Anna Pesavento - Cinematographer and Editor Anna Pesavento - Cinematographer and Editor

DoP/Editor: Anna Pesavento

Directed, written & produced: Victor Schefé

Premiere: October 2011 in Berlin, US Premiere: October 2011 in San Francisco, Asian Premiere: December 2011 in Bangalore / India


„”Awful rainy cold weather, I hate it,” says a passer-by when asked about what she associates with the topic of “Berlin in November”. Most others would have a similar reaction if someone should ask them about the greyest of all the grey months, especially in cold Berlin. Which makes it all the more surprising that “B.i.N. – Berlin in November” – a documentary work about the topic – is a humorous and witty film that wins the audience over with how close it gets to Berlin’s residents and their everyday lives in November. How do Berliners live, love, eat, suffer, and clothe themselves in November? In his directorial debut actor Victor Schefé manages to elicit authentic and surprising answers from his interview partners, including Annette Humpe and Dani Levy as well as the female pensioner from the local corner bar. Schefé takes us to the city’s remotest corners, draws a portrait of this thankless month with encounters on the street and strong imagery, so thankless in fact that one prefers to experience it in a cinema’s pre-warmed chair rather than live and in person.”

Zitty 20/2011 (Jens Uthoff)

„If Casey Affleck ever decides to get all of his cool friends together and make a movie about Boston in February, it might look a little like this documentary. Going from interview to interview with some of Berlin’s most creative citizens, Schefé, an actor, shows us the attractions of his beloved Berlin’s dreariest month with an impish, infectious spirit.“

10th San Francisco Documentary Filmfestival, October 2011

„B.i.N. is not a political film, is rather a film with a political consciousness. Victor Schefé allows himself to be carried away and inspired by his protagonists and the stories they tell. It’s a love letter to Berlin and it’s residents, open to their quirks and foibles, as well as to the city’s beauty. “B.i.N. – Berlin in November” is a film that brings bright moments into the dark season.”

RBB / zibb 20.10.2011

„The message of this evening of cinema in Babylon was: Those who can endure Berlin in November have made it in this city. Tumultous applause for the documentary “Berlin in November” by Victor Schefé. He couldn’t sit in the cinema with us (“I’m much too nervous”), however afterwards in “Kosmetiksalon Babette” he was able to enjoy all the praise.“

BZ 20.10.2011

„”B.i.N. – Berlin in November” is Victor Schefé’s magnificent love letter to Berlin.“

BILD Berlin 21.10.2011

„For his ninety-three-minute Berlin film he searched for and found both the sublime and the whimsical. The two are separated by a very fine line in this city in his experience. Those who missed the premiere as part of the series “New German Film” can see “B.i.N.” on the coming evenings in Babylon without the distraction of celebrity crowds and the storms of camera flashes that come with them.“

Berliner Zeitung 21.10.2011

Berlin’s autumn as poetic city portrait

“Berlin in November” is actor Victor Schefé’s directorial debut:

Berlin (dapd) Of course, Berlin is male. Or lesbian. Actress Alexandra Kamp cannot quite make up her mind about how to answer the question posed by Victor Schefé after all. For her colleague Suzanne von Borsody, in contrast, the answer is clear: Berlin is unambiguously a hermaphrodite. For Chantal, club promoter and host of ‘House of Shame’, the city is simply “polymorphously perverted”. It is these simple but unusual questions, like that about Berlin’s sexual identity, that Victor Schefé asked his friends, colleagues, and even passers-by on the streets for his directorial debut. Together with camerawoman Anna Pesavento, Schefé, who has appeared in both films and onstage, went out through the whole of November 2009 to capture statements about Berliners’ favourite locations and words, as well as their life stories and snapshots of their lives. The two filmmakers spent more than a year poring over fifty-three hours of raw material in order to complete their poetic love letter to Berlin. Now, on Thursday (20 October) “B.i.N. – Berlin in November’ will premiere in Babylon Cinema, and three days later it will celebrate its international premiere at the San Francisco Documentary Film Festival. “I quickly get bored. Just filming or standing on stage, over time that is just too tedious for me,” says the actor, made famous through his roles in series like ‘Bewegte Männer’ and ‘Polizeiruf’. And why is his directorial debut a documentary film of all things? “I’m too lazy to write screenplays for a feature film,” he admits. This directness is also present in the conversations that Schefé conducted all throughout the city and that are now assembled into a sometime surprising chain of associations. He visits the city library at Kottbusser Tor with a view of the junkies and Turkish fruit and vegetable mongers, talks with cat lovers at the pet show, filmed at the flea market and at a tango party. During these excursions camerawoman Anna Pesavento was especially interested in the small, likely overlooked everyday details: street sweepers struggling with the autumn leaves, illuminated advertisements at night, or the sizzling sausages on the grill at the famous Kreuzberg snack stand ‘Curry 36’. Musician Annette Humpe reveals her favourite dish: “Berliner liver with fried onions and apples. You shouldn’t eat it so often, but once or twice a year I love it.” More candid and surprising than the statements by the famous are usually interviews captured by chance with nighttime party people and passengers on the underground. “Particularly those people who weren’t prepared for us were the one who mind-bogglingly quickly opened their hearts to us and started chattering without any hesitation,” Schefé says. “Perhaps it was because we were the world’s smallest film team, or that people recognised me and possibly even liked me.” Born in Rostock, his face may soon be famous all over Europe by the end of November. That is when the first season of the international television production ‘Borgia’ will start being broadcast in more than forty countries. In this historic drama about the rise of a noble Spanish family in the Renaissance, also being shown on ZDF in Germany since the beginning of the week, Schefé is playing the Papal Master of Ceremonies.

dapd 19.10.2011 (Axel Schock)