Premiere of ‘Line Up!’ – a short film about Hannover female* music scene


Six artists, 10 months and one challenge: presenting the issues of equality, empowerment and diversity in the UNESCO City of Music Hannover’s music scene in a short film. The result is a short film with a vibrant sound, an exciting story and more than 90 enthusiastic participants – and the overriding aim of inspiring others.

The project was initiated by the UNESCO City of Music (UCOM) Hannover Coordination Office, which works in the international UNESCO Cities of Music network in the internal “Gender* Equality” working group cluster, together with the UCOMs Adelaide, Auckland and Norrköping, on projects that advance the issues of gender equality and increase the visibility of women* in the music industry.

The initial aim of the interdisciplinary film project initiated by the kreHtiv Netzwerk Hannover e.V. and the UNESCO City of Music Hannover in cooperation with the MusikZentrum Hannover was broad and ambitious: six creative artists from different disciplines came together in September 2020 to develop a joint idea for a film focusing on the themes of “Hannover as a city of music and equal rights, diversity and gender equality” and linking them together. No easy task for the creative team, who first met on the project.

The team, consisting of photographer and filmmaker Ghazaleh Ghazanfari, Jen Kurbjuweit on camera, guitarist Kassandra Siebel, filmmaker Janis Eickmeier, PR expert Karo Eggert and filmmaker and producer Martha Herbold, finally developed a common vision through joint workshops, debates and discussions on the topics of gender equality, empowerment and diversity, revolving around role models. The result is an inspiring concept that has been transformed into a huge production. The entire process is also being recorded in a making-of documentary with English subtitles, which will enable the project to be presented in the international UNESCO Music Cities network. “We want to show what Hannover’s female music scene has to offer; the short film, the message and Hannover as a music city are really something worth looking at,” says Alice Moser from the Cultural Office of the City of Hannover. “We are proud to have such a broad and solidarity-based artistic scene – and we are doing our best to strengthen it even further.”


The idea of the short film, to promote equal opportunities and equal rights and to convey this message to the outside world with and through music as a unifying element, has well received in the city: the film shows how many committed women* there are in Hannover’s music scene, with over 90 representatives taking part. Women* on, behind, in front of and beside the stage, who make music, dance, sing, compose, write, teach, control the lighting and sound technology, plan and organise, set up, take down and much more.

The film incorporates distinctive locations from Hannover as a UNESCO City of Music. It is set to a specially composed, urgent beat that develops into an increasingly interlocking rhythm. In it, the sound tracks recorded by the participating musicians combine to form a shared sound collage. Kassandra Siebel from the film team composed patterns individually tailored to each instrument, which were then recorded by the more than 30 musicians in the recording studio of the MusikZentrum Hannover.

The protagonist of the short film, played by Julia Buchmann, is upset by a festival line-up that is once again very male-dominated. On her way through Hannover’s female* music scene, she meets Laura Berman, artistic director of the opera house, Prof. Dr. Susanne Rode-Breymann from the HMTMH, Vanessa Erstmann from the Jazz Club Hannover and Luna Jurado from the Cultural Centre Faust – all women who play a decisive role in shaping the landscape. Also involved are musicians including Erika Emerson, Eva Klesse, Sobi, Anca Graterol, Lina-Marie Batteaux, Rabea Bollmann and many more: on the Maschsee, at the Kröpcke clock, on the stage of the Hannover State Opera House, at Hannover University of Music, Drama and Media, in the MusikZentrum Hannover or in the Nordstadt area of the city.


The six-member film team was actively supported by the clients and many other partners – but the artists still surpassed expectations. “Without as much heart and soul, commitment and initiative on the part of the creative team, this project would not have been possible on such a scale,” emphasises Christine Preitauer, Managing Director of kreHtiv Netzwerk Hannover. “We would never have thought that it would take on such proportions, and we are incredibly grateful to the artists and everyone involved for their commitment!” 

The project was steered by Franziska Schoch of kreHtiv Netzwerk Hannover e.V. As the coordinating body of the UNESCO City of Music Hannover, the Cultural Office of the City of Hannover established international contacts through Alice Moser and provided financial support. The MusikZentrum provided the project with premises and the recording studio, while the Women* in Music Hannover network carried the idea forward. The work of the kreHtiv network is facilitated by the business development agency hannoverimpuls, with further financial support from Gründerinnen Consult, the Hannoversche Volksbank Foundation and the municipal district of Hannover Region.


On 6 July, the short film had its glittering première – at an evening event with participants, partners and sponsors at the Kino im Künstlerhaus, with welcoming speeches by the Head of the Department of Culture of the City of Hannover, Konstanze Beckedorf, and the head of Gründerinnen-Consult Cornelia Klaus (Hannoverimpuls), including a discussion with the creative team and the project initiators. The evening was moderated by Luisa Verfürth, presenter, fashion journalist and stylist.