London is at the north pole



Every since his accident as a small child, 15-year-old Peter has been mentally handicapped. He cannot read or write, cannot leave the house without his mother and has hardly any contact with other children his own age. In his comic books he escapes into a world of fantasy and dreams of moving like his idol "Spiderman" to gain the esteem of his peers. His actual situation is quite a different matter. But then in an idyllic outdoor swimming pool he experiences an encounter that changes his life.


Technical spects

Duration: 20 min

Original format: Digital 4k (Red One)

Sound: 5.1 and Stereo
Aspect ratio: 1:1,85


Directors comment

In my opinion many films treat the subject of 'mental retardation' with too much well meant caution; an attempt at integration, which could easily have the opposite effect. It was important for me to show Peter with all his strengths, as well as his weaknesses. He passes the degradation he believes to suffer, on to others weaker than himself. This makes him all the more human.

Peter is somewhere between the worlds of "normal" and "handicapped", so to say. The question arises where does he belong or how can he become accepted in the "normal" world? He feels excluded. And this is perhaps the true theme of the film. Who hasn't felt excluded at one time or another?



After "London is at the North Pole" was presented at numerous international film festivals, the film admitted in the distribution of "". Subsequently the Goethe Institute took it worldwide in its program. Also the film is used in several countries as part of German lessons or for integrative projects.

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1. Prize "best national short film" festival "20min‌‌max" 2010
"Children's Film Prize" Landshuter short film festival 2010

The title "Highly recommended" by the German Movie Rating Board

Short of the month March 2010 by the German Movie Rating Board



23.-27.03.2010 Landshuter Kurzfilmfestival, Germany - award "best Children's film"
08.-11.04.2010 33.Grenzland Filmtage Selb, Germany
21.+22.04.2010 Independent Film Festival KAN, Wroclaw, Poland
15.-20.05.2010 Kurzfilmfestival 20min/max, Ingolstadt, Germany - award "Best national film"
09.-13.06.2010 CrankCookie Kurzfilmtage Passau, Germany
09.-25.07.2010 9th Euganea Film Festival, Italy
23.-28.08.2010 25th Odense International Film Festival, Denmark
02.-19.09.2010 Portobello Film Festival London, UK
16.-19.09.2010 Chicago International Reel Short Festival, USA
27.09-03.10.2010 15. Internationales Kinder- und Jugendfilmfestival Chemnitz, Germany
01.-09.10.2010 International Film Festival of Patras City, Greece
06.-10.10.2010 Internationales Kurzfilmfestival Shnit Bern, Switzerland
16.-17.10.2010 Emmentaler Kurzfilmtage, Switzerland
25.-31.10.2010 29th Uppsala International Short Film Festival, Sweden
01.-05.12.2010 16th Filmschau Baden Württemberg, Germany
12.-17.04.2011 International Short Film Festival Dresden, Germany

27.04.2011 Milwaukee Underground Film Festival, USA
04.-08.05.2011 Independent Days Festival Karlsruhe, Germany
11.-14.10. 2011 Filmfest Münster, Germany

29.09.-06.10. 2012 Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival, USA


Director: Achim Wendel
Producer: Benjamin Huber
Co-Producer: Achim Wendel
Screenplay: Andreas Klee, Achim Wendel
DoP: Michael Heinz

Camera assistent: Claire Jahn, Irakli Ergemlidze

Underwater camera operator: Stefan Lindenau
Gaffer: Marc Hupfeld, Bernd Rischner
Sound: Lars Heineken, Björn Noss

Property master: André Köhl

Make-up artist: Cindy Beck

Continuity: Constanze Ramsperger, Iunia Mihu

Diving instructor: Frank Hilsamer

Stunt coordination: Oliver Reitz, Sonja Pfeiffer

Still photographer: Steven van Veen, Stephan Garcon, Stephan Bungarten
Editor: Achim Wendel, Andreas Klee
Visual effects: Heiko Thies, Benjamin Noss

Colorist: Phil Whitfield (Das Werk)
Sound design: Tobias von Brockdorff
Score: Peter Gromer


Lukas Krämer, Jana Müller, Tim Meter, Annalena Karl, Olaf Krätke, Ygal Gleim, Beatrice Bergér, Monika Noltensmeier u.v.a.


Press reviews

"..."London at the North Pole" is the successful conclusion of a precise and detailed study on the behavior and yearnings of 15-year-old Peter, who has been mentally handicapped since childhood. The film deals seriously with his dreams and desires, by not idealizing them or overemphasizing his aggressive surges [...] An inspiring, true-to-life film without misdirected sympathy."

Deutsche Film- und Medienbewertung


"...It is very difficult to intertwine a film script with reality. Author Andreas Klee, Director Achim Wendel and Producer Benjamin Huber make it appear easy. They start with a time known as puberty, when a glance can have worlds of meaning and rubbing a little suntan lotion on the back of a girl much more.


"London at the North Pole" has its own very special narrative rhythm and an atmospherically dense plethora of images, steady, with a feeling for details, sensitively accompanied by the camera. You have to allow yourself to be ingested by this film, and, if you do, you will be rewarded by the increasing intensity from scene to scene. "London at the North Pole" presents viewers with a great deal of reality, but just a much fantasy. Peter escapes into his comic world, and, on a summer day at the swimming pool, the audience witnesses how he courageously breaks out.


"London at the North Pole" is a film shown at schools; these are known as "educational films". Many educational films are boring and are not suitable for showing at move theaters. This one is. It belongs in a theater and there it is among our favorites."

Laudatio Kurzfilmfestival 20min max Ingolstadt, Germany


Link to film website


Further Links
Deutsche Filmbewertungsstelle: Pressetext zum Prädikat "besonders wertvoll"

SWR-Portrait Achim Wendel mit Filmausschnitten
Fernsehbeitrag Offener Kanal Wittlich

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