IN BETWEEN

FRIDAYS

"The system has not left here all at once. [...] We are not somewhere in space. We also have to make sure that we survive."

An off-grid community in a moral conflict between commercial mainstream and a sustainable life away from consumer society.

Duration: 97′

Format: 2.39 : 1 (2K)

Language: German

(Subtitles: English)

Completion: 11/2022

Filming location: Tojeiro (Portugal)

PROLOGUE

The Fridayhappiness Associação is an artistic and cultural community working towards the goal of self-sustainability. The community is located in Tojeiro, , in the mountains of Monchique in southern Portugal. Far from the bustle of large cities and surrounded by nature, the community offers an alternative way of life with permaculture gardens, farm animals, sustainability projects, and workshops on art and culture. Volunteers from around the world help manage the community's gardens, care for the animals, and manage the intricacies of daily life throughout the year. The commune’s main focus, however, is the Pizza Night, which is the main source of income for the constantly evolving community.

The Pizza Night has been taking place every Friday for eight years – even on Christmas and other holidays. During the weekly event, the commune welcomes up to 1,600 guests from all over the world. In addition to an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet, visitors have the opportunity to party until morning on one of the three open-air dance floors. Due to its special character, the event has also amassed a reputation beyond the country's borders and regularly welcomes DJs from all over Europe.

FILM CONTENT

The film provides a unique insight into the daily life inside the dropout community. It focuses on the role of the Pizza Night in the lives of the residents and illustrates how the everyday life within the commune is organized outside of the weekly parties. It also sheds light on their motivations for choosing an alternative way of life.

When it comes to living in and with nature, the aspect of sustainability plays an integral role in the identity of this alternative community: Does the weekly pizza night truly represent a morally and ecologically justifiable source of income and how do the members justify their lifestyle?

Due to the outbreak of a global pandemic which forced the community to temporarily close its doors to outsiders, the organizers were increasingly confronted with financial hardships.
To ensure its continued existence, the commune needed almost 70,000 euros in donations, reserves and loans. This brings up the looming question of how the community can find a way to exist independently in the long run.

PROTAGONISTS

RUDI

The documentary’s main protagonist is Rudi (Rudolf Strelow) - a 55-year-old German expat with academic degrees in mechanical engineering, business administration and social psychology.

A native of Gladbach, Germany, Rudi moved to Portugal twelve years ago with his former partner Katharina and their 6-year-old son Francesco in order to realize the dream of a self-sufficient dropout life. Unfortunately, the climate conditions made it difficult to farm the land. Through a lucky coincidence, the first Pizza Night took place after some time among friends and acquaintances. Rudi recognized the potential and was able to create a recurring source of income by means of his business acumen.

KATHARINA

A trained hospitality professional, she lives somewhat outside of the community in order to occasionally escape its hustle and bustle. As co-founder of the Fridayhappiness Associação, she is involved in coordinating the community's daily life and, among other things, supervises the pizza team. Living in and with nature is more important to her than the parties.

FRANCESCO

During the week, Katharina's 18-year-old son attends school in Portimão, 30 kilometers away. On weekends, he helps out with the parties and would like to follow in Rudi's footsteps one day. Nevertheless, he says that after he is finished with school, he wants to travel the world and take some time off from the occasionally overcrowded community

BEA

Bea has been living in Tojeiro since 2020 and originally came to the community as a volunteer from Italy. Now, she is Rudi's partner and in charge of the volunteers and their daily tasks.

Additionally, her plan is to create merchandise for the community and open her own store one day.

TARGET AUDIENCE & RELEVANCE

The topic of sustainability is more present than ever. According to a survey by Statista (2021), 51% of Germans over the age of 16 believe that they can help address environmental problems through their daily behavior. The issue is particularly popular among younger target audiences. Equally important for 16- to 26-year-olds is a free, independent, and self-determined life. It is becoming obvious that interest in formats that address sustainability and freedom is increasing among this target audience. On YouTube alone, four videos on the subject of the dropout life published on the Y-Kollektiv-channel, a production of the German funk- online content network, reached a total of 3.2 million views.

Tojeiro, with its idyllic landscape, its interesting inhabitants, and its unusual business ideas, provides an ideal focus for fostering the curiosity of a young, freedom-loving audience. Several hundred thousand guests and volunteers have already enjoyed the unique character and atmosphere of this place, which is why the municipality has become so well known outside Portugal and enjoys a large following. This network, in addition to the network of international artists who have contributed their art, will be used in the marketing of the film.

