A Complexion Change
Transnational & Intercultural Diplomacy
An International Media Project (UNESCO)

XXVIII. Black International Cinema Berlin
"Future Blossoms" / "Blüten der Zukunft"

May 8-12

"Footprints in the Sand?" Exhibition
"...Visions Become Reality..." / "...Visionen Werden Wirklichkeit..."

July 1-August 31


Venue: Rathaus Schöneberg (city hall), John-F.-Kennedy-Platz, 10825 Berlin/Germany

english / deutsch

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A Complexion Change
Transnational & Intercultural Diplomacy
An International Media Project (UNESCO)


XXVIII. Black International Cinema Berlin/Germany & U.S.A. 2013


May 8-12, 2013
Rathaus Schöneberg (John-F.-Kennedy Hall, Cinema, Library)
John-F.-Kennedy Platz 1, 10825 Berlin-Schöneberg


"Footprints in the Sand?" - Exhibition


Photographic Exhibition - Visual Documentation

July 1 - August 31, 2013
Rathaus Schöneberg Foyer
John-F.-Kennedy Platz 1, 10825 Berlin-Schöneberg

Production and Direction: Prof. Donald Muldrow Griffith, Fountainhead® Tanz Théâtre

in cooperation with
Gabriele Gün Tank
Commissioner for Integration, District Tempelhof-Schöneberg, Berlin/Germany

in association with
the Embassy of the United States of America, Berlin


"... Art and culture can build bridges, cross borders and pull away from stereotypical categorized thinking. Therefore, initiatives such as Black International Cinema Berlin are important for the capital of Germany.
I extend my congratulations to the organizers of Black International Cinema Berlin, a cultural highlight which is unique Germany-wide ..."

Gabriele Gün Tank
Commissioner for Integration of the district Tempelhof-Schöneberg, Berlin/Germany

"Only when lions have historians will hunters cease being heroes." - African Proverb

Fountainhead® Tanz Théâtre, under the production and direction of Prof. Donald Muldrow Griffith and Prof. Gayle McKinney Griffith, present the 28th edition of the annual festival Black International Cinema Berlin. The event will take place from May 8-12, 2013 for the fifth time at Rathaus Schöneberg, Berlin/Germany and in cooperation with the Commissioner for Integration of the district Tempelhof/Schöneberg, Gabriele Gün Tank and in association with the Embassy of the United States of America, Berlin. Subsequently Fountainhead® Tanz Théâtre will present as part of the festival, the photographic exhibition and visual documentation "Footprints in the Sand?" from July 1 until August 31, 2013 in the foyer of Rathaus Schöneberg.

On May the 8th at 6 p.m. the XXVIII. Black International Cinema Berlin 2013 will open in the John-F.-Kennedy Hall of the historic city hall of the Berlin district Schöneberg. The festival guests will be greeted by Prof. Donald Muldrow Griffith, founder and director of the event, May Baptista, Deputy Cultural Attaché of the Embassy of the United States of America, Berlin, Gabriele Gün Tank, Commissioner for Integration of the district Tempelhof-Schöneberg, Berlin, and by international filmmakers and persons from various sectors of society. The opening will be musically accompanied by Raycurt Johnson and Viktor Maximov.

This year's festival is dedicated to "Future Blossoms", is a metaphor for the engagement of human beings in developing societies, which we wish as futures for our children, so as to allow them to thrive and prosper. Each generation, and this is a universal characteristic, endeavors to provide a better life for future generations.

The intercultural and interdisciplinary festival offers an oasis for intercultural, artistic and intellectual exchange. Portions of the festival, are film presentations, seminars, discussions, artistic performances and the exhibition.
An African proverb says: "Only when lions have historians will hunters cease being heroes." The festival provides lions with the possibilities to tell their stories from their perspective and hence wishes to contribute toward making unseen faces visible and unheard voices hearable.

This year the films come from a variety of countries, among them Cameroon, Spain, Israel, Germany, South Africa, Iran, Honduras, Venezuela, Iraq, USA, Great Britain, Canada and France. This variety of origins, which varies from year to year, reflects the diverse backgrounds of people living in Berlin and Germany.

Among others, the following productions will be presented:

The Cameroonian experimental film "Ma Passion", directed by Matthias G. Ziegler and Sidoine Boris Talom. It tells the story of two dancers, Berty and Clemence, who experience the art of dance as something unshakeable in common, although Berty due to his origin, is rejected by Clemence's family.

Also screened will be the narrative "Kakooti" by the Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Hasanzadeh Ghomi. The film tells the story of the burden and harshness a school girl has to carry while working, studying and caring for her sick mother.

The Honduran American film "Garifuna in Peril" documents the struggle to preserve the Garifuna culture, which derives its heritage from the indigenous people of Central America and Africa. The documentary invokes historical parallels, describing the resistance of the Garifuna people against British colonialism over 200 years ago, as the British capture the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean.

In the Spanish production "Criterioh", Fernando Fernández, a 23 year-old man, struggles to find his place in the world of RAP. His 150 kilos have turned him, since he was a little boy, into a subject of many sorts of jokes, insults and abuses. But when he is stepping on stage to compete in freestyle battles, he uses his limitations as a weapon to confront traumas of the past.

