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Dreaming of queer utopias – A Work In Progress

About the project

Dear everybody,
Come and experience the Entzaubert DIY Queer film festival!
Collectively organized almost every year, it creates a space for the queer community. It is a place to watch movies, exchange thoughts, to do things together, to forge alliances and to make things. But this creative potential for people and culture to be created requires energy, compromises and ability to handle conflicts interactively. Not everyone is able to find or summon the strength for this. Hopes are created and opinions clash – Entzaubert is productive, but it can also be overwhelming and tumultuous for its participants.
Through Enchanted, a multi-film project, we want to explore what Entzaubert and other similar queer DIY festival are for us as former participants and what they hold for everyone else. Thus, Enchanted is an effort to exchange knowledge, providing alternative economies of life and modes of being together. Enchanted wants to build solidarity. It is a survival kit for queers, a mirror for underdogs and a playground for social outcasts.

*** Mind the new rewards-structure for the last few days of the crowd-funding campaign, which you can find here! ***

(entrance to Schwarzer Kanal, the space in which Entzaubert is happening)

The idea – what are Entzaubert and Enchanted?
Entzaubert is a non-commercial, queer, DIY (Do-It-Yourself) festival at the queer wagon place Schwarzer Kanal. Schwarzer Kanal itself is a queer-political space at the outskirts of Berlin. Since 2007, Entzaubert has showcased films concentrating on issues relevant to queers. As a festival, it also includes workshops and debates on representation, parties, and food. It is put together by a collective of people dedicated to and driven by their wish to create an emancipatory space. Thus, Entzaubert liberates and enables people by allowing everyone to come together, exchange knowledge and share experiences. It activates the creative potential of people to create and circulate culture, personal wishes and desires.
Despite happening on a set locale, the Schwarzer Kanal, the space of Entzaubert has to be re-created every time again. More than a week before, people start building up the infrastructure and also take it down again after the festival. Entzaubert thus becomes more than a festival - it is an experiment of working and living together. Like an organic form, it is self-organizing, growing and fading away with the festival in new incarnations almost every year.

(some of the incarnations of Entzaubert, including 2014)

Enchanted will foremost follow the people attending Entzaubert as they are the ones who make it happen. However, we will also document debates and actions that were hosted at and prompted through the festival. As a multi-film project, Enchanted will tell stories through two movies, created from the same raw material, thus looking at the same issues from different angles. This allows Enchanted to fulfill its role as an open explorative fact-finding mission. This would not be possible if it would be only a single movie, due to the limited scope. Instead, Enchanted attempts to map the multiplicity of ways of being and doing in the queer DIY sub-culture and extract its utility for wider society.
In detail, Enchanted is the search for innovative and different structures of organization. Enchanted is the pursuit of re-relating oneself. Enchanted is the quest of healing oneself and others through revising internal and external boarders. Enchanted is the inquiry upon the knowledge of organizers of Entzaubert and other DIY festivals. Enchanted is the pursuit of building solidarity and other ways of leading one’s life.

(Anita is having a serious talk)

The project – What is the story? What do we have and where do we go with it?
This year, 2014, Entzaubert happened from 2. – 6. July. Building up started already two weeks prior and taking down took another week after the last festival-day. Altogether we were filming for 10 days, being on set between 8 and 16 hours per day. Filming with up to 4 cameras, we have accumulated a total of 9 hours of moving images. This impressive amount of material includes takes of the same scene from different angles. We are now in the editing process, selecting the good and important scenes, cutting them together and filming last shots to smooth off the edges in the two movies.

The format of Enchanted:
To make Enchanted live up to its task has to go into new directions as well. We decided to realize the films as drama-documentary hybrid formats. They will thus blend boundaries between fiction, realism, subjective form, the Entzaubert festival and the characters who attend it. We filmed during the entirety of the festival, including documenting building up and taking down. To get a proper glance into the ephemeral space and nature of Entzaubert and other such DIY festivals, we had to insert four scripted characters. Those are engaging with the festival in an organic and spontaneous way, thus blending the realms of scripted and real, eliciting emotions and spurring discussions.

