Manifesto Film Festival

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Sept. 6th - 8th, 2019

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 "It is hard to put into few words who we are. We are unlike any other festival you have seen, and I truly mean that. I like to construct a different meaning each year that is relevant in commenting on the zeitgeist. I hand pick programs that reflect the collective consciousness in thought and culture. We take our fun prepared to be educated, enlightened and entertained here. No Red Carpet bullshit, volunteers are just as important as our special guests, and everyone is welcome to the parties, the public included. The whole point is interaction, debating, discussing film and media in a very very fun social setting. We are a tribe....once you are are always welcome back and we will always support you! This is our third year and we have people coming back from all over the world who were there for the first two...We are passion. We love, breathe and live film. We are here to challenge the status quo and question the establishment... the powers that be. We are here to give voice to as many independent and first time filmmakers that we can as well as embracing those who have had success. We love retrospectively examining a film and understanding why it resonated in that epoch. We love all genres. We love other like-minded passionate people. We love experiences. And I would say our festival is one you must come to experience for yourself...Amsterdam 2019!"

- Alexandra Nakelski

Coming Soon to Kickstarter

Dear Festival Supporters!

As you may have noticed, there has not been much info on our web page...we had a bit of a snafu there, however, it might just have been serendipitous as we are working with the Woodshed Agency, who is constructing a fabulous Kickstarter promotion campaign for us.

We will be rolling out mid-July the ridiculously amazing events we have lined up, special VIP guests attending and films selected as part of the promotion. If you are on our social media, you already know of some of these events, but as part of the promotion we will be revealing one of a kind rewards, pre-sale tickets and other awesome perks. We will have a landing page soon with information on how to get tickets and how to get involved shortly, in addition, we are offering an all access badge for purchase that gets you into every major event and all films!

So thank you for your patience, thank you to our sponsors and to the amazing venues. But most of all thanks to you guys! Who either in person or from afar, have been part of this journey with us...I know that sounds cliché, is the truth...the collaborative synergy from filmmakers and the audience is my life's mission and I strive every day to make every decision based on that philosophy.

With great anticipation...
Alexandra NakelskiFestival Director

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Opening Night Film and Reception

Girls of the Sun Official Trailer


Girls of the Sun

Directed by Eva Husson, 2018

Synopsis: The last few decades in mainstream cinema, it has been prevalent to depict women as powerful action heroes, often seen in acts of unbelievable feats for their body type or skill set. The "Mary Sue" came to be. However, what is often missing from these female action characters is that which defines the hero (male or female)...discovering inner strength and courage even and most often in times of vulnerability. To me, the most compelling women (and men) in these genre films are those that must over come obstacles, discover their internal power and develop an arc in the journey the audience shares with them along the way.

I felt Patty Jenkins did a wonderful job in encapsulating that feminine strength in Wonder Woman and Kathryn Bigelow also did so with Angela Bassett's character, "Mace" in Strange Days. I am pleased to see women branching out to direct women in action films and as a result; captures that strength that makes female heroes that resonate in genuine portrayals. Director, Eva Husson, continues this trajectory in the 2019 Cannes sensation, Girls of the Sun.

Somewhere in Kurdistan, Bahar, commander of the “Girls of the Sun” battalion, is preparing to liberate her hometown from the hands of extremists, hoping to find her son who is held hostage. A French journalist, Mathilde, comes to cover the attack and bear witness to the story of these exceptional warriors. Since their lives have been turned upside down, they have all been fighting for the same cause: Women, Life and Liberty.

Kurdistan is our country of focus this year and this film really helps contextualize actual events that inspired this production. On August 3rd, 2014, in the arid Sinjar Mountains of northern Iraq, ISIS troops suddenly poured into Yazidi territory. Sinjar, then the last unconquered area between southern Iraq and Syria, was strategically important to ISIS. Two years of horror follow for the The Yazidis who are a stateless minority. Those two years pushed Yazidi women to take on a degree of societal importance that they never had before, much in the way the WWI brought European women to the forefront.

The Manifesto Film Festival is ecstatic to present Girls of the Sun as our opening night film in partnership with the Rialto Theater. Actress Zübeyde Bulut, who plays Lamia, will be in attendance for an audience Q and A following the film hosted by Kurdish Director Mazin Sherbayani.

English Subtitles

Friday September 6th 2019

6:45PM- 9:15 PM

Run Time 1hr 55 min

Q and A -30 min

Actress Zübeyde Bulut in attendance!

Rialto Theater

Ceintuurbaan 338, 1072 GN Amsterdam

Closing Night Reception to Follow! Only 5 euro with your film ticket/10 euro to general public. All access badges free.

Closing Night Film and Gala

When we watch a film has a significant impact on how it resonates within us. A song comes out during a certain transitional phase of our lives....we see a film that just so happens to be in sync with what we are experiencing in real amplifies our feelings because shared experience is an integral part of what defines us.

