Daniel Chein is an independent filmmaker based in Berkeley, CA. His experimental short film THE FALLOW LAND, which explores drought through landscape, premiered at the Fargo Film Festival. As an editor, his work on THE CHAIRMAN AND THE LIONS won the film First Prize at the ETNOFilm Festival and the Special Jury Award at the Zanzibar International Film Festival, and his role as a collaborator on CHANGA REVISITED earned the film the OutStanDox Award at the Astra Film Festival. Daniel is an Associate Producer for Walking Iris Media and an MFA candidate at San Francisco State University.
Growing up as part of Germany’s largest minority group, Cagdas Ermis, a second-generation German-Turk, struggled to find an identity that fit: in Germany he was the immigrant, in Turkey he was the foreigner. Abandoned by his father, Bekir, at the age of two, Cagdas and his brother were raised by their mother Yuksel in a working-class neighborhood of Wuppertal.
Together, they lived above the rehearsal space of Tanztheater Wuppertal, where internationally-renowned choreographer Pina Bausch was busy creating her latest masterpiece. As a boy, Cagdas was inspired by the music from the theater below and dreamed of dancing for her. Though she passed before he joined, Cagdas continues her legacy as an emerging dancer in the company.
Being the only member of the company from Wuppertal, he leads a double life: one as a charismatic performer, the other as a reverent son. What’s more, Cagdas decides to call his father back in Turkey, opening a Pandora’s Box of questions. SONSPLITTER captures the nuanced relationships of a dynamic family and reveals the complex identities a dancer juggles in his daily life.