Wholetrain – ‘Wholetrain’ (DVD)

April 29, 2011

With his fantastic cinema debut WHOLETRAIN Florian Gaag tells the story of a crew of four “writers” – David, Tino, Elyas und Achim – who observe the hierarchies, the values, the rules and the codes of the graffiti scene. Night after night they make off for the subway stations of the city, intent on leaving opulent images behind. But as another crew appears on the scene, and the four feel challenged, a creative battle ensues, one that will change the lives of these young people for ever. We are confronted with life taken to the limit. Constantly on the edge of legality. Always on the run from the law. Urban space must be reclaimed. Friends are made and lost. Unbridled creativity and doing things for the sheer love of it are watchwords too.

WHOLETRAIN is an exciting and emotionally gripping drama, one that explores for the first time the secret universe of the graffiti scene. The protagonists exist in a breathless state, suspended somewhere between two worlds: their day to day life, and their existence within the crew. Florian Gaag manages to recount a tale coloured by tension and aggression. The result is a many-sided portrait of characters whose world has never been documented in this way before. Their subculture remains authentic and realistic. Edgy editing and grandiloquent camerawork, a pulsating soundtrack and an excellent ensemble of actors, make WHOLETRAIN a film experience not to be missed.

The soundtrack was written and produced by Florian Gaag, who worked with legendary figures like Hip Hop greats KRS-One, Freddie Foxxx, O.C., Planet Asia, Afu-Ra, Grand Agent, Tame One, Akrobatik and El Da Sensei. Florian Gaag also collaborated with internationally renowned graffiti artists. Writers such as Neon, Won, Cemnoz, Pure and Ciel, who were responsible for the artwork.


“Florian Gaag has an excellent movie out. I am really proud to be part of that project. “Wholetrain” is the dopest graffiti movie ever. I would put “Wholetrain” next to the great movies, right up next to “Style Wars”. I thought that “Wholetrain” really captured Hip Hop’s culture.”

“I saw “Wholetrain” at S.O.B.’s in New York, It was a great experience watching it. There was a tremendous amount of character development, interesting dialogue and a lot of story in it. It took real vision to make that world come alive like that. “Wholetrain” is an impressive piece of work . It´s the only Graffiti-Movie that can follow in the footsteps of “Wild Style.”

HENRY CHALFANT (author and photographer of “SUBWAY ART”, co-producer of the documentary “STYLE WARS”):
“Wholetrain” exhibits the human dimensions of Graffiti-Writing. The social conflict between the protagonists is fascinating and allows one to take a look at the writers´real lives, their real characters, and real problems. “Wholetrain” is a great film that not only reflects writing culture but also leaves room to portray authentically the writers´ social reality.”

KET (graffiti-writer from New York):
“I loved the movie. I thought that “Wholetrain” represented the scene the best – ever. It really captured what writers go through and their struggles; they were humanized, they weren’t caricatures. I appreciate that. I remember that it made me feel that I was there with those guys, living with those guys. It took me back to a time when I was living the way those kids were living. I thought it was very authentic in that sense.”


-Urban World Vibe Fim Festival New York – Best Narrative Feature Film
-Kiev International Film Festival Molodist – Best Feature Film & Audience Award
-Cologne Conference – Best Feature Film
-Starter Film Award – City of Munich
-Sarajevo International Film Festival – Best Youth Film
-Exground International Film Festival – Best Youth Film
-Boston International Film Festival – Best Narrative Feature Film
-HipHop Odyssey International Film Festival New York – Best Narrative Feature Film Berlin International Film Festival – Special Mention “Dialogue En Perspective”
-3 Grimme Awards: (Screenplay / Direction: Florian Gaag), Camera (Christian Rein), Editing: Kai Schröter)
-Prenominations for the German Fim Awards in six categories (Best Film, Best Editing, Best Set Design, Best Score, Best Sound Design, Best Costume)


-BANFF World Television Festival, Banff, Canada, June 2009
-Festival Augenblick, Strasbourg, France, March / April 2009
-Best of Input Ghana 2009, Accra, Africa, March 2009
-Les Enfants dé Cinema, Charleville Mezieres, France, February 2009
-Scanorama 2008, Vilnius – Kaunas – Klaipeda, Lithuania, November 2008
-Best of Input Poland 2008, Warschau, Polen, October 2008
-Best of Input Brazil 2008, Porto Alegre, Brazil, October 2008
-Input 2008, Johannesburg, South Africa, May 2008
-Bursa International Silk Road Film Festival (in competition), Bursa, Turkey, December 2007
-Asheville Film Festival, Asheville, NC, USA, November 2007
-Sao Paulo International Film Festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil, October 2007
-Kiev International Film Festival Molodist (in competition) Kiew, Ukraine, October 2007
-Indie World Film Festival Brazil, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, October 2007
-New Orleans Film Festival, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, October 2007
-Ciné-Jeune de lÁisne International Film Festival (in competition), St-Quentin, France, October 2007
-Black Filmmaker Magazine International Film Festival, London, UK, September 2007
-HipHop Odyssey International Film Festival (“Best Narrative Feature”), New York, NY, June 2007
-Boston International Film Festival (“Best Narrative Feature”), Boston, MA, June 2007
-Zlin International Film Festival for Children and Youth (in competition), Zlin, Czech Republic, May 2007
-Jeonju International Film Festival, Jeonju, South-Korea, May 2007
-Philadelphia International Film Festival, Philadelphia, PA, USA, April 2007
-RiverRun International Film Festival Winston-Salem, NC, USA, April 2007
-WorldFest Houston International Film Festival (“Silver Remi Award”) Houston, TX, USA, April 2007
-Crossing Europe Film FestivalLinz, Austria, April 2007
-Bradford International Film Festival, Bradford, United Kingdom, March 2007
-Festival of New Films from Germany and Austria and Switzerland, Washington DC, USA, February 2007
-Berlin & Beyond Film Festival, San Francisco, U S A, February 2007
-Gijon International Film Festival, Gijon, Spain, December 2006
-International Film Weekend Würzburg (“2nd Audience Award”), Würzburg, Germany, November 2006
-Camerimage International Film Festival (nominated for “Best European Feature Film”), Lodz, Poland, November 2006
-Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, Tallinn, Estonia, November 2006 Exground Film Fest (“Best Narrative Feature for a Young Audience”), Wiesbaden, Germany, November 2006
-Cologne Conference, (“Best Narrative Feature”), Cologne, Germany, October 2006
-Black Soil International Hip Hop Film Festival, Amsterdam & Rotterdam, October 2006
-Helsinki International Film Festivasl, Helsinki, Finland, September 2006
-Sarajevo International Film Festival (“Best Narrative Feature for a Young Audience”), Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, August 2006
-Durban International Film Festival, Durban, South Africa, June 2006
-Urban World Vibe Film Festival (“Best Narrative Feature”), New York, U S A, June 2006
-Lola Film Festival of Films (nominated for the “German Film Award” – WHOLETRAIN was preselected in the categories “Best Film”, “Best Editing”, “Best Art Direction”, “Best Music”, “Best Sound Design”, “Best Costume Design”), Germany, April / May 2006
-Salerno International Film Festival (in competition), Salerno, Italy. April 2006
-Berlin International Film Festival (Special Mention “Dialogue En Perspective”) Berlin, Germany, February 2006


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