About

SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA

How can a new kind of cinema be collectively created within a transnational society? SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA, the cinema-experiment by bi’bak, explores cinema as a space of social discourse, exchange, and solidarity. The curated film series brings together diverse social communities and connects places both near and geographically distant; it links pasts, presents and futures and moves away from a eurocentric gaze towards transnational, (post-)migrant and postcolonial perspectives. SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA is a different kind of cinema, one simultaneously committed to local and international communities, that understands cinema as an important public sphere of sociality; it considers film history as crucial to the work of cultural memory and is committed to a diversity of film culture and film art. In Haus der Statistik at Berlin-Alexanderplatz, SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA builds a bridge between urban practice and film to create a space that opens access, stimulates discussion, educates, moves, provokes and encourages. 

SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA is funded by Haupstadtkulturfonds, Conrad Stiftung and the Programm NEUSTART KULTUR

Past event series can be found in the archive.

Series
to

SİNEMANINO

Children's cinema from SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA

Concept by Malve Lippmann and Dr. Martin Ganguly

more
to

Common Cold

un.thai.tled Film Festival 2021

Curated by Sarnt Utamachote and Rosalia Namsai Engchuan

more
to

Sounding Womanhood

Feminist Gestures in Film

Curated by Pia Chakraverti-Würthwein & Eirini Fountedaki

more
to

CiNEMA of Commoning

Symposium, Screenings, Talks

more
CiNEMA of Commoning

Cinema of Commoning, a project by bi'bak and various international partners, aims to bring together a network and gather knowledge of cinemas and cinema initiatives around the world.Through hybrid conversations, it hopes to create a statement that proposes a future model of an alternative cinema which is oriented towards the “commons” with regards to accessibility, artistic freedom and financial sustainability. The project takes place in two steps: From March on, a collectively curated film programme will be shown at partner cinemas in Bangkok, Jakarta, Istanbul, Dubai, Santiago de Chile, Cluj and Luanda. In June, a three day symposium will bring together partner initiatives, film professionals and cinephiles in Berlin in order to develop further concepts and strategies for sustainable spaces dedicated to film culture. By doing so, Cinema of Commoningargues for cinema as a transnational space for artistic and social practice, as a place of public discourse, as an agent of cultural memory and urban heritage, and as a site to preserve and distribute film and video formats that are rarely accessible. 

31.03. - 23.06.2022 Screenings in Bangkok, Berlin, Cluj, Dubai, Jakarta, Luanda, Istanbul, Santiago de Chile
24.06.- 26.06.2022  Symposium in Berlin

A project by bi'bak/ Sinema Transtopia in cooperation with Cine CCC (Santiago, Chile), Cinema Akil (Dubai, UAE), Kundura Sinema (Istanbul, Turkey), Cinema Arta (Cluj-Napoca, Romania), Forum Lenteng (Jakarta, Indonesia),  DocClub (Bangkok, Thailand), Cinema Geração (Luanda, Angola)

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

To the events

To the archive

Events

HACKING SINEMA FUTURES TOGETHER

With Sabine Abi Saber, Ana David, Jowe Harfouche, Laura Kloeckner, Malve Lippmann, Abishek Nilamber, Can Sungu, Pallavi Paul, Sarnt Utamachote, Buse Yıldırım and others

United Screens of SAVVY Contemporary, NAAS- Network of Arab Alternative Screens and Sinema Transtopia of bi’bak, are pleased to announce the launching of Hacking Sinema Futures Together, a succession of events taking place from February to June 2022 in Berlin and beyond. Together we acknowledge the urgent need for changes in the infrastructure of cinema. We come together to claim space – for the free circulation of our imaginaries and for cinemas to exist as friction zones, as spaces of reflection and recalibration of our realities. Over the course of four months, arts and film spaces spread across geographies, from Indonesia, Tunisia, Colombia to Berlin, will become inevitable sites for inquiry and potential to ponder on the challenges of funds, spaces, technology, archiving, aesthetics and censorship. 

Help us piece together future-oriented infrastructural prototypes for sustainable film screenings and circulation and join us at Hacking Sinema Futures Together Kick-off Meeting! Register here for the kick-off meeting and other events in the future. Let's retain, reform and reimagine the spaces and networks for an alternative cinema and arts!

