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OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Borjana Gaković and Želimir Žilnik

My Brother in a Foreign Land

Inventur - Metzstraße 11 / Inventory - Metzstraße 11
Želimir Žilnik, FRG 1975, 9 min.

Abschied / Farewell
Želimir Žilnik FRG 1975, 9 min.

Unter Denkmalschutz / Under Heritage Protection
Želimir Žilnik, FRG 1975, 11 min.

Bogdan Žižić, FRG / Yugoslavia, 1977, 17 min.

Specijalni vlakovi / Special Trains 
Krsto Papić, Yugoslavia 1972, 12 min.

Na Objedu / At Lunch
Vefik Hadžismajlović, Yugoslavia 1972, 9 min.

Halo München / Hello München
Krsto Papić, Yugoslavia 1967, 13 min.

Dernek / Party 
Zoran Tadić, Yugoslavia 1975, 12 min.

This short film program brings together documentary works from the early and mid-1970s made by Yugoslav directors associated with the Zagreb and Belgrade film clubs and the documentary film school in Sarajevo. From a range of perspectives, the films not only address the problematic selection and recruitment processes of so-called guest workers, but their everyday living conditions in Germany and the lives of their relatives who remained. The highlight of the program will be two films by Želimir Žilnik, long thought to have been lost, which were recently found in the archives of the Documentation Center and Museum of Migration in Germany (DOMiD). Indeed, the very fact that the two films were not adequately preserved – in neither a German nor a Yugoslav national film archive – raises many questions regarding hegemonic film historiography and archiving, and their relationship to themes of migration in both countries. (BG)

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Borjana Gaković is a film and media scholar, media policy spokesperson for the Federal Association of Communal Film Work, editor of the quarterly film magazine Kinema Kommunal and a member of the selection and program committee of DOK Leipzig. She works as a lecturer in the field of film and cinema culture at various universities, as well as a freelance writer and curator of historical cinema programs, often with reference to feminisms in film history.

Želimir Žilnik (born in Niš in 1942; currently living and working in Novi Sad) has written and directed numerous feature and documentary films which have reaped many awards at domestic and international film festivals. Žilnik is renowned as an initiator of the “docudrama” genre.


Followed by a talk with Malve Lippmann and Cem Kaya

Good Luck in Germany

Guten Tag (Episode 26)
FDR 196?, 15 min. german OV, 16mm

Tipps für den Alltag II, Ausländische Arbeitnehmer im Industriebetrieb
FDR 196?, 12 min. OV with german subtitles, 16mm

Viel Glück in Deutschland (Episode 2)
Thilo Philipp / Uwe Krauss, FDR 197?, 15 min. german OV, 16mm

Zu Gast in unserem Land: Kemal
Herbert Ballmann, FDR 1977, 50 min. german OV

“I am a stranger here,” “I am a foreigner,” “I don't speak German” are all phrases that can be learned in the Goethe Institute’s elaborately produced 26-part language course series, Guten Tag (Good Day). With a great deal of artistic imagination, scenes around “Language, Culture, Germany” are staged and slowly intoned in an effort to bring the newly arrived closer. Viel Glück in Deutschland (Good Luck in Germany), on the other hand, prepares employees for everyday life in the workplace with vocabulary such as “time card,” “personnel office” and “the foreman is waiting”. In Tipps für den Alltag (Everyday Tips), the portrayal of what is characterized as typically German and represented as the ideal norm also has a comic effect, while the depictions of foreign workers can certainly be perceived as problematic. Similar patterns can be found in the educational film series produced by the Federal Agency for Civic Education, Zu Gast in unserem Land (A Guest in our Country). Here, younger generations belonging to the social majority are prepared for confrontations with the so-called “guests”. Following the screening, there will be a discussion in which we dissect the persistent stereotypes unreflectively projected onto later generations of people with an immigration history and the racist behaviors that are subsequently internalized. (ML)

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Malve Lippmann studied at the State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart and at the Institute for Art in Context at the Berlin University of the Arts (MA). She worked internationally as a freelance stagedesigner and artist. Since 2010 she has also been active as a cultural manager in various cultural and community projects. She is co-founder and artistic director of bi'bak and Sinema Transtopia.

Cem Kaya is a documentary filmmaker from Berlin with a quirky interest in found footage. Coming from the field of cultural studies, his films combines humorous storytelling with deep background knowledge. Remake, Remix, Rip-Off was screened at some of the most important international film festivals, including Berlinale and  Locarno Film Festival.