(Bri, waiting around in thought)

The story of Enchanted:
The story focuses on those four inserted, fictional characters that will discuss the endeavor of Enchanted between them through their relationships. Those are Bri, who has been invited to show his film at Entzaubert, and Anita, an activist visiting Berlin for the festival. Furthermore, Suwanne is helping at the entrance and Bri´s friend Alfonz is there, mostly to watch films. In between them, a story with ups and downs evolves:
Bri and Anita had met during the Queeristan festival in Amsterdam in spring and kept flirting with each other over the internet ever since. Expectations run high as they meet again at Entzaubert in the summer. Suwanne greets them every morning at the gate and deals with some of the troubles the festival runs into as a non-hierarchically organized event. Anita decides to join the awareness group when entering the festival, prompting many discussions between her and Bri. The group is supposed to consider strategies on trigger warnings, mediate conflicts and find solutions for people crossing each other’s boarders. But the characters will also discuss different modes of being together and how they can work out. Through their participation in conversations and workshops, the characters will discuss polyamoury, friendships and sex.
The story of Enchanted discusses how people can make a living and gain emotional sustenance in a world that does not accept different ways of thinking and doing gender, sexuality and being together. But it also discusses what tensions those other modes of living can create between people.

(The Entzaubert festival ground after setting up. It looks a bit like an enchanted forest)

But the story and format also requires us to focus on Entzaubert as a protagonist. Whilst Anita’s and Bri’s initial flirtation turns to frustration as their internal histories and complexities surface, the festival itself is also affected by external forces and internal tensions. Engaging with the festival through the actors, followed by our cameras, we are able to document the organizing team of Entzaubert. Through the two films, we relate their off-stage wishes, debates and motivations for the festival and the wider queer DIY sub-culture. Dealing with the contents of the festival, the movies shown during Entzaubert, we will see what reactions they draw out of people and what artistic creation can be considered as.

(The day-time cinema of Entzaubert)

Enchanted and its goals – why are those films needed?
Queer DIY sub-cultures and their festivals have been researched and described in books and academic journals. But those were dissecting accounts, often stripping the events of political implications and of personal relation and emotion. By following and partially steering participants, Enchanted is able to present the political outcomes and implications of the Entzaubert festival in a personalized, thus conclusive and truthful manner.
By looking at the organizational structures behind and personal stories within Entzaubert, Enchanted highlights pressing topics of our contemporary world. Enchanted unveils the exploitative forces of a capitalist economy. It throws into sharp relief the oppression of patriarchy every one of us faces in everyday-life. Enchanted exposes how we created boarders around us and how they are policed by us and others, restricting our desires and creative potential. But enchanted also showcases tactics of resistance. It hands us much needed tools to produce self-expression, community, economics and culture independently and self-consciously.

(Maria, one of the directors, filming)

The creators – Who is behind this project and why?
Everyone participating in this project has a strong connection to the queer DIY sub-culture. Either, we were organizers of Entzaubert in the years before, or other similar festivals and participated in them avidly. Despite being short-lived bubbles, we draw a lot of energy out of those festivals and the tactics to live a bearable life as queers in a normative society. Therefore, we felt it was necessary to take a closer look at how and to show other people why Entzaubert is so special for us.
As a crew of almost 20 people we are artists, film-makers, academics, workers, students, actors, activists and constantly question norms with our self-identities and –expressions. We are from different regions from Europe and speak 4 different languages between us. We are experts and beginners in equal parts and seize this project as a learning experience for every one of us. We are teaching each other as much as we hope to be able to provide new knowledge to the audience of Enchanted. We belief in communities. We believe in working and living together in non-hierarchical ways. We believe in networks of caring and interdependency, woven through teaching and understanding each other. Enchanted is an effort to do so.

(part of the crew of Enchanted)

What are the funds for?

With this crowd-funding campaign we hope to cover the minimum of our forecasted costs. We are tapping into other funds as well, but those are small and unreliable.

Let us explain what costs we are looking at currently:

sd cards, hard drives, practical daily costs to assure the safety of the tech materials and the people around them, (for example protection of rain, gasoline,..) insurance costs.

People who work need food and a comfortable space to rest. Providing only the food by itself for all people at the film-shoot will come to 500 Euros.

Those are: 3 people working on directing and concept, 2 people on production, 4 people on camera, 3 people on sound, 1 person on lights, 3 people on cooking/catering, and last but not least 4 performers.

Conciderig the amount of work that this supposes to our friends and collaborators, we wish to compensate around 20 people for 10 days of shooting, at least with a symbolic equal amount. 

Unfortunately post production costs are by no means inside this budget.