Director Cem Kaya Germany/Turkey 2014

96 Min., OV with English subs

Remake, Remix, Ripoff

SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA's selection:

Berlin is home to a large German-Turkish community which is today an integral part of the city’s cultural life. A vast range of films produced within the Turkish film industry (Yeşilçam), including comedies, action films and melodramas, proved to be highly popular within this community. Screened in movie theaters and played on VHS players at home, Yeşilçam shaped migrant film culture in Germany as well as a generation of renowned German filmmakers. Despite its crucial role in the cultural and social life of the migrant community from Turkey, the phenomenon is often neglected and almost completely absent in cultural discourse. Cem Kaya dedicates his documentary to this highly productive film industry, the strong bond it shares with audiences and the creative strategies it used to bypass copyright issues. Remake, Remix, Ripoff has always been a film that inspired us and fits perfectly to the transnational approach that we take to our work at SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA

Malve Lippmann & Can Sungu of SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA

How can a new kind of cinema be collectively created within a transnational society? SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA, the cinema-experiment by bi’bak, explores cinema as a space of social discourse, exchange, and solidarity. The curated film series brings together diverse social communities and connects places both near and geographically distant; it links pasts, presents and futures and moves away from a eurocentric gaze towards transnational, (post-)migrant and postcolonial perspectives. SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA is a different kind of cinema, one simultaneously committed to local and international communities, that understands cinema as an important public sphere of sociality; it considers film history as crucial to the work of cultural memory and is committed to a diversity of film culture and film art. In Haus der Statistik at Berlin-Alexanderplatz, SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA builds a bridge between urban practice and film to create a space that opens access, stimulates discussion, educates, moves, provokes and encourages.

Book tickets

Director Eva Knopf Germany 2013

50 Min., OV with English subs

Majub’s Journey

KUNDURA CINEMA's selection:

Majub’s Journey tells a story of an African man who worked as an extra in the movie industry during the Nazi era in the 1930s. The essayistic documentary directed by Eva Knopf reconstructs his life through historical documents, archival footage and photographs. While the film encourages us to rethink German postcolonial discourse, it creates a different layer of awareness relating to memory and identity thus helping us to reinterpret the present and consider the past in a more critical way. 

Buse Yıldırım of Kundura Cinema

Kundura Cinema is located at the heart of the prominent industrial heritage site Beykoz Kundura, a place in the north of Istanbul which has been turned into a creative hub and film studio. With our initial project, Kundura Hafıza (Kundura Memory), we excavated the past to build a new cultural identity. In our programmes, we maintain a critical stance by creating and finding new stories in an explorer-like manner and reconstructing narratives from the past. Our cultural space is surrounded with film sets and façades, so when the audience comes to the cinema, they pass film crews, lighting rigs and groups of extras scattered around.

Book tickets

Director Kazuo Hara Japan/Indonesia 1987

122 Min., OV with English subs

The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On

With an introduction and talk after the screening by Sarnt Utamachote

DOCUMENTARY CLUB’s selection:

There aren't many choices available for Thai cinephiles, as most cinemas here are multiplexes which screen lookalike blockbuster films. As a distributor and cinema, we try to create alternatives, especially for documentary films. Our ongoing focus is on the classics. Kazuo Hara’s films have always been of interest because of the way they deal with social issues. His most infamous work, The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On, shows just how controversial and confrontational documentaries can be. The film examines the historical amnesia that continues to plague Japanese society until today. After the screening we always have a discussion and believe this film will spark conversation in the audience about the subject and Hara’s method of making documentaries.

Thanaphon Accawatanyuof Documentary Club

Documentary Club was founded in 2014. We are a community of people working in visual media bringing great documentaries from around the world to the Thai market. We strongly believe that through film, people can gain a better understanding of the world around them, which consequently inspires creative social change. Documentary Club is not just a project that aims to introduce people to documentary film, it is also a club for people to share their diverse interests in arts, culture, and society. We focus on both entertaining and inspiring documentaries, hosting talks and events to broaden participants’ perspectives. Furthermore, we organize a cinema called Doc Club & Pub. Opened in 2021, we hope it will create a space not just for films but for art and culture.

