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Interactive Zoom discussion

June 19, 8 pm

Due to the format there is no recording of this event. 

What should an actor do if they are offered a role that reproduces stereotypes? How can films by Romani directors achieve greater visibility? How can cinema portray the experience of having to flee one’s home country? What connections exist between German-Turkish and Turkish cinema? These are just some of the questions that will be asked in this discussion. Eight actors, festival organisers, filmmakers and scholars talk about their professional practices, strategies and insights and invite participants into breakout rooms to share their experiences and debate their positions.

Interactive Zoom discussion with Ömer Alkin, Thelma Buabeng, Hamze Bytyçi, Sun-ju Choi, Djamila Grandits, Sheri Hagen, Mateja Meded and Lima Sayed in English and German, with sign language interpretation, hosted by Benita Sarah Bailey


Ömer Alkin holds a doctorate in Media and Cultural Studies. A filmmaker, he currently directs the research project “The Aesthetics of Occidentalism,” which is supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) at Philipps University in Marburg. He has published widely on (post-)migration cinema. Other research areas include cultural education, global identity politics and occidentalism, Islam in migration cinema, postcolonial theory, and post-migration. His website is https://www.oemeralkin.de.

Benita Bailey is an actress and filmmaker. She is part of the Afro-German artists’ collective Label Noirand an administrator of the Black Film Professionals Community. She studied acting in Berlin and International Relations and African Studies at the University of Leipzig and in Hong Kong. She works internationally in theatre, film, and television. Currently she is working on her first full-length film and on the development of a play in the context of a residency at HAU Berlin and Arts Interculturels in Montreal. In addition, since 2020 she has been producing her own programme #yellit on IGTV & YT, in which she presents Black artists. The new Label Noir theatre-film Emmett Till: Deep in my Heart, in cooperation with HAU Berlin, has just gone into production. Benita lives with her family in Berlin and Toronto. Her website is www.benitabailey.com

Actress Thelma Buabeng grew up in the Rhineland. In the comedy web series Tell Me Nothing from the Horse, she plays characters that subvert racist clichés and prejudices. She had roles in Katharina Wackernagel’s directorial debut When Dreams Learn to Fly, in Burhan Qurbani’s Berlin Alexanderplatz, and in Karoline Herfurth’s Very Beautiful (Wunderschön). Since 2019, she has been engaged at the Schauspielhaus in Zurich, and in the ZDF science show Dandelion, she plays the journalist Marla. In 2021, for the network Arte, she presented the concert series Open Stage Berlin—The Daily Doris. Since February she has been co-host, along with Hadnet Tesfai and Natasha Kimberly, of the weekly SWR talk show Five Souls.

Hamze Bytyçi, born in Prizren, Kosovo, is an educator in media and theatre studies, as well as a director and performer. In 2012 he participated in the formation of the International Romani Film Commission, which supports people with Roma identity working in film. In 2017, he founded the Roma film festival AKE DIKHEA?, which now takes place annually in Berlin under his direction. He is the chairman of RomaTrial e.V., an association active in arts and culture, youth and education (including the film summer school Balkan Onions, among others), as well as politics and activism.

Sun-Ju Choi studied literature at the University of Cologne and screenwriting at the German Film and Television Academy (DFFB) in Berlin. Her dissertation, Father State and Mother Party: Concepts and Representation of Family in North Korean Film, appeared with Judicium Press. She is acting director of New German Media Makers, board member of New German Organizations e.V. and chairwoman of korientation e.V., a network for Asian-German perspectives. Since 2007 she has co-directed, with Kimiko Suda, the Asian Film Festival Berlin. 

Djamila Grandits is a Vienna based curator, programmer and cultural worker. As part of CineCollective she is responsible fo the artistic direction and management of Kaleidoskop Film und Freiluft. She has been part of the selection committees of DOK Leipzig, Kasseler Dokfest, frameout - digital summer screenings & tricky women | tricky realities. She works as a moderator and host of various panels, events and interviews and cares about the intersections and deconstruction of theoretical concepts, artistic-, political- and activist forms.

Sheri Hagen is a German director and actress from Berlin. She has worked in numerous productions in film, television, and theatre. Her debut as screenwriter and director was the short film STELLA AND THE STORKS (2007). In 2010 her first feature film, AT SECOND GLANCE, was released. In 2015, Hagen founded the production company Equality Film GmbH, which focuses on telling exceptional stories that represent a complex and diverse society. In her second feature, WINDOW BLUE (2016), Hagen adapted the play “Birthmarks Window Blue” by Sasha Marianna Salzmann. She is currently working on two feature films, BILLIE and MOTHERHOOD.

Mateja Meded studied at the Film University Konrad Wolf. She works as an actress, author, and filmmaker. More info at www.matejameded.com

Lima Sayed studied at the University of Hamburg and the University of California, Riverside, and earned her doctorate in American Studies. In 2019 her book White Heroes in Film: The “White Saviour Complex,” Racism, and Whiteness in American Cinema of the 2000s was published. As speaker, coach, and trainer, she works on separating racism from shame, and on making racism easier to understand and speak about.

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
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