« I worry a lot about my future, but I realize
the only life I want to have is this one. »

Paula and Rodrigo are young, queer artists, like many others in Berlin. Their drive to stand out leads them to form a radical performance collective. But in Rodrigo’s personal life, he needs to handle things by himself. The rehearsal room is a space of utopias, but can they make it out the door? Performance is a feature film that plays with the conventions of fiction and documentation, what is on stage and what is at stake. It describes several movements: migration within and outside of the European Union, the developments of the city of Berlin, and the search for love and identification.

performance poster


We started working on Performance in the beginning of 2012 in collaboration with playwright and novelist Amelia Bande. Together we developed the stories of Paula and Rodrigo, putting them in a familiar context: Berlin’s « young art scene ». The aim was to draw a bigger picture of the the ways we work and relate to that work, and the current state of the ever-changing city of Berlin. We wanted to find ways to critically depict this « bubble » from within.
We chose performance art as a medium in the film to symbolize the strong identification with (creative) work, which is often required in a new economy of freelancing and self-exploitation. The fictitious performance group which serves as a protagonist of the film, was a transnational collaboration between us, and performance artist and actors from various countries. The group and their performance in the film embodies Paula and Rodrigo’s hopes, in stark contrast to their daily lives. The characters’ situations are precarious, and so was the making of this film: production was done by and large without a budget and represents a collaboration of many – a community project. To further demonstrate this precariousness, we chose a form that constantly moves between genres and the modes of fiction and documentation. Working as a duo on Performance – our first feature film – from beginning to end meant even stronger working outside of industry norms, which often privilege solo genius over collaboration.


DIRECTED by Hanna Bergfors and Kornelia Kugler
SCRIPT written with Amelia Bande
CAST Paulita Pappel, Rodrigo Garcia Alves, Catalina Jordan Alvarez, Lisa Jugert, Alexander Alvina Chamberland, Francine Agbodjalou, Fionn Batchelor, Sarah Michelle Harrison, Sara Lehn, Indra Linderoth, Noha Ramadan, Joey Steffens, Juliane Meckert, Fernanda Caetano, Anna Schmidt, Marcus Reinhardt, Aykan Safoğlu, Sonia Teruel, Angela Losa, Joquina Garrote Gasch, Elisa Garrote Gasch, Michael Busch, Paula Bulling, Torsten Leder  u.v.m.
CAMERA AND LIGHT Kornelia Kugler, Matthias Maercks and Kristof Trakal
EDITING Ginés Olivares
FILM MUSIC Mika Risiko
COSTUME Ebba Fransén Waldhör and Hanna Bergfors
SOUND RECORDING Birte Gerstenkorn, Nadja Krüger, Manuela Schininá, Henning Röhrborn, Rita Macedo and Tobias Purfürst
SOUND DESIGN AND MIX Jochen Jessuzek and Christian Obermaier
COLOR CORRECTION Sebastian Bodirsky
PRODUCED by Systrar Productions

FESTIVALS & screenings

Premiere: 10. Achtung Berlin – new berlin film award 2014
Special Mention von Crossing Europe Filmfestival, Österreich 2014
Weiters u.a. gezeigt bei:  Entzaubert Queer DIY Filmfestival Berlin, 2014 ; Lesbisch-Schwule Filmtage / International Queer Filmfestival Hamburg, 2014; Fringe! Queer Art & Film Fest, London, 2014

63′, HD, 4:3, Germany