Sarnt Utamachote (ษาณฑ์อุตมโชติ) is a nonbinary filmmaker and curator. They are a co-founder of un.thai.tled, an artist collective from the German-Thai diaspora. 

Book tickets

Director Alexandru Belc Romania/Czech Republic 2015

70 Min., OV with English subs

Cinema, Mon Amour

With an introduction and talk after the screening by Borjana Gaković

CINEMA ARTA’s selection:

Cinema, Mon Amour follows the story of Victor Purice and his team in their everyday fight to preserve a cinema in Piatra Neamț (Romania). He dreams of restoring the glory days, yet struggles to keep up with the harsh new reality. In a theater that lacks heating and is slowly falling apart but which receives no support from the state who own the place, the fight is almost like Don Quixote’s. In a way, this is also the story of Cinema ARTA in Cluj-Napoca, which was renovated and reactivated without any public support. Both are stories with a happy ending, ones that show the power of a group of dedicated and enthusiastic people who follow their dream and bring about positive change in their communities. 

– Monica Sebestyen of Cinema ARTA

Cinema ARTA is an independent arthouse cinema in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. The cinema, opened in 1913, is one of the oldest in the region. It is a cultural hub focusing on audio-visual content, a catalyst for the independent and creative sector that aims to create cultural experiences which unite, inspire and become meaningful for those attending the events. Its mission is to promote cultural values, tolerance and diversity by showcasing and encouraging interaction between various forms of art and people.

Borjana Gaković is a film and media scholar. She writes and works as a lecturer in the field of film and cinema culture, and as a curator of mostly historical cinema programs, often with reference to feminisms in film history.

Book tickets

Director Hafiz Rancajale Indonesia 2013

154 Min., OV with English subs

Behind the Flickering Light: The Archive

With an introduction and talk after the screening by Borjana Gaković

FORUM LENTENG’s selection:

Behind the Flickering Light: The Archive is dear to me personally. It was in the making when I first got in touch with Forum Lenteng back in 2012. The film itself mirrors the situation and condition of contemporary Indonesian cinema by looking at cinema history; scattered, grand, important, and about to be forgotten. The film is told through a conversation among my colleagues at Forum Lenteng and Misbach Yusa Biran, the founder of Sinematek Indonesia, which is the first and biggest film archive in Southeast Asia. The film is important for us not only as a dialogue about preserving film as a medium, but also for the knowledge of how it can be accessible to the wider public, as a national treasure, or simply as entertainment. In a country where film largely arrives as a commodity and without discourse, Behind the Flickering Light: The Archive aims to trigger awareness, to allow for reflection on why we love cinema, and to engage us to consider what's next.

Yuki Aditya of Forum Lenteng

Forum Lenteng, a non-profit organization based in Jakarta, was founded in 2003 by artists, academics, cultural activists, and students. The collective focuses on alternative education using audiovisual media as a tool to learn and increase awareness around socio-cultural matters. Created in collaboration with local collectives in other cities and other islands around Indonesia, our programmes concern media empowerment, in order to decentralize the production of narratives and place them in the hands of common people through many local interdisciplinary programs such as Akumassa (community-based media education), 69 Performance Club (performance arts empowerment), ARKIPEL International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival, and more.

Borjana Gaković is a film and media scholar. She writes and works as a lecturer in the field of film and cinema culture, and as a curator of mostly historical cinema programs, often with reference to feminisms in film history.

Book tickets

Director Mahdi Fleifel Lebanon/UAE 2013

93 Min., OV with English subs

A World Not Ours

With an introduction and talk after the screening by Borjana Gaković

CINEMA AKIL’s selection:

In this important social documentary, Palestinian-Lebanese director Mahdi Fleifel uses amateur video footage inherited from his father as well as contemporary shots of life inside Ain al-Hilweh, the Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon where he grew up. With his European exile comes the guilt of having to document what remains of existence when there is nowhere to call home. With a beautiful mix of tenderness and guerilla filmmaking, A World Not Ours is an unprecedented testimony of the Palestinian cause outside of the borders of Palestine. Cinema Akil hopes this film will be the starting point - or the continuation - of conversations and actions of solidarity with the people of Palestine.

