Marija, a young Ukrainian woman, earns her living as a hotel maid in Dortmund (Germany), but dreams of owning her own hair salon. She puts money aside each month but when she is fired without notice, her dream seems out of reach. Jobless and under financial pressure, she finds herself forced to look for other opportunities. Willing to reach her goal, her body her social relationships and her own feelings take a secondary importance.

Original title: Marija  English title: Marija Country: Germany, Switzerland Production year: 2016 Format: DCP 2K Son: 5.1 Length: 101' Aspect ratio: 1:1.85 Frame rate: 24fps



Margarita Breitkreuz, Georg Friedrich, Olga Dinnikova, Sahin Eryilmaz


Director: Michael Koch Assistant director: Roger Schweizer Screenwriters:  Michael Koch Producers: Claudia Steffen, Christoph Firedel Production: Pandora Film Co-Producers: Christof Neracher, Tom Spiess Co-Production Companies: Hugofilm, Little Shark World sales: Luxbox, DOP: Bernhard Keller Art Director: Petra Barchi Costume design: Peri de Braganca Editors: Florian Riegel Sound: Jean-Pierre Gerth Sound design: Tobias Koch, Maurizius Staerkle-Drux



Premiers Plans Angers
Best Actor & Best Actress

Mons Love International Film Festival
Jury Prize & Best Actress

Amnesty International Award



Director/ Screenwriter 

Born 1982 in Lucerne (Switzerland), Michael Koch studied from 2003–2008 at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne and also worked as an actor. During this time he made the following short films: We Are The Faithful (2005), Poolside (2006) and Polar (2008). All three films were very successful at international festivals and won numerous awards. Polar received a Special Mention at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival and the German Camera Award as well as the German Short Film Award 2009. After his studies he worked as a director for the theater Kaserne Basel. Michael Koch celebrates the world premiere of his feature film debut Marija in International Competition at the Locarno Film Festival.



2016, Marija

2008, Polar (Short Film)

2006, Beckenrand (Short Film)

2005, Wir sind dir treu (We are the faithful) (Doc Short Film)