Mark Michel
Mark Michel


Since her earliest childhood, Veronika Raila has been living with severe physical impairments and Asperger syndrome. She can neither speak, nor walk nor fulfill her everyday needs without assistance. When she was a child, her IQ tested zero. Today she studies at university, writes poetry and prose and can express herself with facilitated communication. Veronika possesses a keen mind and a heightened sensory perception. Within Veronika spaces open where reality appears as colors, sounds and abstract shapes. She processes these impressions in her poems and stories. "Writing is my only means to communicate, to express my feelings and thoughts. Writing is my connection to the outside world. Without it, I would be lost in the depths of a forgotten well." Veronika Raila The documentary essay "Sand Girl" takes us on a cinematic journey to the young author's wondrous secret and captivating world. Through associative images, observations of everyday life and selected texts by Veronika Raila the film creates a space for touching encounters and moments of bonding. The focus is less on illness and impairment than the quest for the life force itself. A poetic meditation about what is often hard for humans to grasp, the nature of what we call mind and soul.

"Sandgirl" was produced in close cooperation with Veronika Raila.

Team Partner
Peter Zorn, producer
Producer / Production Details
Worklights Media
Top Awards/Festivals
Preis der Ökumenischen Jugendjury at DOK Leipzig 2018
DRK Medienpreis 2018
Grand Prix Bosifest at Belgrade International Film Festival of Persons with Disabilities 2018

EDOC festival international de cine documental
SWR Doku Festival Stuttgart
Den Norske Dokumentarfilmfestivalen
Bosifest Film Festival Belgrad
DOCSMX Mexico Festival
Kasseler Dokfest
FIPADOC Biarritz

Released in German cinemas
Training Programme
Masterschool 2012