by André Szardenings

Synopsis | Cast & Crew | Technical Information

For as long as 21-year-old Bruno can remember, there has only been him and the unconditional love of his mother Toni, who is 15 years older. Nothing else seems to find room in the chaotic life of the two. It is only when Hannah, Toni's new partner, moves into the bungalow they share in Spain that Bruno is in danger of losing his mother's essential love. Displaced from the bed they share, Bruno must realize that his previous sense of responsibility for Toni, is a greater burden for him than he thought.  Faced with the decision between his own life and the suffocating relationship with his mother, Bruno realizes that this will be the first decision he has to make on his own...

Awards & Festivals

GOA IFF, Max Ophüls Preis FF, Cine Allemagne Paris


Julius Nitschkoff, Lana Cooper, Karin Hanczewski

Director Bio

André Szardenings born in Düsseldorf, Germany. He worked for several commercial production companies, mainly as a DoP and for films like Cloud Atlas directed by Tom Tykwer in the location department. After five years, he felt that even though he liked cinematography, he was more interested in directing and working with actors. He study film directing at international filmschool Cologne (ifs). His feature film BULLDOG, which was immediately nominated for the most significant German newcomer award: First Steps Awards. Since he knew how to handle a camera, he not only directed BULLDOG but also did the cinematography and wrote the script.

Director Statement

It was Summer 1997. I was 7 years old and with my parents on a vacation in Spain. If you would’ve told me at that time, that 23 years later I’d be filming my first feature film in the same bungalow that we were living in, I’d probably would’ve laughed.

Very early on in the planning process of my final project in film school I decided to shoot in Spain. I fell in love with the idea of telling the co-depended relationship of Bruno and Toni on an island. Just as Bruno and Toni are unable to leave the bubble that they’ve created for themselves, this island would make it harder for them to leave or change their circumstances physically. So when I was talking to a friend, I’ve suddenly had the idea of going back to the bungalow that I’ve stayed in before and where I already had personal memories. I think without even realizing, shooting in a place that I’ve already knew, enabled me to shoot the story in a very intimate way.

"BULLDOG" is a description of the main characters outwards appearance to me. I was interested in showing this buff boy from the outside and exploring his softer, sensitive, fragile and emotional core. In this way I was happy to find Julius Nitschkoff who combined both of the aspects I was looking for. Once I had found him I wrote the entire part tailor-made for him. For me as a gay man it was important to have a different approach to the film’s topic. I wanted to show a cis male, whose life is controlled or influenced only by women and/or queer characters and thereby show Bruno in a way usually women are shown in cinema.

Cast Bio

Julius Nitschkoff had his feature film debut was in 2015. Since then he has appeared in over 60 productions like the Netflix show Parfum, the Sky series Das Boot and the Amazon show Beat; playing a wide range of roles. He is known for the lead in Toubab.

Lana Cooper is a german actress. For her first mainroll in Love Steaks she won the award for best acting at the Filmfest München and Evolution Mallorca. Also for following projects like Beat Beat Heart she won an award at Günter Rohrbach Filmfest and for Looping at the Achtung Berlin Filmfest. Since she started acting she took part in more than 50 Produktions and also directed 3 short-, and one fiction movie.

Karin Hanczewski is a german-polish actress. She played the leading role in movies like Lotte, Im Sommer Wohnt Er Unten and Bruder Schwesterherz, which all won best feature film prizes at several national- as well as international film festivals. Since 2016 she has played the leading role in Germany's most succesfull crime Show Tatort.


Writer & director André Szardenings
Director of Photography André Szardenings
Commissioning Editor Natalie Lambsdorff  & Carlos Gerstenhauer
Costume Kaya Olbs
Producers Katharina Kolleczek & Lea Neu
Sound Design Lukas Rabl, Johannes Grote, Fabian Bentrup & Jan-Michael Hökenschnieder
Music NOIA

Production Company IFS Internationale Filmschule Köln, André Szardenings, Bayerischer Rundfunk.

Original Title: Bulldog | Germany 2022 | Drama, LGBT | German OV | 95’ | Audio 5.1 | Colour | Aspect Ratio 1,5:1 | Shot On Red 

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