Director Thomas Draeger BRD 1979

82 Min., 16mm, OV

Followed by a discussion with Dr. Martin Ganguly


Metin and Anne are the same age. Anne moves into the front apartment block and meets Metin, who lives in the back apartment block. They don't speak the same language, but through curiosity they quickly become familiar to one another. Together, Metin and Anne explore Berlin. In the process, they notice that the people around them have a hard time with their friendship. They have to stand up to prejudice and resentment. A bilingual film by Thomas Draeger, Metin is aimed equally at adults and children.

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More Event times:

  • 11.10.2021 11:00

Dr. Martin Ganguly is a university lecturer in teacher training (HVD/TU Berlin) as well as an author and teacher in both (film) pedagogy and artistic fields in Germany and abroad. As a film educator he leads the school project in the Generation section of the Berlin International Film Festival. In addition to his teaching degree, he is a doctor of educational science and completed studies in directing and acting at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna.

OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Madeleine Bernstorff and Sun-ju Choi

Nurse Kim’s Message Home + Ekmek Parası

Nurse Kim’s Message Home 
FRG 197?, 16 min. OV

Ekmek Parası - Geld fürs Brot 
Serap Berrakkarasu / Gisela Tuchtenhagen, Deutschland 1994, 86 min. OV with english subtitles

In Ekmek Parası - Geld fürs Brot (Money for Bread), the money doesn't stink, but the fish does. A smell that is difficult to wash off. Women from Turkey and Mecklenburg work in the fish factory in Lübeck. Here, the camera acts as accomplice: Serap Berrakkarasu and cinematographer Gisela Tuchtenhagen establish a closeness to the workers who candidly describe (in Turkish) the working conditions at the factory, answering questions about life, death and dreams. The supporting film, Nurse Kim's Message Home, produced by Hoechst AG, is accompanied by a paternalistic voiceover and follows a group of Korean nurses working in Frankfurt after the recruitment agreement with South Korea in 1971. (MB)

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Madeleine Bernstorff lives in Berlin, creates film programs (often in collaboration) and works as a teacher and author, e.g. of Transnationales Lernen an der dffb. In 2016/2017 she supervised the production of 23 short video spots Unraveling the NSU Complex! with the SPOTS group.

Sun-Ju Choi is an author and filmmaker. She studied literature at the University of Cologne and screenwriting at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin. She is a founding member of korientation e.V. - Network for Asian-German Perspectives and a board member of ndo (neue deutsche organisationen). She currently works as deputy executive director of the Neue deutsche Medienmacher*innen e.V..

Director Jan Kulka

OV with English subs

Followed by a performance with Jan Kulka

The Archeoscope

Preliminary Exercises
Jan Kulka, Czechia 2016, 16mm found footage, 20 min.

Jan Kulka, Czechia 2016, flickering light, stencils, 25 min.

The Archeoscope is an analogue, hand-operated projecting apparatus for live film performances. Understanding film as an “articulation of light”, the apparatus was created to experiment with and experience the physiology of perception. It can project all standard film formats, as well as various other materials such as adhesive tape, bandages and lace. The only way to witness the projection of The Archeoscope is to attend a live projection and see it with one's own naked eyes, as the phenomena perceived on the screen are technically irreproducible.

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Jan Kulka is a Prague-based experimental filmmaker. His primary focus is the invention of special projection apparatuses for live performances. Rather than telling a story, he tries to target the senses of each spectator directly with light and sound to reveal some of the foundations of our perception.

Current Series

Sinema +++

Cinema beyond the Screen

Sinema +++

In cooperation with Azin Feizabadi, Jan Kulka, Anja Dornieden, Juan David Gonzales Monroy, Ming Poon, Darunee Terdtoontaveedej, Alejandro Bachmann, Bernd Schoch, André Siegers.

SİNEMA+++ expands the spatial possibilities of cinema beyond the screen and explores its artistic and social potential. What is the relationship between the screen and the theatre, the cinematic images and the bodies in the space? How can newly developed projectors, expansive cinematic experiences and alternative forms of social exchange explore the relationship between film image and the bodies on and in front of the screen?  The event series SİNEMA+++ invites artistic projects to experiment with cinema experiences and develop crossover formats that examine the intersections of film, education, and performance.

Finded by Bezirkskulturfonds Mitte

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Children's cinema from SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA

Concept by Dr. Martin Ganguly


Arriving in a new country is not easy. People speak differently and some things look different too. Are you welcome there? Are you able to find new friends? Do the neighbors like you? These films take you on a time travelling journey up to forty years ago. Many things were different back then: even leaving and arriving. But the reasons for how things are today often lie in the past.

