relationship with his mother.


Debbie's house

Felix' childhood bedroom

Felix' outfits

Quote that inspired the maker

There is no way to genuinely, powerfully, truly love yourself while crafting a mask of perfection.
Vironika Tugaleva
This project was successfully funded on 08-03-2019

Fund Project