Der Film soll den Zuschauer:innen einen ehrlichen Einblick in die einzigartige Realität des Aussteigerlebens geben. Vor allem in Bezug auf die Möglichkeit eines nachhaltigen Lebens und dem Konflikt mit einer zunehmenden Kommerzialisierung werden “beide Seiten der Medaille” gezeigt. So schaffen wir einen Film, der das Publikum mit schönen Bildern in die Berge Südportugals mitnimmt, mit Inhalten zum Nachdenken anregt und Raum für ein persönliches Urteil erlaubt.

DIRECTOR’S NOTE

When Aljoscha told me about Pizza Night during our first trip around Portugal a few years ago, I was skeptical. Why should we drive 30 kilometers for an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet? Even during the drive to Tojeiro, I remained doubtful. Hilly roads with potholes as big as bicycle tires led us to the base of a small mountain, from which we followed the crowds of people towards the entrance.

After our first walk across the grounds, all of my doubts had evaporated. Everything seemed improvised and chaotic, yet exactly as it should be. I was fascinated by the unique nature of the place and the warmth radiated by the people there. Rudi was just as quirky as the place itself. Despite his wizened appearance, he was an educated, ambitious man. Even then, I wondered what motivated him and what his goals and plans would be for this very special place.

These thoughts resurfaced again at the beginning of the pandemic. I was keen to find out how the community would ensure its survival during this turbulent time, so I contacted Rudi again. He told me about the situation on the ground and how he was working on a concept to reopen the commune. It became clear to me that this had to be the moment to revisit Tojeiro, observing and documenting the life of the local community.

And thus, the foundation for the documentary was laid.

CREW

Maximilian Geschke

Director/ Producer

The up-and-coming filmmakerand producer with a degree in media management from the Technischen Universität Ilmenau has was a Junior Producer for various non fiction formats with the focus on art and cultureHe currently works for the renowned documentary production company "berlin producers Media GmbH", where he collaborates on projects for german broadcasters such as Arte, ZDF or WDR.

Aljoscha Habel

Creative Producer/

B- Camera Operator

The Frankfurt-based photographer and videographer with a bachelor's degree in economics from the Goethe – Universität Frankfurt am Main was able to attain a broad skillset through his work on the committee of the Rhetorik-Club Frankfurt e.V. and his stage experience as an actor.

Annemarie Chladek

Director of Photography

Over the past four years, the Berlin-based cinematographer and filmmaker has gained experience as a cinematographer and camera assistant on over 30 national and international productions. She has also worked as an assistant on successful feature films and series such as Dark and You Are Wanted, she is currently working as DOP on the feature film Cat Hunt.

Henrike Dosk

Editor/ Dramaturge

Since 2009, the Berlin-based editor has been editing fictional and documentary material. In addition to regular assignments for various formats of Deutschen Welle, she edited, among others, the long-term documentary Win by Fall (rbb)the tragicomedy Strawberry Bubblegums (NDR) and the documentary film The One Who Runs Away Is The Ghost, which was nominated for Best Editing in the 2021 IDFA International Competition.

The up-and-coming filmmakerand producer with a degree in media management from the Technischen Universität Ilmenau has was a Junior Producer for various non fiction formats with the focus on art and cultureHe currently works for the renowned documentary production company "berlin producers Media GmbH", where he collaborates on projects for german broadcasters such as Arte, ZDF or WDR.

The Frankfurt-based photographer and videographer with a bachelor's degree in economics from the Goethe – Universität Frankfurt am Main was able to attain a broad skillset through his work on the committee of the Rhetorik-Club Frankfurt e.V. and his stage experience as an actor.

Over the past four years, the Berlin-based cinematographer and filmmaker has gained experience as a cinematographer and camera assistant on over 30 national and international productions. She has also worked as an assistant on successful feature films and series such as Dark and You Are Wanted, she is currently working as DOP on the feature film Cat Hunt.

Since 2009, the Berlin-based editor has been editing fictional and documentary material. In addition to regular assignments for various formats of Deutschen Welle, she edited, among others, the long-term documentary Win by Fall (rbb)the tragicomedy Strawberry Bubblegums (NDR) and the documentary film The One Who Runs Away Is The Ghost, which was nominated for Best Editing in the 2021 IDFA International Competition.

Soundtrack

Flimboy is a musical duo from the German town of Marburg, comprising Julian Völker und Simon Conrads. They have provided the soundtrack for this film using their earlier songs as well as their currently unreleased album If I Behave. als Filmsoundtrack zur Verfügung.

In addition, internationally acclaimed DJs such as Dasha Rush, Julian Wassermann and others lend individual music tracks to the film.

Many thanks to

Contact

Maximilian Geschke

film@inbetweenfridays.com

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