A film by Susanne Regina Meures
Millions of girls want to be like Leonie:
But the success of the 14-year-old influencer comes at a high price.
Fourteen-year-old Leonie is a successful teen influencer who lives on the outskirts of Berlin. Millions of followers are at her feet, and companies shower her with products. When Leonie’s parents recognise the enormous economic potential of their daughter’s online activities, they quickly take over her management. They want Leonie to have a better life than they had. But Leonie’s life dictated by brands and pressure to produce content has a shadow side that the adrenaline, fame and free sneakers can’t make up for.
„GIRL GANG is extremely exciting and after 90 minutes, it leaves a very uneasy feeling about the media world we live in."
THE CHARACTERS IN THE FILM
INFLUENCER - Leonie
Leonie lives with her parents in a Berlin suburb. Since the age of 13 she earns her money as an influencer. She is a social media star under the name „Leoobalys“. She now has over 1.5 million followers on Instagram, Tiktok and YouTube. Since the beginning, she has been supported by her parents. Her productions are meticulously prepared and filmed with professional equipment. Every day follows a strict schedule, in addition to homework and soccer practice. To reach even more followers and satisfy her customers, Leonie often works late at night. At the beginning, the plan seems to work: She delivers top grades in school, and as an influencer she earns more and more money. But the illuminated backdrop has dark sides..
THE FAN - Melanie
Melanie lives with her mother and two cats in a small town in Bavaria. She has other interests than the children from the country. She finds her friends not in the village, but on the Internet. Melanie‘s life revolves almost exclusively around her idol Leonie aka Leoobalys. Her room is wallpapered with pictures of Leonie, she wants to be like her idol, puts on makeup, has manicured fingernails. She runs a fan page for Leoobalys, in which she invests a lot of time and spends 12 to 17 hours on her cell phone. Mostly to edit pictures and videos of Leonie and share them on social media. Melanie‘s biggest dream is to meet Leonie and finally hug her.
THE FATHER - Andreas
Andreas does everything for his daughter. He wants a better life for her. At the beginning of the filming Andreas still works as a bartender, but as Leonie‘s career picks up speed and also becomes more financially lucrative, he takes over her management. He coordinates requests from companies and big brands. For Leonie‘s production ideas for her posts, he spares neither effort nor expense. At the same time, he tries to protect her as best he can, deleting hate comments together with his wife Sani that Leonie shouldn‘t see. Andreas is often like Leonie‘s buddy, cheering everyone up with his clowning around, but he also demands a lot of discipline from her. With his wife Sani, he forms a sworn team; important decisions concerning Leonie and the family are made jointly by the two of them.
THE MOTHER - Sani
Sani, like her husband Andreas, also wants Leonie to work less for a good life. In their younger years, she and her husband had to work hard for their future. That‘s why Sani demands a lot from her daughter: she should not neglect school and her duties as an influencer. Sani can be strict with Leonie, even though the two are still very close. She‘s not as extroverted as her husband at first, doesn‘t like being the center of attention. But Sani also finds more and more like the work as an influencer and gets into the business herself.
DIRECTOR & CAMERA | Susanne Regina Meures
EDITING | Katja Dringenberg
PRODUCTION | Christian Frei Filmproduktionen
CO-PRODUKTION | SRF - Schweizer Radio und Film Fernsehen
PRODUCERS | Susanne Regina Meures / Christian Frei
WORLD SALES | Rise and Shine Cinema
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