People often ask me "What is my favorite film? " It is infuriating...what decade? What genre? Impossible to answer...but I am going to have to say...Hedwig has always been in my top 5.

"Wig in a Box" from the film is what did it for me. Sitting in painfully suburban Albuquerque I needed to go "out there"...beyond the confines of the Spielbergian 80s to satisfy my Grass is Greener complex...I had to go on a quest to find something that was missing inside of me. I did and it has been the adventure of a lifetime.

"The Strangest Things Seem Suddenly Routine.." Hedwig came along when I had lost my way. On a constant search for something. Not knowing what or whom exactly that something was. How am I identifying with a German trans-musician a decade older than I? It was the wig. I have been constructing my identity the entire time. The identities we form to cope, as Carl Jung would discover the Self through individuation...the negotiation of our conscious and subconscious self... In a way...we all wear a wig, or a mask, or some consciously contrived mechanism to express that extension of us yearning to communicate itself to the rest of the world while still protected behind the safe confines of the construction.

It serves a purpose...and then the time comes to shed the seen in the dénouement of Hedwig ...we find ourselves vulnerable but stronger. That which we are searching for has been with us all along.

Bottom line, Hedwig is about love. And wholeness. Yet without the capability to laugh and embrace the self-deprecation, we would never heal. Humor is the balm of all ills in the world.

It is an absolute pleasure as a producer and scholar to make this available to people who have treasured this classic since its release...and to introduce it to those that have never seen it for a new wave of appreciation in retrospect. And did I mention the co-writer and one of the stars, Stephen Trask, will be in attendance for more of this conversation? How did I get to be so lucky?!

So it is with great humility and gratitude that I present Hedwig and the Angry Inch as our closing night feature. This is a pinnacle and honor for me in my career, to be able to express my love for this work of art and to be able to share it, is something I will never forget.

Alexandra Nakelski


Hedwig and the Angry Inch

followed by a Q&A Session with Stephan Trask

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Come join us a top the awesome roof top venue of Floor 17 for our spectacular closing night! Q and A with Stephen Trask and Closing Night Party to follow!

Panel Discussion: Constructed Identities


Identity is an elusive concept. We feel we must define ourselves using a relatively small selection of roles and conscious character traits, even if none accurately represents our notion of "Self." The confusion surrounding our true natures is further compounded by the fact that society regularly asks us to suppress so much of our emotional, intellectual, and spiritual vibrancy.-

How has digital media and technology fostered or burdened these expressions of individuation? The 1980s cyberpunk movement, with William Gibson's Neuromancer as the apotheosis, thrilled science fiction audiences with dystopian visions of society completely transformed by digital technologies. Today in 2019, global society is transitioning into a universal culture dominated by these cyber spaces and in turn, the very term identity has metamorphosed into something that challenges how we previously defined humanity. Currently we are experiencing a significant epoch of change.

Professional You Tuber, Tatiana Pirogova, Professional Twitch Content Creator, Shanna Zwart, Fandom and pop culture PhD scholar, Neta Yodovich and Television and Radio broadcaster and sci-fi scholar, Laura De La O form a generationally and culturally diverse perspective in this engaging discussion and exploration of these questions. This forum is open to the public in hopes we can navigate where our species is headed in our connection or disconnection to those sitting near us or thousands miles away. Be prepares for some heated and enlightening debate!

Saturday, September 6th


Het Ketelhuis

Featured Guests


Steven Trask

There are moments in art when something pierces right through you. I have tears in my eyes as I write this because I cannot believe someone who wrote something so beautiful as "The Origin of Love", the epic ballad from Hedwig and the Angry Inch, is coming to my festival for our screening.

His prolific career includes heading up the music department and key member of the house band at the (in)famous New York club Squeezebox...did I mention we are also screening that documentary as well? He has scored dozens of films and was nominated for a Grammy for his work on Hedwig...but at the end of the day...he is just an awesome person. Rock musicals are in a genre all their own...and as much as I adore Rocky Horrorand Tommy...there is something just so much more personal with has a sweet vulnerability and tenderness to while rocking out tremendously... we are still reminded that angst comes from a sincere place. It takes a certain boldness to express feelings you know may very well be rejected by the world at large...but to do so anyways... well, that is just beautiful, in my mind. I believe there is a certain fear of sincerity in modern culture...we have to construct what we think people want from us on social media and this fear is apparent in current pop music and film...Trask's work is sincere, and in the work I have done in the tenure of my career, that is the bottom line in how I judge the quality of a work of art and how it resonates within myself.
His work speaks from his do I know? Because I feel it in my own.

Please join us at several events where Mr. Trask will attend at our upcoming event in September!