(sifting through the accounts and realizing that we are still short on money)

*** Mind the new rewards-structure for the last few days of the crowd-funding campaign, which you can find here! ***

About the project owner

The creative team behind this project are

Maria and Jams, directors, producers, script-writers, set-designers

Rene, producer, main caterer, set-AL

Markus, one of the two sound-people

Zoe, one of the 4 camera-people

Alfons and Bri, two of our scripted characters

SuwanneJo, actor and Kanchi, support-caterer and set-AL

Kristin, directing assistance

Anita, one of our scripted characters

Sean Moxie, main set-AL

The real stars, the organizers of Entzaubert

And of course lots of extras and participants of Entzaubert!

concept and direction:

  • James Rosalind
  • Maria Mitsopoulou


  • Rene Kaiser

camera and concept:

  • Natalia Sanhuez


  • Zoe Manta
  • Frank Ollias


  • Markus Bauer

assistance sound:

  • Julian Peterson 

directing assistance:

  • Kristin Mudra


  • Sean Moxie

James Rosalind:

James Rosalind is a film maker born and raised in Wanstead, East London. James lives and studied film direction in Berlin at the FilmArche e.V. Berlin for 6 years, gaining insight and experience into the Berlin independent Film-making scene.

Meanwhile initiating and living at the queer community at the Schwarzer Kanal for several years, James was one of the first people who initiated the entzaubert festival 7 years ago. He is now starting a collective project connected to these experiences, called Enchanted beats.

James Rosalind’s work focuses on independent low-budget films and documentaries on queer and lesbian topics. In his opinion Lesbian and female-to-male-oriented queer stories continue to be under-represented in the film world. James´ aim is to be a part of readressing the balance.

Some of James' work includes:

2008 - the Alien under the Party Wagon; 10min: A mockumentary commentary on immigration which features a pink haired alien against the backdrop of daily existence amongst the queer inhabitants of Wagenplatz Schwarzer kanal in Berlin.

2012 - Access Wanted; 52min (documentary film): Remembrance in contemporary Germany is subject to debate, especially around forgotten groups like young girls and women persecuted for being “deviant”. Who, if anyone, is telling their stories? Should it be the academics, the survivors, or could another kind of grass-roots remembrance be possible?

2014 - Rabbit-Holing; 25min: A weekend in a country cottage disintegrates after the neighbour comes to visit.

2014 - the Lovers of my Lover; 6min: A first meeting between two lovers of the same lover.

Maria Mitsopoulou aka Maria F Dolores:

Through the documentation and invention of actions, M.M. creates, captures and reproduces, collectively and individually processes and moments of cultural resistance. M.M. focusing  in the study of body, emerged in networks of normalization and control, attempts to use performativity in a way that other types of knowledge and conditions can be generated, where intellectual and emotional satisfaction can be reached. Understanding the artistic practice not only as a staging, but as a process that goes through the personal to the collective so as to be constructive, as a tool for exercises of exposure and encounters with the   ̈ other ̈  for learning, sharing, collaborating and producing together other ways of doing and being. M.M.’ s experience over time has been linked rather to the social movements than the artistic circles. Interested rather in creating presences than representations, worked in groups where we reflected on public and private space, queer theory and feminisms.  Since 2011 together with Paula Pin under the Transnoise platform researches on hybrid post identities, recycling low-cost technologies, open code and noise productions. At the moment collaborating with QuimeraRosa in the AKLR cyborg project, a multidisciplinary performance where we investigate the connections between art, technology and witchcraft approached under queer feminist theories in ritual formats.

Actually and between other,  starting the Enchanted beats a crossover film project, investigating in diy structures, temporalities, affective relationships, discourses and conditions that influence and construct a part of the queer scene located in berlin.

More of my indivudual or collective works you can find by CLICKING HERE.

René Kaiser:

Has a masters in Gender Studies from the University of Amsterdam and is an aspiring researcher on queer activism and new materialism.

Coming from an academic background, he also has gathered up a large activist network and portfolio of experiences. René has lived and worked across different countries in Europe and has been active in the queer politcal underground especially in the Netherlands. He was part of the organizing crew of the Autonomous Festival for Queer Politics (formerly: Queeristan) in Amsterdam from 2011-2013 and remains in close relationship with them. He also has been part of the Slutwalk Amsterdam 2011, and the TranScreen Festival Amsterdam 2013.

Living in Germany since 2014, he is now part of the collective producing Queerulant_in, a free of charge magazine on queer praxis and politics and is finding his way around in the Berlin queer scene.

More info on the rest of our creative team to follow soon!