A small holiday house by the baltic sea. The days are hot and it hasn’t rained in weeks. Four young people come together, friends old and new. As the parched forests around them begin to ignite, so do their emotions. Happiness, lust and love; but also jealousies, resentments and tensions. Meanwhile the forests burn. And before long, the flames are there.


Christian Petzold was born in Hilden in 1960. After studying German and theater at the Free University of Berlin, he studied film at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB) from 1988 to 1994.

Selected director's filmography:

2020 Undine / Undine
2018 Transit / Transit
2015 Phoenix / Phoenix
2012 Barbara / Barbara
2011 Dreileben - Beats Being Dead /
Dreileben - Etwas Besseres als den Tod
2008 Jerichow / Jerichow
2007 Yella / Yella
2005 Ghosts / Gespenster
2003 Wolfsburg / Wolfsburg
2002 Something to Remind Me / Toter Mann
2001 The State I Am In / Die innere Sicherheit
1998 Die Beischlafdiebin / Die Beischlafdiebin
1996 Cuba Libre / Cuba Libre
1995 Pilotinnen / Pilotinnen



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Born in Vienna in 1993, Thomas Schubert played his first leading role in "Atmen" by Karl Markovics (2011), for which he received numerous awards, including Best Actor award at the Austrian Film Award and at the Sarajevo Film Festival.

This debut was followed by roles in Andreas Prochaska's award-winning alpine western "Das finstere Tal" (2014), "Am Ende des Sommers" (2015) by Nikolaus Leytner, "Chucks" (2015), "Egon Schiele: Tod und Mädchen" (2016), "Nebel im August" (2016), the lead role in Jan Bonny's gloomy drama "Wintermärchen" (2018), Ulrich Köhler's and Henner Winckler's family story "Das freiwillige Jahr" (2019) and "Windstill" (2020).

In Jan Bonny's Netflix series "King of Stonks" (2022), Thomas Schubert played the main character Felix Armand, followed by the lead role in Christian Petzold's "Afire" (2023).


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Paula Beer, born in 1995, has been called the ‘discovery of the year’ by film critics and the public following her authentic portrayal of the young Oda in Chris Kraus’ highly acclaimed drama ‘The Poll Diaries’. The young actress went on to win the Bavarian Film Prize in early 2011 for her outstanding performance in ‘The Poll Diaries’. Before being spotted in her school by the casting agent Britt Beyer for Chris Kraus’ ‘The Poll Diaries’, she was gathering her first experience in acting and dancing in the Young Ensemble at the Friedrichstadt Palast in Berlin. Then aged 14, she managed to beat off more than 2500 other candidates for the role of Oda in the casting process for ‘The Poll Diaries’. Other roles followed, including the period film ‘Ludwig der II.’ by Peter Sehr and Marie Noelle (2012) and the film adaptation of the book ‘Der Geschmack von Apfelkernen’ by Vivian Naefe (2014). Since then, Paula Beer has worked with many well-known names in the branch such as Volker Schlöndorff and Andreas Prochaska, playing one of the most prominent roles in the latter’s film ‘Das finstere Tal’ that won 8 German film awards. On television the all-round actress was seen in the film adaptation of the bestseller ‘Pampa Blues’ (2015) in which she pretends to be a reporter who believes that her biological father is one of the eccentric residents of a provincial Swabian backwater. That same year Paula Beer was in the highly-praised cinema drama ‘4 Könige’ along with Jella Haase, Jannis Niewöhner and Moritz Leu, about four youths from dysfunctional families who have to spend Christmas in a paediatric psychiatrical facility.

