Speisekino / Food & Footage

Format Screening

City Berlin, Germany

ZK/U Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik – Every Friday from May until October a film curator and a cook get together and combine independent movies and short films with food related to the theme or vice versa. Sometimes the relation is simple, for instance a film from Tanzania combined with East African food; sometimes it is more sophisticated, like serving the same drinks or cooking the same meal as in the film. Our aim is to bring people from different social background and ages together. Film is a wonderful tool to create an atmosphere and inspire thinking, but eating together is by far the best means to spark a feeling of collectivity and belonging. In the long run, we want to be a local living room, where you meet friends, see outstanding movies and share soul-warming meals, just to see how wonderful the community outside of your private space is.

The district of Moabit in Berlin, where ZK/U is located, received a newly landscaped park and an art institution in the middle of it. In order to draw the local communities’ attention to the park and cultural center, we invented Speisekino and included local cooks and films related to the neighbourhood. ZK/U is set in between a residential and an industrial area, overlooking the city’s largest harbour on the north side. In the evenings, the cranes unload the ships, which provides a highly cinematic scenery - the perfect setting for an outdoor film screening! We have been able to create a sense of Friday-evening-community, with visitors returning over and over again. After cooking for us, some of the cooks have been able to develop their own business. The district of Moabit has a new, reliable meeting spot.

Location Find the perfect spot

Speisekino can happen wherever you can show movies and cook meals for more than 50 people: in a park, in a building, on a parking lot, in an abandoned industrial ruin. Make sure the neighbors don’t mind the sound of people and movies by inviting them for free meals. What’s more important: the cooking facilities must be according to hygienic standards as demanded by authorities. But maybe a local caterer with a license to serve food, can do the job.
You should have shelter from rain, or you make sure that people are fine with staying away in case of rain.

People Power Helping hands

Next to our team of volunteers, we had
a) a technician, who would set up the chairs, the beamer and the soundsystem. It was crucial, he would test the film-files before visitors arrived.
b) a cook, who would start shopping in the morning, cooking in the afternoon and serving foods in the evening
c) an assistant for cleaning: after cooking, the chef is going to be tired. You need someone to fix the mess.
d) a curator, who would choose the film, get the rights to screen and provide our technician with the files or rolls to be shown
The rest is done by the team: communication of the event, preparing the space, cleaning after the mess…

Things you need Tech Rider

  • Technology: Beamer, Screen, Media Player, Audiosystem, Lights for eating, Lights
  • Furniture: Chairs, Tables for serving the food and drinks
  • Infrastructure: Electricity, toilets + water supply,
  • Cooking + Catering: Cooking facilities, all needed to serve the food: plates, cutlery, etc., Cleaning facitlies.

Communication Spread the word

We create an annual printed calendar poster with all dates, films and cooks included. In addition, we distributed postcards and posters.
We created our own social media community and informing all local cultural magazine with cinema announcements.

Official / Legal Film license and hygienic regulations

Make sure, that the hygienic conditions of your cooking facilities are according to local regulations. If this is impossible: hire a caterer with a license to serve food. He will prepare it in his kitchen and bring it your Speisekino.
If you want to sell drinks, make sure to get a license (for catering), if you want to play music, think about the GEMA. But consider keeping it simple!
Getting the film licenses is important. It actually doesn’t cost so much. (between 30-90 euros) and if you are running it non-for-profit, you will get better deals with the distributors.

In many cultures food is one of the most relevant factor of social cohesion. Adding a cinematic layer to it produces an interesting hybrid.

Speisekino Moabit