Germany, Austria


Coco is 17 and feels a desperate need to become famous even though she seems to lack the necessary talent. She is willing to do anything for recognition and avoid becoming an everyday ‚loser‘. She skips school to attend castings, music videos shoots, and to film YouTube clips but faces one humiliation after another and is quickly pushed to her limits. With her „Coco Channel“, she tries to expand her notoriety on the internet and create the successful, loved, and confident character she wishes she really could be. As a crossmedia project, connecting film with the online video scene, WANNABE tells the story of a young YouTuber, who builds herself a fictitious world on the Internet.

Directors Statement

During the shooting of WANNABE, I created situations in which our protagonists could perform mainly as them selves. Scenes were merely sketched out ahead of time, and the directorial concept for many scenes limited itself to creating a suitable framework for the improvisation in each situation. The Models in the first scene were participants of the TV-Show, Austria´s Next Top Model, Markus Schleinzer, who is a famous castingdiector in his real life, casts our main actress for a feature film. Her casting- partner in this scene, Merlin Leonhardt, who played a leading for about 2 years in the famous German TV soap opera „Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten“, performs as himself as an actor. The Music Video of the rapper Mirac, in which Coco appears as a dancer, was documented in our film and released on his YouTube-Channel as part of our crossmedia- concept.

Director's Biography

Jannis Lenz works as a study assistant in directing at the Filmacademy Vienna for Michael Haneke and Wolfgang Murnberger. His first student film SHADOWBOXER (2015) won several awards, including „Best short fiction“ at the Diagonale-Festival of Austrian Film, as well as a Special Mention at the 69th Edinburgh Intl. Film Festival. ZERO- G (2016), has run over 100 festivals in its first year, like Rotterdam IFF, and received many prizes and awards, e.g. „Best Student Documentary“ at the 49th Montreal World Film Festival. Jannis Lenz Bachelor degree film at the Filmacademy Vienna, WANNABE, won the EFA-Award in Clermont-Ferrand and is nominated for the European Film Awards 2017. In 2016 Lenz worked in different jurys at international film- and literature festivals and received the START Scholarship for cinematic art of the Bundeskanzleramt Austria.
Since 2017 Jannis Lenz is an official member of the European Film Academy.



Cast & Crew

Directed by: Jannis Lenz

Written by: Jannis Lenz, Matthias Writze, Andi Widmer

Produced by: Lukas Zweng, Roland Fischer

Cinematography: Andi Widmer

Editing: Alexander Rauscher

Production Design: Winnie Küchl

Costume Design: Eva Zar

Make-Up & Hair: Ines Marie Polak

Sound Design: Rudolf Pototschnig, Benedikt Plaier, Jonas Haslauer

Main Cast: Anna Suk (Coco), Simone Fuith (mother), Julia Plach (Jenny), Mathias Dachler (Paul), Merlin Leonhardt (casting partner ), Markus Schleinzer (caster)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Short Film 2017