To Be an Extra

original music
documentary by Henrike Meyer, 2024

A charismatic young woman’s intelligent film about making the leap from supporting roles in German TV dramas to play the leading role in her own life. A courageous piece of performative autofiction which invents its own rules as it unfolds.


Berlin is the setting for young actress (and now filmmaker) Henrike Meyer’s attempt to find a way into the film world. But To Be an Extra is not a self-absorbed career project disguised as a documentary. In a distinctly original move, Meyer instead puts herself at risk and disappears into the nameless supporting roles in adverts and German TV crime dramas she is offered. She is the policewoman in the background when the stars of a TV series solve a murder. And from her new perspective as an out-of-focus extra, she gains a new existential insight into the precarious life on the fringes of both the film industry and society.

To Be an Extra
is a film that invents its own rules along the way and becomes a piece of performative autofiction that keeps unfolding. Cracks appear in the fabric of reality and something new takes shape in a meta-filmic self-portrait about finding yourself by becoming someone else.

CPH:DOX 2024 - Next Wave Competition