Zübeyde Bulut

Actress, Girls of the Sun

Zübeyde Bulut was born in 1986 in Besiri Turkey. In 1989 the Bulut family fled their home moving to northern Germany due to their Jesidi belief and political views. After receiving her degree in drama from a well respected Berlin acting academy Zübeyde embarked on her acting career playing in many theater plays and short films before landing the role of LAMIA in the Eva Husson feature film GIRLS OF THE SUN nominated last year at the Cannes International Film Festival for best picture. Since then Zübeyde has shot in two other feature films; ATLAS/The Mover which has been nominated and won many prizes in Germany and the UK as well as in the more recently FRIENDLY FIRE playing in her first leading role in a feature film (to be released later this year). On the "small" screen Zübeyde shot this year in the soon to be seen new Belgian series BLACK OUT directed by Joel Vanhoebrouck. At the moment she is shooting in her third feature film in Poland in the polish language.

Zübeyde is an avid swimmer, she speaks German and Kurdish as a native speaker and fluent English and Spanish.

Opening Night Screening Q&A

September 6th, 6:45PM

Rialto Theater

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Tatiana Pirogova

With “It”, you win all men if you are a woman and all women if you are a man. “It” can be a quality of the mind as well as a physical attraction. — Elinor Glyn (1927)

Well what happens if you are a “trap”?! In today’s gender bending atmosphere it seems there is a different word describing new identities every day. It is often hard to keep up. But I would contend that if one has the “It” factor…it transcends gender, generation and societal norms. Tatiana Pirogova has definitely got the “It” factor and we are delighted that he is coming to our festival to participate on our “Constructed Identities” panel. His You Tube content is British-ly sarcastic and very “meta”, commenting on the fallacies of online culture while simultaneously engaging in creating an online community. Visit (and subscribe!) his You Tube channel for a dose of comedic flair and that “ je ne sais quoi”…and visit our panel September 6th, 3pm at Het Ketelhuis for enlightening and amusing discussion concerning this vast frontier of Cyber Identity. Just who is this fascinating creature behind the mask?

Tatiana on Tatiana: Tatiana Pirogova is obviously beautiful and talented, but that goes without saying… Only having started in October of last year, Tatiana, had gained an audience of over 30,000 (as of this writing) who come to watch diverse content from videos on Multi Level Marketing scams to creepy PM reddit readings and Tinder proposals written by clueless weirdoes who have no idea how to communicate with women. She writes and edits all of her own material, making her a true renaissance woman. As if it can’t get any better…she’s got a black belt in karate, undoubtedly adding to her feminine mystique….

Independent, strong, beautiful, she’d be the perfect woman if she wasn’t a he, wearing a dress and a wig.

Constructed Identity Panel

September 7th, 3:00 PM

Het Ketelhuis


Acoustic Night with Stephen Trask

BR020September 5th, Thursday- 9pm (Free entrance- donations for the festival welcome!-purchase own drinks) First come first serve! Space is limited!
Marnixstraat 325H, 1016 TC Amsterdam, Netherlands

Hearing the Music, Seeing the Sound- The Relevance of the Aural in Cinema Panel

September 6th Saturday 11:00 AM (Free entrance but must have a ticket! Donations welcome!)
Het Ketelhuis
Pazzanistraat 4, 1014 DB Amsterdam, Netherlands

Squeezebox! the Movie

Documentary screening with Q and A
September 7th Sunday 4:00 PM
Rialto Theater
Ceintuurbaan 338, 1072 GN Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tickets on Sale soon!

Closing Night Film and Party-: Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Located at the he awesome roof top venue of Floor 17 for our spectacular closing night! Q and A with Stephen Trask and Closing Night Party to follow!
Staalmeesterslaan 410, 1057 PH Amsterdam, Netherlands


Shanna Zwart

Twitch Partner, TV & stage host.

I started streaming on Twitch at a time of grief, depression, and escapism when I was 20. From the most horrible moment in my life grew something beautiful. My channel has grown into a full-time job for almost six years now but not only that, it has grown into a supportive community that is honest with each other, care about each other, and above all, has fun together. It went beyond what I do and became more about what we can do together to forget about life for a bit. I love that I can put a smile on people's face, and in return, when I go live in a bad mood my community never fails to turn my day around too. From my channel and adventures on Twitch I have gained opportunities I would've never imagined. I've done a Ted talk, traveled around the world and have now started working for a charity called Movember heading up their global streamer program. I do what I love, and although it's risky making your hobby a job, and it adds pressure to be creative, I wouldn't have changed a thing about that decision. I feel fortunate to be able to make an impact on other people's mood on a daily basis!

Constructed Identity Panel

September 7th, 3:00 PM

Het Ketelhuis


Want to help? You can be a general do-gooder and volunteer at events, lend your special talents to the team or even house a filmmaker in your spare bedroom. We’re always on the lookout for fun, interesting people who want to lend a hand!


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