A short Roadmovie
by Martin Monk



After falling out with her mother, rebellious Sofia wants to hitchhike to Italy in search of her biological father. In haste, she stuffs a few things in her backpack and sets off in the early hours of a Viennese summer morning.

When she meets middle-aged Michael, who reluctantly agrees to give her a lift, the two strangers develop an unlikely friendship on their shared journey through the Austrian south.

Michael, too, seems to be on the run from something quite intangible. Sofia senses this, and together they drift through a day of driving. A brief encounter suspended in time.

Director’s Note

The idea for Favoriten came as I searched for a project to develop in my new hometown of Vienna where I had moved in 2017 to start my Directing degree. The feeling of being uprooted has been a constant throughout my own life, and awoke again as I relocated to Austria.

My film follows two strangers navigating their mutual mistrust of one another. At first glance, they have nothing at all in common. But slowly they open up, revealing themselves to each other and to the audience in the process. To their own surprise, they are much more alike than meets the eye.

Their brief shared journey remains meaningless without individual context. A roadtrip is simply a metaphor for the continuous change called life. But by the end, both have realized that while time seems to move forward, people tend to go round in circles.


Key Creatives
& Leads

Favoriten is a collaboration between film students from Germany and Austria. It is the third short film written & directed by Martin Monk. Lead actress Lia Wilfing gives her first ever performance in a film while co-star Christian Dolezal has twenty-five years of theatre, film and TV experience under his belt.


Martin Monk

is a German film director and screenwriter of English and Russian descent born in Berlin in 1985. After studying history and philosophy he turned to fictional filmmaking, directing several self-produced short films before being selected by Michael Haneke as an M.A. Directing student at Film Academy Vienna. His latest work Favoriten traces the steps of a runaway girl in search of her father and is an Official Selection at the 72nd Festival de Cannes. Analog photography, a passion since youth, remains a major source of inspiration for his cinematic work. He lives in Berlin and Vienna.



Michaela Finis

is a German producer born in 1991 in Freudenstadt. After studying mathematics in Stuttgart, she found her big passion, making movies. From 2014 to 2017 she joined a film production company in New Zealand working in different production roles on various music videos, short films and feature films, among them Hunt for the Wilderpeople directed by Taika Waititi. In 2017, she returned to Germany to start her B.A. Film production studies at the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf. Next to producing her own films, she assists on series and feature films. She lives in Berlin.



Johannes Höß

is an Austrian DP born in Vienna in 1990. He completed his B.A. Cinematography with minor degree in Screenplay writing (Prof. Götz Spielmann) at Film Academy Vienna and in 2018 started his Master studies with Wolfgang Thaler. Several shorts as DP (selection): 2018 – Voltage (Dir. Samira Ghahremani, fiction, 16 min, World Premiere at Berlinale Generation 14+); 2017 – MATHIAS (DoP and co-writer, Dir. Clara Stern, fiction, 30 min, winner of the Austrian Academy Award 2018 for Best Short Film); 2016 – Waiting Time (Dir. Clara Stern, fiction, 11 min, several awards worldwide). He lives in Vienna.



Full Cast
& Crew

Favoriten is a production realised at Film Academy Vienna in 2018 & 2019. It is a graded project in the Directing Master’s degree and was mentored by Michael Haneke and Markus Schleinzer. The production was kindly supported by the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, the Friends of Film Academy Vienna, Arri Media and Tremens Soundstudios.


Lia Wilfing as Sofia
Christian Dolezal as Michael

Renate Baier as the Waitress
Günther Lainer as the Truck driver
Birgit Linauer as the voice of Sofia’s mother

Wolfram Hermann-Hubler, Horus Zeisler, Johanna Berki, Arine Rafaelyan, Roxana Pircher, Andreas Klaus, Emem Augendopler, Tina Nitsche & Milós Marinkovic as Extras


Martin Monk – Writer & Director
Michaela Finis – Producer
Johannes Höß – Director of Photography
Oksana Melnychuk – Costumes & Makeup
Felix Kalaivanan – Editor
Matthias Writze – Script Consultant
Julia Willi – Sound Design


Nicole Stigler – 1st AD
Eileen Dirnecker – 2nd AD
Hanna Mathis – Script/Continuity
Valerie Kremshuber – Production Manager
Lisa Hasenhütl – Production Assistant
Christian Dreher & Hannah Jandl – Runners
Simone Hart – 1st AC
Daniel Kainz – 2nd AC
Judith Dornetshuber – Video Operator
Benedict Heinzl – Steadicam
Udo Maurer – Drone Operator
Hubert Grissemann, Jón Geirfinnsson & Markus Wittershagen – Sound Mixers
Vlad Baran – Boom Operator
Alex Sprenger & Jan Brenner – Gaffers
Philipp Ertl & Julian Matzat – Grip
Victoria Herbig – Set Photographer
Alex Schneider & Julia Willi – DIT


Bernhard Maisch – Re-Recording Mixer
Andreas Schneider – Foley Artist
Valerie Wöllner, Pia Wolkenstein, Judith Selenko & Marianna Fabre – VFX
Nico Hauter – Color Grading
Michaela Finis – Subtitles
u&mi – Poster Design


Key Facts &

Favoriten will have its World Premiere at the 72nd Festival de Cannes in the Cinéfondation Selection on the 22nd of May, 2019. It will be screened in Program 2 at 11 a.m. in the Salle Buñuel, 5th Floor of the Palais du Festival in Cannes, France.


Original Title Favoriten
English Title
17’ 47’’
Country of Production Austria, Germany
Year of Production 2019
Genre Roadmovie, Coming of Age, Drama
Theatrical Version 2K DCP non-encrypted
Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Frame Rate 24p
Sound Dolby Digital 5.1
Language German OV
Subtitles English, French


Martin Monk



Michaela Finis



Christina Wintersteiger



Martina Fiorellino