Lukas Felix Pohl, welcome! Congratulations on being nominated in the “Best Travel Film” category for “Arrival”. This breathtaking short film is brimming with stunning shots. It’s like a cross between a road movie about kitesurfing and an existential documentary about extreme sports! And well done for choosing the travel theme. Bravo also for your “philosophical self-examination without entering into complexity”! The only way to live is to taste life, right? Tell us about the importance of contact with the sea, when you’re born in a country with no direct access to the sea?

I think the idea I wanted to convey with “ARRIVAL” is that, deep down, the beautiful and important things in life need time to manifest themselves. In my film, I approach this process of reflection in relation to travel and my perception of the environment. But the same goes, of course, for other important and constantly evolving elements of our lives, such as identity, friends, partners, relationships and love.

So yes, you could say it’s a rule of thumb. Because of its constant movement, the sea is a symbol of uninterrupted change and infinite snapshots of the present. In the water and underwater, I find peace. You can literally drift off into the wild. And, although humanity is currently taking a rather heavy toll on the oceans, they continue to be the least affected place on our planet.

Numerous films and documentaries have already evoked the importance of seizing the moment. Let’s keep our heads up. In the film adaptation of Bohemian Rhapsody, Freddie Mercury’s character says: “Being human is a condition that requires a good dose of anesthetic”. Do you have any inspirations you’d like to share, or cinema moments and influences in the 7th art?

I love telling stories. That’s why my film is called “L’ARRIVÉE: une petite histoire en film”. Because it’s more philosophical fiction than documentary. My passion is fiction. From that point of view, I’d say I’m strongly inspired by the Coen brothers’ stories. In 1994’s “The Hudsucker Proxy”, for example, there’s this scene where the hula hoop rolls along, independently driven towards success. On the one hand, there’s the story told by the narrator, and on the other, a certain independence from the narrator is created. I think it’s inherently ingenious.

In Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps, Charlotte Eriksson, who undertook “a journey of self-discovery, learning about solitude, the difference between ‘having a home’ and ‘feeling at home’ and finally, slowly, finding a home within oneself” and spent a year homeless on the road, wrote: “There’s something incredible about arriving in a new city, wandering its empty, aimless streets. I’ll never lose this fascination for the arrival, even if I only live for the departure. Does this phrase resonate with you? Isn’t this “arm wrestle” between arrival and departure insoluble?

First of all, I’d say that “arm wrestling” is the wrong expression for this. On the one hand, it implies that arrival and departure must be “at war” with each other. On the other hand, this would mean that these two variables are directly related to each other. I haven’t read Charlotte Eriksson’s book, so I don’t know what conclusions she draws, but the phrase “finding a home of one’s own” seems close to the mark. If I had to cut a long story short, I’d say that arrival is an inner process that has to do with calm, awareness, listening, the ability to commit to something, and other such considerations.

If this is already difficult for us in relation to ourselves, either because we’re afraid or because we didn’t learn to take this approach as children, it’s even more difficult to put it into practice in relation to the outside world. Leaving, in turn, is linked to issues such as closure and letting go, but also fleeing, looking away, and therefore perhaps also repression. Rather than “arm wrestling”, I’d call it “conflict”. This conflict is not between arrival and departure, but between much deeper aspects of our selves.

Can we consider it essential to spend time away from the “frantic race for financial success” to acquire life skills, those famous soft skills, before entering that same “frantic race”? And to what extent has the notion of work changed since the pandemic and digital nomadism?

To cut a long story short, I think taking time can be a way of realizing that the experience many of us – I’m speaking mainly from my own experience as a child of Western culture – have of life is that it should actually be a frantic race. It’s something that, frankly, we should never get involved in, because life isn’t about being the first or the best. The pandemic and the accompanying changes to our lives and work may have helped many people to see things more clearly. That’s what happened to me, but it took a lot of suffering to realize it.

Is there a link between your profession today and this mindfulness journey? Did this journey of initiation help you find the right balance?

My mind is a high-speed, non-stop thinking machine that sometimes makes life difficult. But this spirit is also at the heart of my creative and professional output. In this sense, anything that can bring her a little peace, including a trip like this, has been useful to me.

Lukas, you say that “staying means settling in a little” and that “settling in can be a little scary”. Beyond the acquisition of maturity, do you think that mindfulness, i.e. integrating our sensations and our environment, can be a remedy or another alternative to our super-fast, self-centered lifestyle? Will centennials, and other generations too, understand that personal development means recognizing that there is life outside the culture of social networking and online appearances?

