The film programme Fiktionsbescheinigung, which took place between 2021 and 2023 as part of Berlinale Forum and was curated by Enoka Ayemba, Karina Griffith, Jacqueline Nsiah, Biene Pilavci and Can Sungu, returns to Sinema Transtopia with a special selection of films and introductions by the curators.
“Fiktionsbescheinigung” (literally “fiction certificate/certificate of fictionality”) is a concept used in German officialese. When people from non-EU countries apply to have their residence permits extended, they receive this certificate to cover the period during which their application is processed. Fiktionsbescheinigung is thus a bureaucratic device used by the German authorities to monitor those residing within the country but who are not fully recognised as citizens. For applicants, this time of limbo is inevitably defined by insecurity: Will the application, which can take several months or even years to process, be rejected or approved?
With this in mind, the collectively curated film series Fiktionsbescheinigung once again asks: Who is able to enter German cultural history, cinemas and the film canon and who is left outside? Who determines what is shown? Each of these films suggests how the white German gaze might be countered with diverse, intersectional perspectives, offering testimony which comes from within, rather than from the margins. Fiktionsbescheinigung thus encourages viewers to ask themselves why the majority of these films have not been previously accessible to a wider audience.
In collaboration with Berlinale Forum and Arsenal - Institut für Film und Videokunst
Can Sungu is a freelance artist, curator and researcher. He studied film, interdisciplinary arts and visual communication design in Istanbul and Berlin. He gave lectures on film and video production, curated various programs and events on film and migration, and took part in numerous exhibitions. He has worked as a juror and consultant for the Berlinale Forum, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen and the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program, among others. He is co-founder and artistic director of bi‘bak and Sinema Transtopia in Berlin. Since 2023 he is curator for filmic practices at HKW in Berlin.
Biene Pilavci began the directing programme at the DFFB in Berlin in 2005 where she made numerous short films. Pilavci completed her studies in 2012 with her third-year film Alleine tanzenabout the power of family. In 2013, she made Chronik einer Revolte – Ein Jahr Istanbul together with Ayla Gottschlich with support from ZDF and ARTE. She is co-founder of the film-political initiative NichtmeinTatort and the film network Neue Deutsche Filmemacher*innen.
Enoka Ayemba is a film curator and film critic focusing on African cinematographies, the Nigerian video industry and anti-colonial movements. He has been a consultant for the Berlinale Forum since 2019.
Jacqueline Nsiah is a freelance film festival, arts and cultural consultant. Her years of experience across the world include her work as co-director of the Cambridge African Film Festival in 2008 and as producer of the Real Life Documentary Film Festival in Accra. Nsiah currently works as a curator for the Berlinale Forum and as a project manager for the Goethe-Institut’s African industry film platform cinidb.africa.
Karina Griffith’s work has been shown at international galleries, theatres and festivals. She has curated film and interdisciplinary programmes for the Goethe-Institut and Ballhaus Naunynstraße among others. She teaches at the Berlin University of Art Institute for Art in Context and is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto where her research on Black authorship in German cinema interacts with theories of affect and intersectionality.