Warning: This blog post contains inordinate amounts of shameless self-promotion.
Next Tuesday, November 2, a new screening series will launch at Berlin's Direktorenhaus in the Mitte district. Film critic and co-director of Benten Films, Andrew Grant, and I will début our weekly series. We've dubbed it KINO SATELLITE. Our lovely logo was created--in record time--by filmmaker and designer, Eliane Lazzaris. We'll be hosting shows in a newly-built micro-cinema every Tuesday evening, curating programs of new, innovative and groundbreaking work from some of today's most talented filmmakers, animators and multi-media artists. Material will consist of original programming, as well as co-presentations, with an emphasis on the illustrative arts.
Direktorenhaus is a newly-renovated art and performance space "where a simulation of a temporary Gesamtkunstwerk, the total artwork, is explored. Traditional methods are coupled with analogue technology and digital media, presenting an experimental directive with social resonances, breaking down the boundaries between art and design." It also happens to be located in a super sexy spot, housed in a big mansion that sits directly on the riverbank of the Spree.
The owners of the gallery, Pascal Johanssen and Katja Kleiss, were looking to host a weekly screening series in their new space, a renovated two-floor gallery (with studio space for visiting artists). The house was the dwelling of the director of the State Mint (thus, Das Direktorenhaus). Clare Molloy, the invincible programs coordinator, and I had conversations about this in late summer. A bit daunted by taking something like this on all on my own, I found the perfect producing and curating partner in Andrew Grant. He moved here about a month after I did, and when I took him to see the space and asked him if he'd be interested in collaborating with me, he jumped out of his skin with excitment at the opportunity. He and I believe strongly that the only way underrepresented work gets seen is through this bespoke way of creating a community of like-minded individuals--the people that make the work and the people that want to access it for a regular dose of inspiration. The gallery's dedication and commitment to support such work makes them an ideal partner.
Opening the series on Tuesday will be Alison S.M. Kobayashi, a Japanese / Canadian multi-disciplinary artist. She was one of the guest artists at the Flaherty Seminar in 2008 when I was there as a Fellow. Kobayahsi will be presenting four of her distinctive video pieces. Joining us for the second half will be Christopher Allen, creative director and founder of Brooklyn's UnionDocs documentary collaborative. Both of them will be there in person. In fact, Kobayashi and Allen happen to be on their European honeymoon. Lucky for us Berlin was on their itinerary. We're thrilled that they'll be here with us. As well, all of the work they will be showing will be Berlin premieres. (Pictured, Kobayashi in Dan Carter.)
Shows to come include an evening dedicated to the films of avant-garde filmmaker, Ken Jacobs; a screening of Berlin-based producer and director Zoran Solomun's wonderful feature-length doc, Super Art Market (with the director and special guests in attendance for a post-screening discussion); a co-presentation with the Warsaw-based animation and special effects production house, Platige Image, with brand-new works by some of Poland's most incredible animation artists; a co-presentation with Portland, Oregon-based distributor, A Million Movies a Minute, run by Steady Diet of Film's Erin Donovan; a show of new German animation and an AnimaDoc show fresh from the Leipzig fest; a co-presentation with Rotterdam-based film collective, WORM.kino; an evening of music, food and multiple projections of London-based artist Max Hattler's work; and more.
Right now, we are a "satellite" on Direktorenhaus' website and on their Facebook page. That's where you can look for info on upcoming shows. Andrew and I are also very open to receiving submissions and ideas for collaborations, particularly from Berlin-based artists. We look forward to meeting our audiences. (Pictured, still from Michal Socha's Chick, Poland, 2008.)
Next week, I'm off on a European tour of my own as I make my way to Sheffield in the UK, CPH:DOX in Copenhagen, a few days back in Berlin to host a show, and then off again to Amsterdam for IDFA. It's bound to be an invigorating, sleepless, alcohol-infused joyride--pitching projects, screening films, meeting filmmakers, partying. Rinse, repeat. And I'm so looking foward to seeing friends I haven't seen in a while. Wir sehen uns im Kino, meine Schätze.