Charity in the Chamäleon Berlin

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As last years winner of the “Cinema for Peace Award” for his documentary “Heart of Jenin”, Marcus Vetter together with Fakhri Hamad joined the glamorous “Cinema for Peace Gala” at the Berlinale film festival on February 15th. So we took the opportunity to beat the big drum for “Cinema Jenin” the day after in the Chamäleon Varieté. First being a little worried about how many of the invited guests would come, then happy to see the auditorium almost bursting at the seams. Celebrities from the film business dropped in as well as company representatives and politicians, all curious to hear more about our project. In particular we were pleased about the presence of some representatives of the Israeli embassy.

Fakhri flew in directly from Jenin. Together with Marcus Vetter he explained the idea behind the project and what we reached so far. As our special guest on stage we could welcome Martin Kobler. Previously head of the “Directorate-General for Culture and Communication” in the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs he was one of our main supporters. Thank you so much and good luck for your new job as the deputy head of the UN mission in Afghanistan!

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The place of our event, the Chamäleon Varieté, is a beautiful event-theatre located in the “Hackesche Höfe”, a picturesque art-nouveau complex in the heart of Berlin. Ran-down more and more in the course of the decades, after renovation it developed to one of the touristy highlights in the capital. And that’s exactly what we aspire for “Cinema Jenin”: to blossom out to one of the cultural hotspots in the West Bank!

But to reach this aim, we still depend on financial support. So our charming presenter Alfonso Pantisano acquainted the guests with our “chairity”-concept: You’re willing to spend money only on something that’s cast-iron? On something that will be connected with your name in the long term? You don’t want to carry coals to Newcastle but rather contribute to rouse Jenins only cinema out of its 20-years slumber? – Then adopt one of our nostalgic and artfully crafted cinema chairs!

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After the screening of “Heart of Jenin” the guests had the opportunity to get in touch with our numerous team members and volunteers which showed up that evening and enter into stimulating discussions while nibbling oriental sesame rings.

That this event was such a success was not least due to the great assistance of the Chamäleon team. The sponsored chairs will help Cinema Jenin to become a place as splendid and versatile as is the little reptile that is eponymous to the location of our event. Thanks!

Ivo Körner

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