Germany | 2021 | 17′36“ | UHD |Video-Installation & Short Film| Languages: English & German | Subtitles: German & English | Color | Cinemascope +| Stereo


The Pox— I have read that the Pox was caused by accidentally coinciding climatic, economic, and sociological crisis. It would be more honest to say that the Pox was caused by our own refusal to deal with obvious problems in those areas.” Octavia E. Butler in ‚The Parable of the Talents‘, 1998

Curator’s Note by Enoka Ayemba, Berlinale Forum 2021, Fiktionsbescheinigungen:

It is February 24, 2056, fifty years to the day since the death of African-American writer and theorist Octavia Butler. A radio host asks Butler’s great-great granddaughter what has changed since then. Her answer leads us into the past – to our 2020 present, that is, a period marked by environmental destruction, nationalism and the lingering aftereffects of Europe’s colonial racism. Inspired by the multi-layered, multi-dimensional concepts and paradigms in Butler’s works, OCTAVIA’S VISIONS asks what a better future might look like for a world in ruins. “Intersectionality is the answer!” a queer Black figure shouts euphorically to the crowd. “We must create a world, a humanity, in which everyone and everything is allowed to exist, because we already do.” The universal character of these statements is unmistakable. Zara Zandieh’s film is also an incitement to move beyond Eurocentric discourse and open ourselves up to the utopia of a world without racism or discrimination.


In the mid-1990s, the African-American visionary author, Octavia E. Butler, published two novels later to be called the „Parable Series“. In “Parable of the Sower“ and “Parable of the Talents” Butler tells the story of a community struggling to survive the environmental, socioeconomic and political collapse of 21st-century USA. Butler, who died in 2006, created characters and worlds that remain highly topical today. Her complex characters are genderfluid time travelers, atrocity survivors, Black Women and People of Color. Inspired by the Parabels, OCTAVIA’S VISIONS speaks to contemporary themes of environmental degradation, far right extremism, and social liberation. The poetic piece expresses a queer utopian imaginary, a longing to create out of the old something new.



OCTAVIA’S VISIONS is inspired by the Parables of the African-American futurist author Octavia E. Butler, who died in 2006. Using poetic visual language, OCTAVIA’S VISIONS interweaves Butler’s worlds with contemporary issues of environmental degradation, far right extremism, and social liberation. The poetic piece expresses a queer utopian imaginary, a longing to create out of the old something new.

In June 2019 the jury of the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe selected and recommended OCTAVIA’S VISION for the Research Fellowship.

Film Stills: © Diara Sow


THE AUTHOR (in order of appearance):
Sandra Bello
Mandhla Ndubiwa
Nancy Andler

Martini Cherry Furter

Senami Zodehougan

Joey Steffens

Ifeatu Nnaobi

Claudia Catalán Amoyao
Sanni Est

Alvin Collantes
Banafshe Hourmazdi
Claudia Catalán Amoyao
Eli Wewentxu
Ifeatu Nnaobi
Julian Curico
Mathilde Manon
Minh Duc Pham
N’deye Sikhe Camara
Rima Najdi
Saboura Naqshband
Sanni Est
Saphira Siegmund
Senami Zodehougan
Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau

Manu Rondon
Joey Steffens
Mandhla Ndubiwa


Directed, Written, Produced | Zara Zandieh
Production Management | Diana Paiva
Script Supervisor | Patricia Saad
Assistant Director | Joey Steffens
Set-Manager | Lusanda Kori
Director of Photography | Diara Sow
1st AC | Clara Rodríguez Arasanz
Sound Recording | Azadeh Zandieh
Gaffer | Anno Gerdes
Electrician | Janne Ebel
Set Design|Klara Mohammadi & Sarah Mounia Kachiri
Costume Design | Milena Kraft
Make-Up Artists | Layana Flachs & Maiara Izabele Del Pino
Hair Stylist | Layana Flachs
Set Runner & Best Person |Nima Séne
Drivers | Mathilde Manon & Morgane Hay
Set-Photography |Fungi Phuong Tran Minh
Editing | Zara Zandieh
Post Production Consultation & Conforming | Antonella Sarubbi
Sound Design, Re-recording Mix| Azadeh Zandieh
Color Grading | Claudia Maneka Maharaj
VFX & Title Design & Poster Design | Caio Soares
Translating of Subtitles | Sofia Hamaz, Patricia Saad, Nicola Lauré al-Samarai
Production Consultant | Ibrahim-Utku Erdoğan
Legal Advice | Kanzlei Laaser
Archive Consultation | Stephen Maier
Curator (Humboldt Forum) | Adrian Waschmann
Produced by | Stiftung Humboldt Forum