The Iranian film "Negahi Be Aseman / A Look Towards the Sky", directed by Seyed Hadi Mohaghegh describes a drought stricken region in Iran. Since ancient times, drought and lack of rain have caused hardship for the locals. This movie is dedicated to the relentless people of this area.

"Milagros: Made in Mexico" by Martina Guzmán & Monique Velásquez looks through the eyes of women left behind in their rural villages, when their loved ones are driven to migrate to el norte out of economic necessity. The film looks at microcredit and microeconomic enterprises throughout the Bajío region of Guanajuato. The women portrayed in the film work hard to maintain close-knit family ties while balancing their new role as heads of household.

Under the direction of Lisa Kaselak, the US American documentation "Tomlinson Hill" tells the story of the former Texas slave plantation which now sits outside the small town of Marlin, Texas. Direct descendants struggle to unify their crumbling community in the face of 150 years of racial discrimination and class separation, in an area where the Ku Klux Klan still rallies. The film traces the story through the eyes of two descendants - Chris Tomlinson and Loreane Tomlinson - one white, one black.

Besides other exciting film presentations, XXVIII. Black International Cinema Berlin 2013 pays tribute to the outstanding film director, producer and author, William Greaves, whose dedication, professionalism, creative and academic abilities behind the camera have earned him over 60 international film festival awards, including an Emmy and four Emmy nominations. Four of his documentaries will be screened during the festival, among them "Malcolm X: Nationalist or Humanist?", "The First World Festival of Negro Arts", "Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice" and the story of Ralph Bunche, who was the first Black person and within his position as Under-Secretary General of the United Nations, to win the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating an armistice agreement in the Middle East between Arabic Nations and Israel. The documentary "Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey" chronicles the life of a remarkable African American, who overcame poverty and prejudice to profoundly shape the course of world history, yet faded from public consciousness.

In addition, Fountainhead® Tanz Théâtre under the direction and moderation of Prof. Donald Muldrow Griffith, presents a production of The Collegium - Forum & Television Program Berlin. William Greaves, who was an invited guest to the Berlin Film Festival, and the actress-painter Audrey Henningham were kind enough to accept an invitation to appear on the television program during their Berlin visit.

A further Fountainhead® Tanz Théâtre production will premier at the festival. Conceptualized, written and directed by Prof. Donald Muldrow Griffith, the XXVIII. Black International Cinema Berlin 2013 will present a portrait of Roswitha Günther, founder and director of Pfeiffers Ballhaus, who for over 20 years produced Pfeiffers Ballhaus at the Berlin citizen television station Alex - Open Channel Berlin. The documentary reveals a picture of a woman, who with determination, community spirit and heart, offers especially the elder, but also the younger generation, the possibility to participate in a social and artistic life, to meet each other, to dance and while having cake and coffee to follow for several hours, an artistic program with music, song and performance, which at the same time is produced for presentation at Alex - Open Channel Berlin.
The film premiere will be moderated by Felix Block, a many years supporter and friend of the Pfeiffers family.

The seminars of the festival address a variety of issues.

Under the title "All Politics are Local - How we betray today's victims of genocide in Central Africa", Dr. Sabine Grund and guests explore the 'hidden hands' behind the atrocities in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Who has covered up all these crimes and prolonged the suffering? And what needs to be done to restore justice?

"Voguing in Berlin", presented by Wolfgang Busch provides us with insights into the Harlem "Ball" traditions which originated in the 70's and were historically an off shot from the Harlem "Drag Balls" from the 20's. Because of the loss of hundreds of members and leaders of the "Ball" community due to the HIV epidemic, "How Do I Look", directed by Wolfgang Busch and presented during the XXIII. Black International Cinema Berlin 2008, was able to record an important aspect of the history and legacy which was still available.

Conducted by Marina Treichel, the seminar "RAP is the key" examines the possibilities of a universal spoken word music entitled RAP as a door-opener between young people, adults and societies, on the upward path towards education, understanding, cooperation and constructive societal participation.

The seminar by Lucy Birge will address the theme of "Thatcherism & Contemporary Polarity".

As contributed in previous years, OKBeat on Stage will present "Crazy Words", a mosaic of lyric, music, pantomime and more, directed by Rolf Gänsrich.

As part of the festival, the visual documentation "Footprints in the Sand?" - Exhibition, under the artistic direction of Prof. Donald Muldrow Griffith, displays a picture of the activities of various people during their historical contributions to Berlin and elsewhere. Under the title "...Visions Become Reality..." the exhibition is part of many portrayals, which compose the undertakings of Fountainhead® Tanz Théâtre. It is part of a process which documents the existence and contributions of individuals and groups to the societies in which we and they live, to prevent these activities from becoming Footprints in the Sand? The exhibition includes a number of works by local and international artists, among them photographs, paintings, drawings, collages, posters and text, created by adults and young people from various parts of society.

In addition the exhibition documents the history of Fountainhead® Tanz Théâtre, which since 1980 in Berlin and internationally, realizes interdisciplinary art and cultural undertakings, dedicated to transnational, intercultural diplomacy and the promotion of respect and appreciation, as well as cooperation and exchange within our culturally diverse societies in Berlin and beyond.

The entrance to all events is free of charge.


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