The current SİNEMANINO program takes a look at the history of migration to the BRD and DDR by bringing together children's films from the 1970s and 1980s. The films address the difficulty of arrival in previously unknown countries and show how children and their friends sometimes have to struggle with prejudice and resentment in everyday life. 

SİNEMANINO is the new children's program by SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA and is aimed at both adults and children. Starting at 3pm each Saturday at SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA, the program is moderated by Martin Ganguly. It is suitable for children from 8 years and up.

Cinema visits in the mornings for school classes:

Although today almost every fourth person in Germany is attributed with a so-called "migration background," migration history as part of German history is often only available as family knowledge; it is given little consideration in public discourse or school curricula. We want to change that! Therefore, we also offer film events individually or as a series in the mornings for school classes. 

If you would like to come to the cinema with your class, please write to us:

Funded by the Programm NEUSTART of the Bundesverband Soziokultur in the section kulturelle und soziokulturelle Programmarbeit.

Dr. Martin Ganguly is a university lecturer in teacher training (HVD/TU Berlin) as well as an author and teacher in both (film) pedagogy and artistic fields in Germany and abroad. As a film educator he leads the school project in the Generation section of the Berlin International Film Festival. In addition to his teaching degree, he is a doctor of educational science and completed studies in directing and acting at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna.

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They were invited to rebuild the country; a fact often overlooked regarding the migrant workers who came to West Germany as a result of the recruitment agreement. Over the years, a culture of remembrance largely based on inherited assumptions has developed around the history of the so-called “guest workers”, thus making a nuanced understanding of past and present events difficult. Against this backdrop, The Invitees takes the 60th anniversary of the recruitment agreement between Turkey and Germany as a call to rethink the history of labor migration. Films, discussions and lectures, alongside informal knowledge and post-migrant perspectives, will allow for a critical examination of the recurring narratives and persistent image politics relating to the so-called guest workers. Over eight evenings, the programme will bring together invited experts, feature and documentary films, educational films, and film material from the DOMiD archive (Documentation Center and Museum of Migration to Germany) and other archives. In these ways an important contribution to the process of transnational remembrance will be made, one that does justice to the significance of interwoven cultures of remembrance and presents identificatory ties that go beyond the nation-state.

In cooperation with DOMiD (Documentation Center and Museum of Migration to Germany).

Funded by the Program for the Promotion of Contemporary History and Remembrance Culture Projects of the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe and the Programm NEUSTART des Bundesverband Soziokultur im Programmteil kulturelle und soziokulturelle Programmarbeit.

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CiNEMA of Commoning

Symposium, Screenings, Talks

CiNEMA of Commoning

In cooperation with Bangkok Screening Room (Bangkok), Cinema Akil (Dubai), Cinema ARTA (Cluj-Napoca), Kundura Sinema (Istanbul), Cine CCC (Santiago de Chile), Cimatheque (Cairo), Arkipel/ Forum Lenteng (Jakarta).

In 2021 bi’bak is planning a 4-day symposium titled “Cinema of Commoning” at its new space Sinema Transtopia at Haus der Statistik, Berlin-Alexanderplatz. From non-commercial cinema projects in Beirut, Lagos, Prizren, Berlin and beyond, international actors will be invited who are already involved in the development and design of a commons-oriented cinema. The symposium will bring together and further develop concepts and strategies for a sustainable cinema that is oriented towards both the local and global common good. Cinema will be discussed as an artistic and social practice, as a place of public discourse, as an agent of historical and cultural memory, and as a site to distribute film and video formats that are rarely accessible. The underlying focus is: what should and can cinema look like in order for it to represent a place of equal participation and a negotiation of diverse social relations? Namely, how can cinema become a place of commons? This question is particularly valid in a transnational society shaped by migration, with its constantly changing consumption habits and under difficult economic circumstances. Already since 2015 bi'bak has been developing a curated film and event programme that aims to give a space to transnational and non-European as well as (post-)migrant perspectives. Under the topics of “Cultural Memory”, “Transnationality”, “Collective Experience Before, After, and Beyond the Screening” and “The  Cinema Space”, the symposium offers the opportunity to take a look at the political, societal, aesthetic and social significance of a Sinema of Commoning. With discussion panels, film screenings and an accompanying publication, the symposium aims to strengthen cinema as a central site of public culture, cultural memory, and collective experience and sharing. 

Funded by Kulturstiftung des Bundes and the Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa.

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