I’m a strong advocate of mindfulness and believe it’s neither a cure nor an alternative, but a kind of inner tool that can help us navigate and achieve contentment in our fast-paced, complex modern world. Being born into our world, and especially being a complex-thinking human being, is pretty much the same as throwing a baby into a space shuttle – our brain – right after birth. Thousands of buttons and a complex outside world to negotiate and navigate.

If you’re not well guided by your parents and society, you’ll come up against many external obstacles again and again. These include, for example, the social networks and personal branding so ubiquitous in modern times. I myself kept sailing and crashing until it hurt so much I had to change something. And I’m not the only one.

Unfortunately, few people benefit from good guidance these days, because our materialistic world is not interested in contentment, but in unbridled progress. I discovered mindfulness very late in life and can’t recommend it highly enough. If you haven’t started yet, at least take a look.

Your life must be full of projects. Any film projects in particular?

We’re currently fine-tuning our next short fiction film. It’s being produced by the Cinewerk production company in Cologne, and we’re already planning the next film. As a director and creative director, I work with this same production company and its associated agency, Le Werk, as well as with other agencies and advertising film production companies on spots and other film projects. I also make music and will be releasing my first album at the end of 2023. Of course, music videos will be shot for this album. It’s hard to keep the balance. I make sure I train for it.

And finally, what is your vision of post-Covid cinema? A short statement.

With Covid and the rise of streaming networks, we’ve seen a huge increase in film content on these platforms. Unfortunately, the quality wasn’t up to scratch. I myself deleted my Netflix and Amazon accounts, because most movie nights always ended in frustration and despair. The same thing happened to many of my friends and acquaintances. The problem is that the decision-makers with a business profile in the background work hard to standardize and optimize content, creating films in a way that resembles a company.

Take your 20 favorite action movies and create a screenplay around an average plot. This means the end of creativity and passion in filmmaking. And that’s not possible. Films live from the life and love of their creators. If we give more free rein to creativity, we’ll once again create the conditions for a genuine wave of innovation in the film industry. This is how films can surprise us, inspire us anew, bring in new blood. I think that in the near future, streaming networks will realize this too. This could be an opportunity for newcomers.


Lukas Felix Pohl, Director, screenwriter and creative director of advertising and creative films.

Lukas Felix Pohl was born in Cologne, Germany, in 1991. He grows up as a city kid and does what teenagers do. He also makes films. He knows how to tell stories and entertain people. Like his friends, for example, whom he left in 2010, at the age of 19, to discover the world.

He lived in Canada and the USA for a year, then studied in Austria, Spain and the Netherlands, while working in the film and advertising industry as a designer, director, cameraman and editor throughout Germany and at his places of study. Some of his own creations are shown at various medium-sized international film festivals. After graduating with honors, he worked for some time as a freelance director, concept developer and producer in advertising and content creation.

In 2018, the idea that had been brewing for a while became the production company Cinewerk. Together, Lukas Felix Pohl and his partners Cem-Pierre Schuch and Philipp Maxhofer create commercials, films and much more. Under the Le Werk brand, they will separate their agency activities from those of their production company Cinewerk at the beginning of 2021. At the end of 2022, he stepped down as Creative Director to concentrate on his personal film projects and work as a freelance director, screenwriter and creative director.

In addition, Lukas Felix Pohl supports the international Merkle agency as creative consultant and creator, concept developer and film director (2019-2021). Here, he creates effective 360° advertising campaigns and films for major international companies such as Siemens, Nivea, Volkswagen, Zehnder and others.

Since late 2021, his first narrative documentary “The Power Reset” (original German title: “Alles auf Grün”) has been screened internationally on Amazon Prime Video.


2023 / “Aktiv gegen Beinschmerzen” / advertising / for REVITIVE

2022 / “ARRIVAL – a little film story” / short film

2022 / “Green”, “Coral”, “Cowgirls” / films for the fashion industry / for STREETONE

2021 / “The Power Reset (VO: “Alles auf Grün)” / documentary / available on AMAZON PRIME VIDEO

2021 / “Fresh Air. Fresh Mind.” / commercials – dance / for ZEHNDER GROUP

2020 / “C’est ton Moment” / advertising / for NIVEA

2020 / “DreaMobility” / advertising / for SIEMENS

2019 / “Yourself” / commercial / POUR NORTH

ITV 2023

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