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Tumble down a kaleidoscopic sex- and drug-fuelled teenage rabbit hole in this stylish Sundance award winner from German wunderkind Helene Hegemann.

Twenty-five-year-old playwright and author Helene Hegemann's debut novel – written when she was just 17 – caused considerable controversy when it appeared in her native Germany, and now the precocious talent brings her work to the screen in this manically charged film adaptation.

Unhinged 16-year-old Mifti (Jasna Fritzi Bauer from MIFF 2012 film Barbara) hooks up with drug-addicted actor Ophelia (Mavie Hörbiger) in the wake of her mother's death and an affair with an older woman, and together they plunge headlong into the spellbinding hedonism of Berlin nightlife. Impossibly stylish and fiercely kinetic, Hegemann's debut bottles the elusive lightning of onscreen youth, walking the line between cocky and accomplished with captivating abandon.

Filled with surreal touches – magical creatures and the titular amphibian feature heavily – and an explosive soundtrack of soul, R&B and German punk and house, Axolotl Overkill is a shock to the system that reminds us of cinema's rebellious vitality.

Winner of the Sundance World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Cinematography.

'Electrically alive and throbbing with the elevated pulse of youth. Hegemann's brash picture burns brightly to the very end.' – The Playlist