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American filmmaker Marissa Medal finds unique connection with Berlin and its people (the city’s adopted artists and otherwise)—ultimately capturing their energy in her documentary series, tête-a-tête Berlin. The series takes a personalized approach to the true and versatile Berlin artists, the tireless ones, behind canvas, living for performance, searching-ever for that perfect word, and thusly becoming a unique element: a piece of this strange and eclectic Berlin puzzle.

Medal’s four documentaries—with a fifth upcoming about a cognitive scientist—affirm the truth about our beloved city, utilizing personalized conversation and a really essential cinematic style to grasp the energy of each artist.

Of Berlin, Medal states: “Berlin is not always necessarily an inspiration and/or influence on everyone’s work, but I’m convinced that, overall, Berlin continues to (hopefully) be an experimental hub for the artistically inclined, surrounded by raw openness, which really allows people to explore whatever they fancy in a non-apologetic, non-commercially motivated, unpretentious, evolutionary way. The passionate determination, effort, and motivation behind people’s endeavors, whatever they may be, are what motivate and inspire me and what essentially bring purpose to the project.”

Thusly: whilst Berlin is the blank canvas, the driving force of its artistic culture is the continuous cycle, the vibrant element that, if left stagnant, would ruin that living-breathing-Berlin for all of us.

BLY: “What attracts you most of all to the idea of a portrait documentary—a focus on one person for these intense four minutes?”

MM: “I think it’s nice to catch a glimpse of someone’s life that may not include all the details, but expresses that something that’s inside us all and creates a real emotional connection to that person. Hopefully through these various stories, perspectives, people, etc. we can find something we all relate to.”

BLY: “How do you choose each featured artist?”

MM: “I am interested in the stories behind the odd character one might see every day in the city, underdogs, less glamorous stories and/or stories that support lesser-known people, artists, etc. I’d like the line up to be as diverse as the city and would therefore like to include as many perspectives as possible. It’s important to take culture, nationality, religious/dietary/political beliefs (among many other factors) into consideration to try to bridge the gap between our every-changing, globalized world.

“Having little-to-no-budget, it creates an additional challenge during the production process. I hope that, with enough continued interest in the project, we can eventually raise enough money to keep the project going, create a platform for filmmakers/creative to show their work, and, as a result, highlight some of what makes Berlin the place that it is.”

BLY:When I watched the Ezra Green doc, I loved when he discussed “pockets of beauty” where beauty–like moss–can grow in Berlin. Is this an idea you share as well–a sort of reason for these documentaries, allowing small “pockets” of beauty to form in this really wonderful sit-down with each artist?

MM: “Absolutely! Taking the time to find the “beauty” within each individual on a metaphysical level, connecting on a deeper level and/or reflecting on the “pockets of beauty” that exist in us all are all very important to me. We often block opportunities to connect based on social standards, expectations, judgments, different perspectives, emotions, etc.”

Don’t miss this essential project—one with such a creative heartbeat in its Director/Producer, Marissa. Remember to fulfill your creative drive in this strange, artistic petri dish—beneath this ever-grey winter sky.

Contact Marissa here: [email protected]

Donate to this project here: http://teteateteberlin.com/donate/

Facebook: tête-a-tête Berlin

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About Author

Allison Krupp is a novelist and screenwriter, currently scouring the city for earnest conversations with other Berlin weirdos, writing about music, film, art, literature, and food. [email protected]

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