A project to support : Wolf in Berlin

WOLF, an upcoming space in Berlin-Neukölln dedicated to movie lovers and movie makers. Still in its infancy the project has launched a crowdfunding campaign on KISSKISSBANKBANK to sustain the space and start its development. Founder and co-manager Verena von Stackelberg talked to us about her vision for WOLF, the many ambitions of the WOLF-gang and what we can expect to find brewing in this very special Cinema.

Interview by Pamela Pianezza & Yaële Simkovitch

TESS MAGAZINE: Who are you, Verena von Stackelberg ?

VERENA VON STACKELBERG : A friend once called me a film activist, that’s still my favourite way to describe myself. When I’m passionate about a film, I do what I can to make sure it is seen. So I mainly work as a festival and cinema programmer, sometimes I distribute films or help finance them.

Tell us more about this new project you’re working on and are trying to finance…

For many years I have been working towards creating a home for the films I love and want to share more widely. It’s going to be a cinema, a social playground, a place where you can meet and speak and learn more about film and cinema. Our vision for Wolf is to have 2 digitally equipped screens with 50 seats each; a café-bar; a third flexible screen where different types of media can be freely projected on up to four walls at a time; and a post-production space for people who want to finish their film or learn how to finish a film. We also want to have a strong online presence and explore ideas for alternative distribution.

But first things first. I have secured a 360sqm ground floor space in Berlin-Neukölln, that used to be a brothel. It’s on a perfect corner – it is raw and gutted, but it has a lot of potential.

I am also very lucky to be surrounded by incredible people, together we’ve become the Wolf-Gang. We have built a temporary screen and we open our doors every now and then to meet the future audience and learn what works and what doesn’t. We now have to raise money in order to begin construction and to make sure we can keep the place.

That is how we came to launch our crowdfunding effort on the KissKissBankBank platform. We need to reach 50.000 Euro until April and hope to attract more investors. It’s been pretty successful, we started to raiso some serious money right away and have already met some great people. The demand is clearly there. But our goal is as ambitious as our project – we want to inspire people around the world and show that there is a future for free, artistic films and for another kind of cinema.




Why Berlin? Why Neukölln? Doesn’t the city have enough cultural infrastructures already?

Yes, Berlin has many cinemas and alternative spaces, but the structures are still quite traditional and I believe that if we want to sustain Cinemas in the future, they have to become more social, more involving. They have to be pushing for intelligent and inspiring programming. Their doors need to be wide open to collaboration and exchange – on a local and international level. We also need new business models so that we don’t rely purely on ticket revenues. That would give us more freedom in programming. Neukölln is a neighbourhood that is changing very rapidly, it’s full of people from all over the world, the mix of classes and nationalities is really unique and fits the bill of what we want to achieve: to reach people from all walks of life and connect them through shared experiences in a friendly environment. Many filmmakers support us, too, because they say they are longing for a place they can call their ‘second home’, where they can meet and exchange ideas about their projects and find new people to collaborate with.

On your KKBB page there’s a picture of « Daisies”  being screened. A very feminist film, made by an amazing woman. Why did you chose this particular film and tell us more about the future programming of the cinema.

DAISIES is one of my favourite films and it’s always a joy to share it with others. Many people came to the screening and then kept coming back with their friends and families and asked me to show it to them, too. Everyone was so smitten by these wild girls. It’s also a film that creates a great dynamic with the audience when projected on a big screen. We will not reinvent the wheel when it comes to future programming. We will show new releases but we will also show films that are truly beautiful but never get seen outside the festival circuit. These films will be shown twice a week for two months, so that word of mouth can develop. We will invite young people to form committees, help them choose the films they would like to screen and then accompany them in marketing and promoting these screenings and presenting the films to the audience. I’m very excited about testing this – and we have many other ideas that need to be tested. Also, there are many filmmakers living nearby who’ve already asked me when they can show their film here – so I hope we can collaborate with local and international filmmakers regularly. In addition we will have a lively programme with workshops and talks with and for filmmakers and newcomers.

We already had local artists, a super 8 developing workshop (with vitamin C and lime juice which results in greyish murky patterns), had a surprise screening of WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS by Jemaine Clement, showed FREIE ZEITEN by Janina Herhoffer and short films by the Lass Brothers… Our main focus is interaction. We want to enlarg our Wolfgang.


More information on www.wolfberlin.org
Join the Wolfgang on Facebook, Twitter or Kiss Kiss Bank Bank



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