Signals Festival

/// Film & Performing Arts

Telling stories from a diverse range of voices, genres and styles. Films will be screened in multiple locations throughout the festival, and are open to all ticket holders. Programme details below.

Signals Festival 2022 tickets available now.

Friday 28: Film & Perf. Arts

14:00 – 22:00 LA Fashion Festival | shorts

14:30 – 15:30 Catalyst presents | shorts

16:30 – 17:30 (repeat) Catalyst presents | shorts

17:00 – 18:00 Shanice Trustfull presents Digital Flora | solo performance

18:00 – 19:00 Berlin Student Film Festival | 2021 winning shorts

Saturday 29: Film & Perf. Arts

14:00 – 22:00 LA Fashion Festival | shorts

14:30 – 16:30 Hard Paint (Winner Berlinale Teddy Award 2018) | feature

17:00 – 17:45 Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon (Hard Paint) | Filmmaker Q&A

18:00 – 19:00 Berlin Student Film Festival | 2022 winning shorts

Berlin Student Film Festival

2021 & 2022 winning short films

Berlin Student Film Festival (BSFF) was conceived with a simple goal in mind: to help first-time and aspiring filmmakers share their stories with the world. A non-profit organisation focused on inspiring and supporting novice filmmakers, students and recent graduates, BSFF is currently the only student film festival in Berlin with an international audience. In line with its theme of “inclusion”, the festival focuses on inclusive films that incite open conversations and exchange of ideas. For while we appreciate films that entertain, it’s the narratives that provoke thought and cultivate enlightened ideas that will go on to shape our culture and history.

BSFF is one of a series of cultural initiatives that embody the values defining kulturspace. More than just a consultancy, kulturspace is a way of thinking. A culture of innovating through creative collaborations with talented experts from around the world. We create experiences that resonate and empower.

At Signals Festival 2022 we're proud to host a special screening of the winning films from 2021 & 2022. Films and filmmakers to be announced soon.

Black and white image of a person in a chair in the middle of a room

Digital Flora

by Shanice Trustfull

English, 60 min performance

Digital Flora is a one-woman theatre show that unfolds the growth of social disconnection caused by the increased use of social media. Living in a perfect world full of likes, +K followers and having the best moments of her life captured online, Sunny fears admitting that she feels a digital identity crisis coming on. Why do people behave so remarkably nice around her, how is it possible that everyone expresses and presents themselves so perfectly? The discomfort lies in not daring to make mistakes in order to remain in this digital society. Yet it turns out that following her instincts gets her into trouble. Her actions, which seem to be the most humble for our society, drive her into a dark and complex world. Who is the digital bogeyman behind this trouble and how do we turn the lights on and create a peaceful life? We take a deeper look at these questions as we follow Sunny Goodhope-Cyberspace's life journey.

/// About the performer

Shanice Trustfull is a Berlin-based, Surinamese-Dutch, multi-hyphenate artist who works as a screenwriter, actress, stage performer, and model. Because of her Surinamese origin, she’d often bring a different experience to the stage, and she had to build up her own way without many role models who shared the same cultural tradition. Shanice finds it important to gently highlight the voices that destroy us from the inside, as to stand up for young womxn who should have a say in our society. She also finds that her practice has led her to explore a certain raw, honest, or even vulnerable authenticity, as seen in her most recent role as lead actress in the upcoming short film Empyre.

Shanice Trustfull looking at some fauna

Hard Paint

by Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon

Portuguese w/ English sub, 117 min

HARD PAINT portrays through an intimate and erotic narrative the journey of a cam boy and his online and offline personas, dealing with sexuality, violence, and loneliness.

While facing criminal charges, Peter must grapple with his sister's sudden decision to walk away and leave him behind. Alone in the darkness of his bedroom, he dances covered in neon paint while thousands of strangers watch him via webcam.

Winner 20 awards + 9 nominations, including the Best Film Teddy Award and Best Film Panorama - CICAE jury at Berlinale 2018.

After the screening, stay for an intimate chat with the two filmmakers, Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon.

Shico Menegat as Pedro (HARD PAINT)

Hard Paint: Filmmaker Q&A

with Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon

After the screening of Hard Paint, join the directors for an intimate discussion on the filmmaking process, and their approach to virtual identities, sex, and queerness.

/// About the filmmakers

Filipe and Marcio are Brazilian writers and directors. They premiered their first feature film SEASHORE at the 2015 Berlinale Forum. It was released in many countries and awarded in festivals such as Guadalajara IFF and Rio IFF. In 2016 their TV series THE NEST was theme of a Berlinale Talents panel and shown on TV channels, VOD and festivals around the world. In 2018 they released their second feature HARD PAINT at Berlinale Panorama, winning Best Film Teddy Award and Best Film Panorama - CICAE jury. It was praised by critics and won over 30 awards in festivals such as Rio IFF (4 awards, including Best Film and Best Script), Chicago IFF, Guadalajara IFF, and others. In 2019 they were members of the Cannes Queer Palm jury.

Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon, Hard Paint filmmakers


by Ariane Mason

English, 2 min 53 sec

Part of the Catalyst Presents sessions, presenting works from our community.

*Please note this film contains nudity and images of a sexual nature.

Made in collaboration with the filmmaker's sister, a transgender sex worker, Icy provides insight into an often undocumented area of online sex work that intersects with the transgender community. On 19th August 2021 OnlyFans, a content subscription platform, announced that it would ban sexually explicit content from its site. Overnight people’s income was put in jeopardy and the ban disproportionately affected the transgender community. Trans people often face discrimination and anti-trans bias within traditional workplaces, and so sex work becomes a form of survival for many trans people, allowing them enough money to get safe housing and access to healthcare. OnlyFans provided a safer and legal alternative to street sex work, where trans people often face violence. In Europe 88% of trans murder victims are sex workers. On August 25th 2021 OnlyFans made a u-turn and suspended the ban. Although a relief for many users, content creators lost subscribers and many had to reduce their subscription fees as a consequence. OnlyFans revenue reached $3.85 billion in 2021 yet they offer zero protection for their content creators. Sex work is work and needs to be regulated, protected and safe guarded.

/// About the filmmaker

Ariane is a filmmaker, casting director and acting coach living and working in Berlin. She has an MA in Creative Film Production from Catalyst Institute of Creative Arts & Technology and a BA in Drama and Theatre from Goldsmiths College. Her first casting credit was on Paddy Consindine’s Journeyman. Other casting credits include The End Of The Fucking World for Netflix, award winning feature Lady Macbeth featuring Florence Pugh and horror film Saint Maud for A24, directed by newcomer Rose Glass. Alongside her casting work she is a tutor on the BA Screen Acting course at the Catalyst Institute for Arts and Technology.

Icy by Ariane Mason

LA Fashion Festival

Curated short films + 2022 winners

As we find ourselves living in these complex times of divide and discord, we are reminded yet again of the importance of interconnectedness, collaborations, respect, and empathy, despite our differences. Instead of fear and negativity, let’s be advocates of healthy individualism through creative expressions and dynamic interpretations of fashion and moving images.

A cornerstone of LA fashion events, LA Fashion Festival (LAFF) celebrates the medium of fashion film in 2021 while promoting an inclusive, open society by using moving picture and style influences to inspire essential interactions on cultural expression, social awareness, and creative identity. Founded on the basis of inclusion, sustainability, and community, LAFF is a nonprofit platform produced by kulturspace for forward-thinking creatives & brands to showcase collaborations and incite meaningful exchanges.

LA Fashion Festival

Lady in White

by Stephanie LeBolt

5 min 45 sec

Part of the Catalyst Presents sessions, presenting works from our community.

This short dance film is based on the legend of Die Weisse Frau, a German fairy tale in which wronged women haunt rural areas, unable to leave, and entreat mortals to break their spell. In this story, a ghost seeks to free herself – but eventually redefines what freedom means.

/// About the filmmaker

Stephanie LeBolt is a kinaesthetic producer of movement, film, and experiences. She is interested in how space and place can move us and how bodies can be a place of both wonder and disgust. In her work, she seeks to connect epic and mythic stories to the present moment. She was the 21-22 U.S. Fulbright Research Fellow in Theatre Directing to Germany, collaborating with Freie Universität Berlin and the International Research Centre She earned a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from DePaul University's The Theatre School. Her recent work includes Dance Nation by Clare Baron and the film A Love Play. Her work as a director and choreographer has been seen professionally in the Boston, Chicago, and Washington D.C. areas, where she specialises in developing new plays and telling stories about young women and the environment.

Lady in White by Stephanie LeBolt

The Gates of Self

by Calen Dawkins

English, 4 min 40 sec

Part of the Catalyst Presents sessions, presenting works from our community.

The Gates of Self is the meeting of one with themselves in a longing observation when facing their own reflection. Inspired by the artworks of Rodin, the film travels from an initial narcissistic view, through the struggles of their own shadows, to incorporating their own memories and identity. August (Stas Truov), meets his reflection (Genoveva Álvarez) who imitates his movements. He is then faced with resistance coming from the other side of the broken mirror and struggles to get himself out of the ropes. He connects with his reflection and recognises a change in himself.

/// About the filmmaker

Calen Dawkins is a Brazilian, British, and EU National photographer and cinematographer based in Berlin. She interned at Butantan Institute in São Paulo documenting arachnids, was a trainee for JeeYoung Lee's Exhibition at Farol Santander, and had her Photography exhibited at BA Creative Collectibles. With a background in dance and performance, she's inspired by human and nature's behaviour. Growing up around theatre and set design influenced her taste in lighting.

