10 minutes

Cast: Cyndi Williams, Khoa Tien Dang, Gayland Williams, Jacqui Cross-Williams, Nguyen Stanton,
Tuyen Quang Thái, Manuela Rodriguez-Dantzler, Tiffany Nguyen, Gohe Tekeste, Michelle Lê

Writer / Director: Katja Straub
Director of Photography: Huay-Bing Law
Production Designer: Nazanin Shirazi
Editor: Gal Yaron Mayersohn
Choreographer: Ellen Stader 
Costume Designer: Colin Wilkes
Sound Designer: Brian Ramos

Producer Germany: Johanna Aust, FLICKFILM
Producer USA: Todd Ruhnau 
Co-Producer: Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF
Production funded by BKM and Austin Film Society





World premiere @ Hofer Filmtage 2019

Internationales Filmwochenende Würzburg

Dallas Videofest 

Achtung Berlin



Cindy (65) regularly escapes into the microcosm of her nail studio DREAM NAILS to find peace and relaxation. As she tries to indulge in the manicure of Duc, her favorite nail practitioner, she notices that racism, sexism and a general aggressiveness have long since found their way into her beloved refuge. The negativity around her become unbearable.  

Cindys gathers her inner strength. As if by magic, the movements of those present begin to synchronize. At first isolated and against their will, but in the end everyone becomes transformed by surreal togetherness.


Director’s Note

The idea for DREAM NAILS occurred to me when I got my first manicure in Austin, Texas in March of 2017. I went to a Vietnamese nail salon and it was quite an experience. Aside from the bold color and ornate decorations adorning the space, what struck me most was the slice of humanity found within. On the one hand, there is a rare intimacy between people sitting across the table from one another, but there’s also a palpable coldness, distance and anonymity.

To me, the nail salon embodies a microcosm of society, illustrating the stereotypes and cultural misunderstandings that can often result in prejudice and misrepresentation of different cultures. Ultimately this film is about human connection. In DREAM NAILS, we want to approach these issues in a forthright, yet playful manner. 

DREAM NAILS is set against the backdrop of social and global friction and deals with these issues in a playful manner. The film is about overcoming fear, misunderstanding, and prejudice in order to realize that we are all more similar than we believe.


A huge Thank You to our Kickstarter doners:

Meike Köster, Irene & Kolonat Straub, Majken Rehder, Juliet Dervin, Oliver Weiß, Hilah Johnson, Frances Holliday Alford, Sasche Kubiak, Alexa Wojtas, Javier Bonafont, Neels Kattentidt, David Hartstein, Anna Anders, Lan Chu, Oliver Haffner, Jacon Bricca, Samuel Jørgensen, Leah Manners, Nilou Safinya, Debra J Dodson, Caroline Smith, Sunny Cho, Huay-Bing Law, Ulrike Denninger, Arnaud Obermann, Chad Dawson, Johannes Gauss, Andreas Straub, Chris Ohlson, Rachel Ecklund, Caleb Figge, Shara Lange, PJ Raval, Naiti Gamez, Julie Ann Holden, Kyle Henry, Geoff Marslett, Karina Smigla-Bobinski, Tamar Tessler, Nicole Wolf, Darren Ruhnau, Jeremy Dehn, Meggy Seemann, Deva Burgdorf, Alexander Klepzig, Ariane Bischoff, Almuth Krisko, Elizabeth Jackson, The Bear, Judith Klapper, Lisa Gross, Inadevi Fürstenau-Burgdorf, Chris McInroy, Viola Isenbürger, Zach Morrison, Kara Moody, Karen Kocher, Terry Hiner, Cathy & Ken Bradley