Martin Winter’s and Sebastian Schmidl’s Day Release shares the story of a single incarcerated mother

Nominated for the Best Live-Action Short Over 15 Minutes at Palm Springs International ShortFest 

Martin Winter’s and Sebastian Schmidl’s Day Release shares a story of a young woman who is trying to do the best for her son whilst living behind bars. Day Release has won numerous high profile international film awards and has just been nominated for the Oscar-qualifying award at Palm Springs.

Single mother Kathi receives day release from prison and finds her three year-old son, who is living with her unstable mother, in bad circumstances. She is forced to find a way to enable a better future for him, while time is against her, she has to be back in prison at six pm. 

German Director Martin Winter studied Directing and Cinematography at the Vienna Filmcollege where he created numerous short films and documentaries. Day Release was made after his graduation and premiered in competition at the 40th Filmfestival Max Ophüls Prize and was nominated for the German Newcomer Award – First Steps Award in Berlin. It has also been awarded and nominated at numerous film festivals all over the world including the Austrian Film Award 2020 for Best Short Film.

Austrian Filmmaker Sebastian Schmidl studied Directing and Screenwriting at the Vienna Filmcollege. His films include the 40-Minute Drama Darling which had its premiere in competition at the 37th Filmfestival Max Ophüls Prize, was nominated for the German Newcomer Award in Berlin and won numerous international awards. Crush my Heart was his first feature as a screenwriter. In 2019, he collaborated with his producing partner Victoria Herbig on the award-winning film Day Release as a writer/producer. He is currently working on the screenplay for his first directing-feature film, for which he was awarded with the BKA – Scholarship for Cinematic Art.

Austrian producer Victoria Herbig attended the New York Film Academy whilst working in a company producing films and commercials. Since 2015, she studies cinematography and production at Filmacademy Vienna lead by Wolfgang Thaler. Together with her producing partner Sebastian Schmidl she produced Day Release which premiered at 40th Filmfestival Max Ophüls Prize, won the Austrian Film Award for best short film in 2020 and was selected at the Palm Springs ShortFest. They also produced the 30-Minute Film Fabiu wich was also selected at the Palm Springs ShortFest, the Huesca International Film Festival and many other Festivals all around the world.

The film stars Anna Suk, who received a nomination for Best Young Actress for her leading role in Day Release at the 20thFirst Steps Awards – The German Newcomer Award in Berlin and was awarded as best actress at the World Independent Short Film Awards 2019 in Warsaw/Poland.

Day Release can be seen online this month on

Watch the trailer here



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