The Gates of Self by Calen Dawkins


by Shivani Hassard

English, 11 min 48 sec

Part of the Catalyst Presents sessions, presenting works from our community.

Miffi writes from a place within herself, but she's not sure that's good enough. In a moment of self-doubt, she sees an advert for an artificial intelligence writing tool that connects to your thoughts. ThoughtScribe is marketed as a way to uncover latent creativity and authenticity, by tapping into your day-to-day feelings and judgements, and using it as content. Faced with a deteriorating relationship and writer's block, Miffi finds that ThoughtScribe does not discriminate between private and public thoughts while harvesting content for her book. Soon she has to choose her loyalties.

/// About the filmmaker

Shivani Hassard directs, shoots and edits time-based media. Her prior work includes narrative films, documentaries, music videos, artists' moving-image and interactive experiences. A recent example is cinematography on Jerwood/FVU 2022 awardee Michael.’s three-channel installation, cleave to the BLACK. Another notable example is a VR narrative called Sundowning that she co-wrote, co-directed and shot, about the first-person experience of Alzheimer’s, exhibited at Ars Electronica 2020. She also works as a researcher, currently focusing on the sense of embodiment within virtual reality, with an interest in embodied cognition and its relationship to media.

Still from ThoughtScribe by Shivani Hassard


by Adam Munnings

5 min 48 sec

Part of the Catalyst Presents sessions, presenting works from our community.

Vaugahyde is the 5th collaboration between music producer and DJ Elninodiablo and director Adam Munnings . Shot on 16mm film this tornado of explosive unfiltered energy opens a portal into the Berlin underground queer scene inspired by a powerful manifesto and fuelled by the roaring sounds of Elninodiablo’s ‘ Vaugahyde ’ . A new take on a ‘children of the revolution’ narrative, the film is raw, intimate and unapologetic. A representation of sweaty dance floor moments, interconnectedness and transformation

/// About the filmmaker

Tasmanian born, Berlin based director Adam Munnings studied performing arts from a young age before launching into an international career as a model, DJ and choreographer. Since moving to Berlin to pursue a career in film, his work has been selected for the Bucharest Fashion Film Festival, Berlin Commercial and Berlin Music Video Awards and has had projects featured in Vogue Portugal, Metal Magazine and Kaltblut. 

Adam’s strong visual aesthetic has become well sought after and he prides himself in diverse casting, dynamic storytelling and innovative concepts. Adam is a proud member of the queer community and looks forward to further becoming an influential contributor to the European creative industry.

Vaugahyde by Adam Munnings & Elninodiablo

Wherever I am, the Sky is Mine

by Roshanak Amini and Juniper Foam

18 min

Part of the Catalyst Presents sessions, presenting works from our community.

Setting suns and ambient music are a classic combination on Youtube. They're fan-fiction music videos made with drifting skies. Wherever I am, the Sky is Mine is inspired by this phenomenon, yet it pushes beyond the surface-level beauty into a world full of real, socio-political undercurrents hiding in plain sight. The rhythmic flow of the inhabitants leaving from and returning to the “illegal settlement”, Karail, through a small gravel pathway that appears on the body of water which divides the two worlds, is a sign that nothing remains isolated: that these two worlds, Karail and the rest of Dhaka, seep into one another, into every aspect of “the other’s” everyday life. What is captured here in this video is the ever-present permeability of Karail.

/// About the filmmakers

Roshanak Amini is a visual artist currently living and working in Berlin, Germany. She was born in Iran and immigrated to Canada as a child. Over the last 5 years, Amini has focused on how art can enter into and impact the space of everyday life. This interest has led her to step outside the safety of the White Cube and explore the diverse and rich settings that come from public spaces. Participatory art, artistic interventions, public installation, and performative research have been central to her artistic practice. Roshanak considers making art as a way to respond to the world around her: to place some stones in the river in the hopes of slightly changing the course of the water.

Juniper Foam is an artist and teacher based in Berlin, working with video, music and people. Born in Michigan, he received an MFA from CalArts and was awarded a research fellowship at the University of Art's Graduate School in Berlin. He founded the label Care Of Editions in 2012 as a form of social practice, where he redesigned modes of music distribution through the lens of performance. Today he runs the label as a collective with his former students and young curators from around the world. In the past year, Juniper’s works have been shown internationally at the Triennale Milano, the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro and the Cultural Center of Belgrade.

Wherever I am, the Sky Is Mine by Roshanak Amini and Juniper Foam

/// About Signals Festival

Exploring art and technology, Signals Festival is an annual showcase of Catalyst Berlin’s emerging, creative communities. A non-profit, educational event with live performances, installations, screenings, workshops and in-depth dialogue

Sign up to our newsletter for updates and details on how join the festival in person and when & where to follow online.