ABOUT the film
Desire Will Set You Free is a feature-length narrative film that explores artistic and marginalized life in Berlin with an often critical, and sometimes humorous (but never mocking) eye. Based on a true story, and at times traveling into the realm of docufiction, the plot follows the relationship of an American writer of Israeli/Palestinian descent and a Russian aspiring artist working as a hustler, offering access to the city’s vibrant queer and underground scenes while examining the differences between expatriate and refugee life. Our characters travel through Berlin’s layered history and unique subcultural landscape; on their adventures they discover influences and remnants of the Weimar Republic, WWII, the Bowie years, and punk.
WHO is in it
The film features performances by the queen of punk Nina Hagen, electro starPeaches, Brooklyn’s Blood Orange, German sensation Rummelsnuff, rapperSookee, Einstürzende Neubauten’s Jochen Arbeit; and Wolfgang Müller, plus cast members Amber Benson (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame), German film legendRosa Von Praunheim, artists Eva & Adele, photographer Miron Zownir, as well as newcomers Tim-Fabian Hoffman (Sasha), Chloé Griffin (Cathrine) and the director himself, Yony Leyser (Ezra).
Director’s previous work
This is the second feature film by Yony Leyser. His previous, the critically acclaimed documentary William S. Burroughs: A Man Within was also funded partially throughKickstarter. A Man Within screened at over 60 international film festivals, was released theatrically in 5 countries, aired on over 15 television stations, and received overwhelmingly positive reviews from the likes of New York Times and Variety, who stated: “Docu does real justice to the Beat writer, gun nut and literary icon … Like his subject, Leyser strives to disengage from the conventional, while still being lucid. He succeeds admirably.” More information at www.williamsburroughsthemovie.com.
WHERE your money will go
Production for Desire Will Set You Free was funded in part by the art film section of German film fund Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg. After 26 days of intensive shooting and immense effort on behalf of our remarkable cast & crew, filming is complete! However, with initial funds quickly exhausted, we are now in need of financial support to cover post-production costs. This includes editing (which will be done at Schnittbar in Mitte, Berlin), color correction, sound design, rights clearances, formatting, soundtrack production, and festival submissions. We believe very strongly in the integrity of this film and are depending on your generous sponsorship to move us through the post-production process and set Desire Will Set You Free on track toward the finish line!
The film’s soundtrack features new renditions of classic Berlin-related songs including Blood Orange covering Malaria!, Peaches covering Claire Waldoff, Nina Hagencovering Brecht, Starfucker covering Iggy Pop, Friends covering Klaus Nomi, andEaster covering Grauzone, plus original songs from current local Berlin bands including Crime, Automat featuring Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Kool Thing, andRummelsnuff. The material is planned to be released as a standalone album on CD & LP as well as digitally for your optimal listening pleasure.
- Yony Leyser - Writer / Director
- Paula Alamillo / Sonja Klümper - Production
- Arto Sebastian Buhmann - Assistant Director / Mise-en-scène
- Ali Olay Gozkaya - Director of Photography
- Rob Myers - Editor
- Yoshua Berkowitz - Steadycam operator
- Achim Burkart - Sound
- Toni Schultz - Gaffer
- Iulia Mitzner / Makode Linde – Art Direction
- Ramona Petersen - Costume Design
- Elisa Wimmer - Make Up
- Steve Morell - Music Supervisor
Personal account of the filming process:
Press and Mentions:
Risks and challengesLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
Fortunately, shooting is complete. So we have made it through the most risky and challenging part (successfully!) Now we have all this great footage that we will work with to turn it into a groundbreaking film.
DESIRE has edgy content so it is not easy to secure substantial standard film financing without the risk of compromising the film’s integrity. We are happy that we can connect to the public directly through Kickstarter to make this film happen.
Needless to say, films take time and money to make. With your support, we plan to finish post-production by November for festival submissions and to have the soundtrack finished by the premiere. We are all looking forward to DESIRE’s completion and to sharing it with the world!
Have a question? If the info above doesn’t help, you can ask the project creator directly.