Private Project

ONLY HUMAN

Logline:
Ten people - ten cultures - ten destinies - one project. Art overcomes borders.

Being human means love, awareness, friendship, trust, empathy, freedom, and equality.

Almost motionless, the young woman looks into the camera while a tear slowly runs down her cheek. In the first part of the documentary series, the participants of the "Only human" project tell touching stories about their flight, their arrival and life in Germany, their difficulties, hopes and encounters. When, due to the war, many people fled to Germany in 2015, the non-profit association "music4everybody! e.V." started an integrative musical project with the aim of making it easier for young people with a refugee and migration background to arrive in Germany. Together with young local people and under the guidance of professional coaches, they build bridges between people of different cultures through art. Only Human is a journey that brings people together in a learning and healing process through dancing, singing, acting, and creating. The project creates a space where we can be free, independent of everything society imposes on us.

  • Katerina Giannakopoulou
    Director
  • Katerina Giannakopoulou
    Writer
  • Claudia Scarpatetti
    Writer
  • music4everybody e.V!, cineMars
    Producer
  • Participants of the intergrative project
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    Art House
  • Runtime:
    24 minutes 40 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 10, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    20,100 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
    Germany
  • Country of Filming:
    Germany
  • Language:
    English, German
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    2,40:1
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Art Film Awards
    Skopje
    Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of
    Best Documentary Short
  • Art Film Awards
    Skopje
    Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of
    Best Director Short
  • 18th ReelheART Film and Screenplay Festival
    Toronto
    Canada
    July 8, 2022
    American Premiere
    Best Documentary Short
  • 18th ReelheART Film and Screenplay Festival
    Toronto
    Canada
    July 8, 2022
    American Premiere
    ReelheART Spirit Award
  • 15 th WILDsound Feedback and Screenplay
    Toronto
    Canada
    Best Short Film (Audience Award)
  • 12th Social World Film Festival
    Vico Equense
    Italy
    July 8, 2022
    Italy
    Best Screenplay
  • 12th Social World Film Festival
    Vico Equence
    Italy
    July 8, 2022
    Italy
    Best Cinematography
  • Los Angeles Film Awards

    United States
    Best Documentary Short
  • FilmCon Awards

    United States
    Best Documentary
  • FilmCon Awards

    United States
    Best Picture
  • Around International Film Awards 2022

    Honorable Mention 2022 (collaboration as Host)
  • Oniros Film Awards

    Best Social Justice
  • Oniros Film Awards

    Best Director (Grand Jury Award)
  • Oniros Film Awards

    United States
    Best Producer
  • Onros Film Awards

    Best Documentary Short
  • Top Shorts
    USA
    Honorable Mention
  • Madrid Arthouse Film Awards
    Madid
    Best Documentary Short
Director Biography - Katerina Giannakopoulou

Katerina is a multidisciplinary artist, choreographer, writer and director of Greek origin living in Cologne, Germany. With the slogan “ARTS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE!” she connects with international artists, filmmakers, associations and organizations with the aim of creating innovative performances and films that deal critically with socially relevant topics, raise awareness, and inform society about them over the long term.

Only Human 1. part - 2021 (Documentary Short)
Director, Dramaturgy, Coach - Katerina Giannakopoulou
Producer - Stephi Siebert
Production Company - cineMars

The Tragedy of Domna Visvizi - 2020 (Experimental Film)
Director, Actress, Dancer, Producer - Katerina Giannakopoulou
Production Company - Greek Natural Videos

Pandemia - 2020 (Experimental Film)
Director, Dancer, Actress, Producer - Katerina Giannakopoulou
Production Company - Public Vision

DIALOG - 2019 (Music Video)
Director, Dancer, Producer - Katerina Giannakopoulou
Production Company - Public Vision

LINIE 18 - 2018 (Experimental Dance Film)
Director, Concept, Choreography, Dance - Katerina Giannakopoulou
Production Company - Greek Natural Videos

LOST & FOUND - 2018 (Dance Film)
Director, Dancer, Actress - Katerina Giannakopoulou -
Production Company - Greek Natural Videos

SEEKER - 2017 (Dance Film)
Director, Dancer, Actress - Katerina Giannakopoulou -
Production Company: Greek Natural Videos

TO FILAXTO - 2016 (Music Video)
Director, Dancer, Concept - Katerina Giannakopoulou
Producer: Greek Natural Videos

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The first episode of the documentary series “Only Human” introduces the moving stories of refugees. Their escape from their native countries, their journey to hope, through danger and desperation and their challenging start in an unfamiliar culture.

When Germany opened its borders to refugees six years ago, the non-profit organization "music4everybody! e.V." initiated a series of musical projects with young refugees and native peers. These projects use art to create a safe space, where they could get closer and learn more about themselves and one another. With the guidance of professional coaches and social workers, these musical
projects focus on building bridges between people from a variety of cultural backgrounds through the process of creating art together. The artistic modes of expression, such as singing, acting, and dancing, require a deep and trusting connection with oneself and others. Therefore, they are particularly powerful in building bridges between cultures and individuals.

My collaboration as a multidisciplinary artist and director with music4everybody! started in 2014. Since then, I have contributed to more than 100 music theatre projects as a choreographer, coach, or director. It has been a privilege for me to work and grow as a human being alongside the team and the participants, as well as share my own experiences and work on my own traumas. Art offered us increased inner peace through the processes of expression and creation.

CineMars were the obvious partner of choice because of their familiarity with the participants and being an integral part of the music4everybody! community since 2018. This was vital to provide a secure space in which the participants could feel supported enough to share their journeys with us. CineMars’ motto ‘filming for change’ captures their goal as a production company, creating films with a social impact.

In the first part of “Only Human” we wanted to show ten people - ten cultures - ten destinies. In combination, their work enabled them to recount their stories and illustrate that art truly has a very special healing power. This empowered them to help others, turn darkness into light and unite us. The interview approach for this film was crafted to achieve the highest impact, fully integrated within the structure of slow cinema. This gives viewers a deeper understanding of the humanity of each of the participants as they recount their experiences of escape and immigration. Every word spoken was carefully considered and delicately woven into the shots we chose, allowing a more powerful and profound perception of each participants’ experiences within their unique stories.

Although the movie is very much a documentary, we agreed that an artistic presentation of the emotional truth and impact of each participant’s story would reach viewers far more directly than a simple ‘free’ interview structure. We were very careful to support the emotional significance of each story with its own color palette and mood depending on its theme. The documentary itself is a testament of how creating artwork based on real life experiences and emotions is cathartic and healing. It was important to me that the creation of the film itself be a healing process for the participants and not a situation in which they might be re traumatized. In this sense, the film is both and functions as an artistic work and process, which includes all the participants as well as the viewer. Watching the film, hopefully, will make the viewer slow down enough to really absorb its human impact and realize how much we all want the exact same things - no matter where we are from, or which side of the camera lens we are on. We all want to be seen, heard and respected, whilst being allowed to retain our dignity, love and be loved.

Ultimately, my hope is that “Only Human” allows us a moment, through artistic expression, to be reminded that we are not so significantly different from others. The universal language of art and music lets us communicate and maybe share a space where freedom is accessible and boundaries don’t exist, aiming towards and re-imagining a better world … together.