– Butheina Kazim, Khalid Al Sabi & Louise Malherbe of Cinema Akil

Cinema Akil is an independent cinema platform that brings quality films from across the world to the audiences in the UAE. Showcasing directors and filmmakers across the decades, Cinema Akil aims to create awareness and interest in film and the cinematic arts. Launched in 2014 as a nomadic cinema, Cinema Akil has held over 60 pop-up cinemas attracting over 65,000 attendees in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. In September 2018, Cinema Akil opened its first permanent location in Al Quoz, Dubai, making it the GCC’s first arthouse cinema. Cinema Akil is a member of the Network of Arab Alternative Screens (NAAS) which includes members from the MENA region such as Metropolis in Beirut, Zawya in Cairo and Cinematheque du Tangier in Morocco.

Borjana Gaković is a film and media scholar. She writes and works as a lecturer in the field of film and cinema culture, and as a curator of mostly historical cinema programs, often with reference to feminisms in film history.

Book tickets

Director Ignacio Agüero Chile 1988

56 Min., OV with English subs

One Hundred Children Waiting for a Train

With an introduction and talk after the screening by Sarnt Utamachote

CENTRO DE CINE Y CREACIÓN CCC’s selection:

One Hundred Children Waiting for a Train is a portrait of the recent history of Chile, a place under a dictatorship and full of inequality. Guided by Alicia Vega, the film’s young protagonists are given the opportunity to explore and design their own films with drawings. Having never before been in a cinema, they discover cinematography, movements, camera angles, film genres, Chaplin, Disney, Lamorisse's red balloon and the train of the Lumière Brothers. In this documentary, Ignacio Agüero makes visible what CCC stands for. A place where cinema is the center of dialogue, creation and community, that supports new filmmakers everyday through workshops, screenings and talks, in which we seek to democratize cinema and access to culture.

Dominga Sotomayor & Ignacio Ocampo of CCC

CCC is a non-profit organization spreading culture through cinema and intersecting disciplines, encouraging dialogue between local and international arts and neighborhood communities. The Center is located in Raulí 571 in the heart of downtown Santiago. A big, old house that was restored, it includes a 30 seat cinema and an openair area for screenings, premieres, and collaborations with festivals. The house also has offices and spaces dedicated to creation and training, workshops and seminars; a gallery, and a coffee/bar meeting point. We are interested in having a positive impact on the city of Santiago and the local environment, promoting the democratization of networks by converging worlds that don’t usually cross in our country.

Sarnt Utamachote (ษาณฑ์อุตมโชติ) is a nonbinary filmmaker and curator. They are a co-founder of un.thai.tled, an artist collective from the German-Thai diaspora. 

Book tickets

Director Kamy Lara Angola 2019

72 Min., OV with English subs

Beyond My Steps

With an introduction and talk after the screening by Sarnt Utamachote

CINE GERAÇÃO’s selection:

Beyond My Steps is a film that highlights various facets of the arts industry in Angola by focusing on contemporary dance. This documentary reveals the challenges that artists face and the never-ending determination they must have in a country where art is still undervalued. “I like to be in a place where people believe in what I do and I feel like a free citizen once again”, says Daniel Curti, one of the dancers. So too does Beyond My Steps highlight the city of Luanda at large. Seen through different lenses, the viewer gains an insight into a city that is capable of transmitting narrative through film.

Mirian Vanda & Fradique of Cine Geração

At Cine Geração we screen Angolan and African films, every Thursday, at 18:30, in the backyard of the Angolan independent production company Geração 80. The main goal of Cine Geração involves sharing and humanizing Angolan and African stories and integrating the community with the help of cinema. Cine Geração is also a way of networking with creative professionals in the film industry and other art fields - whether university students, aspiring filmmakers or cinephiles. At the end of each screening, we have an open mic conversation with the cast, the director, and/or crew of the film, either on site or via Zoom, or we simply showcase a short video with a message from the filmmakers. Cine Geração is a space where people learn from each other's stories, raising questions about the current state of cinema in Angola and the African continent. The program is curated based on a monthly changing theme.

Sarnt Utamachote (ษาณฑ์อุตมโชติ) is a nonbinary filmmaker and curator. They are a co-founder of un.thai.tled, an artist collective from the German-Thai diaspora.

Book tickets