22.04. ‐ 27.04.2025
Fitness California_Regionaler Langfilm

Fitness California – Wie man die Extra Meile geht

Nadine Zacharias

True to the motto “Move until the last life” one trains in the Freiburg gym “Fitness California”. Among those always to be found are Bernd Fleisig, Mario Sabatini, and Adolf Seger, all of them stars of the Wrestling scene of the 1960s and ‘70s, who, regardless of their age, ripple their muscles. Decorated by music and pictures from the time of the Californian fitness boom, the film reproduces their sports careers and offers affectionate insights into the family-run business of a power training gym which stands up to the large fitness company chains.

The film Fitness California by director Nadine Zacharias, who was born in Wiesbaden, does not only offer mere fitness nostalgia. Between the lines, it also illuminates age-independent topics such as fairness, cohesion, and fighting spirit.

More information Lichter FilmfestLichter Filmfest

Direction Nadine Zacharias
Country Germany
Year 2022
Duration 103 min
Language German
Production Behring Film & Klotz Media GmbH
Camera Nicu Mihailescu
Script Nadine Zacharias
Editing Petra Hölge, Elisa Purfürst
Sound Maximilian Robert Schneider
Music Sebastian Scheipers für Frische Luft

Sportfilmfestival Palermo: Paladino D’oro

The Director About the Film

„For me, California, which does not set great store to ‘etiquette’ in the way sterile fitness studio chains do, is a cross section of society. Its customers are exceedingly diverse: from the janitor to the female lawyer, from people with migration history to international students, from the health athlete to the world champion - at California, the door is open to everyone.

Thus the cinematic documentary Fitness California is also designed as a milieu study (with excursions to sports history). What makes it a place worth being examined more intensely is (apart from its visually captivating film scenery) the fact that universal topics such as tolerance, inclusion and societal cohesion, fairness, friendship and “fit into old age” and the struggle for fulfilment of one’s own dreams are argued in an unpretentious way.

The California does not answer the question ‘What does sport stand for?’, but the question ‘What should sport stand for once again?’”


In the presence of the director

Regional Feature Film Program