The Race (Das Große Rennen)

Germany/Ireland 2008, Feature film, 83' | Director André F. Nebe | Screenplay Rowan O'Neill, Rowan ONeill | DoP Dirk Morgenstern | Editor Diana Karsten, Dirk Schwarz | Sound Alexander Buck, Barry O'Sullivan, Guido Zettier | Music Eike Hosenfeldt, Moritz Denis, Tim Stanzel | Cast Niamh McGirr, Colm Meaney, Susan Lynch, Jonathan Mason | Production zero fiction film/zero west Filmproduktion, Grand Pictures

Eleven-year-old Mary lives on a farm in Ireland and loves anything on wheels that moves fast. She wants to be a racing car mechanic when she grows up. Full of enthusiasm, the girl with red hair and freckles invests every free moment she has into building her own soapbox car.

When a real soapbox derby is organised in her home town - along with prize money and a cup - she has the chance to show people what she's made of. But her fellow competitors are on their toes. Especially the rich boys from her school, who tease Mary and her best friend Tom whenever they can, turn up at the starting line with expensively built carts. And Mary's racing ideas meet with little approval from her father.

When Mary has almost given up all hope, she hears about a legendary soapbox master builder. And the results can be seen: everyone has underestimated smart little Mary ...

One is never too small for big dreams. Das große Rennen is a high-speed family adventure in every respect. A moving and exciting everyday fairy tale about a girl who is not put off by the hurdles that life sometimes throws up, but rather overcomes each of them with Irish wit and an elegant stubbornness.
Alongside professional actors Katey Kensay (Cracker, Interview with a Vampire and Long Live Ned Devine!) and Colm Meaney (The Commitments, Fish & Chips and The Snapper), who play Mary's parents, 13-year-old Niamh McGirr appears for the first time in front of a camera in the role of Mary.

"It was a big challenge to find Mary. Most film children have something very artificial about them or are drilled thoroughly by their parents. This was not the case with Niamh McGirr. She had done a few theatre work groups, but had never stood in front of a camera before, so when she did during casting, I was almost moved to tears. She was so convincing, so natural, simply lovable. The Irish Pippi Longstocking!"
André F. Nebe


André F. Nebe was born in Berlin in 1973 and first studied Law at Humboldt University, Berlin. In 2002, he moved to Hamburg to study directing at the university there, graduating with distinction. He subsequently worked as a writer and script editor on numerous treatments and screenplays. He was represented at numerous festivals worldwide with his short films, winning a number of awards. In 2005, he founded the production company Tucano Film in Berlin. Das große Rennen is his full-length feature film debut.

André F. Nebe
Ireland, Germany
Feature Film
School Film