If You Are Afraid You Put Your Heart Into Your Mouth And Smile

A film by Marie-Luise Lehner
A 2024, 90 min.
in Production


Marie Luise Lehner's debut film tells the story of Anna and her deaf mother Isolde and is about what it is like to transform the shame of one's own origins into pride, about affection, care, and solidarity.
Twelve-year-old Anna switches from middle school to high school. Things are quite different here: the children in the new school come from a completely other social class. Anna feels ashamed of her background and her deaf mother. During the ski week, Anna must pretend to be sick. The money set aside for the ski course is spent on buying a sofa bed, which should enable her mother to have a sexual relationship, but also provide the daughter with a bit more privacy. Mara, a friend in class, becomes an ally when it turns out that she also is hiding a secret. "If You Are Afraid You Put Your Heart Into Your Mouth And Smile" tells of a journey from shame to pride and examines what it's like to learn to stand up for yourself. Instead of using the familiar and far too often told image of the socially depraved underclass, the film develops a narrative of hope, affection, mutual care, and solidarity.


Director & Script:
Marie Luise Lehner
Simone Hart
Assistant Director:
Marco Antoniazzi
Martina Poel
Children’s Coach:
Karin Eva Meisel
Ines Vorreiter
Alex Sprenger
Set Design:
Julia Libiseller
Gerald Freimuth
Costume Design:
Marlene Pleyl
Makeup Design:
Nora Conradi
Jana Libnik
Sound Design:
Lenja Gathmann
Color Grading:
Manuel Portschy
Production Management:
Catrin Freundlinger
Veronika Hraby
Executive Producer:
Katharina Posch
Katharina Posch
Michael Kitzberger
Wolfgang Widerhofer
Markus Glaser
Nikolaus Geyrhalter
NGF - Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion GmbH
With support of:
Österreichisches Filminstitut
Filmfonds Wien
ORF Film/Fernseh-Abkommen


Please be aware that these photos are available exclusively for work associated with the film, duplication for use elsewhere is prohibited without express permission.
© Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion GmbH