Behind the Scene Photography: © Fungi Phuong Tran Minh


International ZONTA Prize at the 67th Short Film Festival Oberhausen

Jury Statement
In the beginning there was the work of a great, futuristic author, whose impact got transformed into a multi-layered, poetic and forward-looking film experience that resonates for a long time.


Begründung der Jury
Am Anfang war das Werk einer großen, futuristischen Autorin, das in dieser Arbeit in eine vielschichtige, poetische und zukunftsweisende Filmerfahrung überführt wird, die lange nachhallt.

Winner of Best Film Jury Award I+N FCQSFF

Déclaration du Jury
Pour la défense et la justification des droits des minorités à partir de contenu audiovisuel de grande qualité et d’une production exquise.


Jury Statement
For the defense and vindication of the rights of minorities from an audiovisual material with high quality and exquisite production.

Winner Best Picture Las Vegas Queer Arts Film Festival

Special Mention by Jury of Queer Short Film Competition at Leeds International Film Festival:

We love the concept of Afro and Indigenous futurism and the visionary use of symbolism.

SCREENINGS (selection)

2021|Officially Selected for German Competition of 67th Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen (World Premiere), Oberhausen/ Germany
2021| Officially Selected for German Competition of 37th Hamburg Short Film Festival, Hamburg/ Germany
2021 | Sheffield DocFest, Arts Programme, Sheffield/ UK (International Premiere)
2021 | Officially Selected for Inside Out, Toronto/ Canada (Canada Premiere)
2021| I+N FCQSFF Image+Nation Festival Courts Queer Shorts Film Festival, Tiohtiá:ke (Montréal)/ Canada
2021 | Queer Diasporas exhibition at Nieuwe Vide, Amsterdam/ Netherlands
2021 | 71st Berlinale, Forum Special Programme: “Fiktionsbescheinigung. 16 Cinematic Perspectives on Germany“, Berlin/ Germany
2021| Humboldt Forum, as part of Berlin Art Week Connect, Berlin/ Germany
2021 | POW Film Fest, Seattle/ USA
2021 | 25th Queer Lisboa, Officially Selected for Short Film Competition and Best Short Film Award, Lisbon/ Portugal
2021 | 74th Edinburgh International Film Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland/ UK
2021 | Govanhill International Film Festival and Carnival, Glasgow/ UK
2021 | 12th Queer Film Festival Oldenburg, Oldenburg/ Germany
2021 | Filma. Feminist Film Festival, Ukraine
2021 | 26th Seattle Queer Film Festival, Seattle/ USA
2021 | 3rd Las Vegas Queer Arts & Film Festival, Las Vegas/ USA
2021 | Officially Selected for Queer Shorts Competition, 35th Leeds International Short Film Festival, Leeds/ UK
2021 | Officially Selected for German Competition 15th KFFK / Short Film Festival Cologne UNLOCKED, Köln/ Germany
2021 – 2022 | Our Silver City 2094, exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham/ UK
2021 | Cineclub Mocambo, Brazil
2022 | 14th Edition of Dakar Biennale, Dak’ART, Dakar/ Senegal
2022 | La Fête du Slip, Gender and Sexuality Festival, Lausanne/ Switzerland
2022 | 39th Kasseler Dokfest, nominated for Golden Cube Prize @ Exhibition Monitoring: Absolutely Killing It, Kassel / Germany