In 2016 Sherry Hormann’s political thriller “Deadly Leaks” and Francois Ozone’s German-French drama “Frantz”, for which Paula Beer was named best young actress at the 73rd Venice Film Festival and was nominated for both the César and the Prix Lumière, followed. At the European Film Awards 2017 she was one of the nominees in the category Best Actress. In 2018 the actress was seen in Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s Oscar-nominated “Never look away”. Furthermore she played the role of Jana Liekam in the award-winning ZDF miniseries “Bad Banks” (including the German Television Award, Grimme Prize) by Christian Schwochow and in Christian Petzold’s “Transit”. For her achievements in Bad Banks, the actress received the German Actor Award 2018 for “Best Actress” and the “Bambi” trophy. In 2019 the French film production “Le chant du loup” followed. In 2020 she was shooting the continuation of “Bad Banks” and Christian Petzold’s love drama “Undine”, for which Paula Beer received the “Silver Bear” of the Berlinale as “Best Actress”.


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Langston Uibel is a British-German actor who was born in South London and grew up in Berlin. He first

became known for his role in the dramatic film Freistatt. He went on to star in various acclaimed productions including Dogs Of Berlin, the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated Netflix limited series Unorthodox, and most recently How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast). In Christian Petzold’s Afire Langston plays Felix. The Film is set to premiere in competition at this year's Berlin International Film Festival.


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Enno Trebs, born in Berlin in 1995, attended the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts from 2016 to 2020 and was then a permanent ensemble member at the German Theater Berlin until 2023. He was also invited to the Berlin Theater Meeting, including for the performance of "Maria Stuart" in 2020.

Already as a child, he appeared in front of the camera for film and television productions, such as in 2008 for „The White Ribbon" by Michael Haneke and the following year in Chris Kraus' "The Poll Diaries". In 2017 and 2018, he received invitations to the Berlinale for the films "Tiger Girl" (2015) by Jakob Laas and „Lost Ones" (2017) by Felix Hassenfratz in the categories Panorama and German Cinema Perspectives. This was followed by collaborations with directors such as Hans-Christian Schmid for „We Are Next of Kin" (2022) and Christian Petzold for "Undine" (2020) and „Afire" (2023).


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Matthias Brandt is one of the most distinguished German actors and voice actors. The multiple award-winning Brandt embodied the role of Chief Inspector Hanns von Meuffels in the popular crime show "Polizeiruf 110" for seven years. His first book "Raumpatrouille" was published in 2016, followed in 2019 by the novel "Blackbird", his second bestseller at Kiwi. At the Berliner Ensemble he has been on stage with "Mein Name sei Gantenbein" since 2022 and appeared on the Netflix series "King of Stonks", which is inspired by the biggest economic scandal in German history. On New Year's Eve 2022, he starred alongside Anke Engelke in the WDR production “Kurzschluss”.


Thomas Schubert
as Leon

Paula Beer
as Nadja

Langston Uibel
as Felix

Enno Trebs
as Devid

Matthias Brandt
as Helmut


Written and Directed by: Christian Petzold
DoP: Hans Fromm
Editing: Bettina Böhler
Production Design: K.D. Gruber
Costume Design: Katharina Ost
Casting: Simone Bär
Sound: Andreas Mücke-Niesytka
Sound Design: Lars Ginzel, Adrian Baumeister, Dominik Schleier, Marek Forreiter, Bettina Böhler
Make-Up: Hannah Fischleder
Gaffer: Christoph Dehmel
Assistant Director: Ires Jung
Production Manager: Dorissa Berninger
Comissioning Editors: Caroline von Senden, Claudia Tronnier, Simon Ofenloch
Producers: Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Michael Weber, Anton Kaiser


Original title: ROTER HIMMEL
International title: AFIRE
Duration: 102 min
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Format: DCP
Sound: 5.1
Year: 2023
Original language: German
Country of production: Germany
Production Companies: Schramm Film Koerner Weber Kaiser
Co-production Companies: n/a
With the support of: Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien (BKM), Filmförderungsanstalt (FFA), Deutscher Filmförderfonds (DFFF), Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, MV Filmförderung


WOLF Consultants
Gordon Spragg, Laurin Dietrich, Michael Arnon

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