“I was always interested in film, especially documentaries. I like how you’re telling real stories, about real life. I think it’s amazing that you can turn it into a picture, into words, into a story”, Maximilian told The Portugal News.

The German producer shared how his filmmaking journey began. “I officially got into the industry around three years ago, working at a production company in Berlin, which was also making documentaries. From then on, it just kept rolling but I had always wanted to do a project of my own.”

“I wasn’t studying film at any big German Universities, where all graduates do a final project. So, I started my own graduation film… with 90 minutes for my first project, it might have been a bit much. It’s a long film, but it was a good experience and I really enjoyed it”, he added.

Discovering Tojeiro

In 2017, at a hostel in Lagos, Maximilian met Aljoscha Habel, the creative producer of the documentary. “He told me about this place where hippies live in the mountains, where they throw a weekly pizza party. I was intrigued, but I didn’t know why we should drive 45 minutes just for a slice of pizza.”

“I wasn’t 100 percent sure of what to expect there, but when we arrived it was just a very special atmosphere, you could feel the vibrant ambience. After our first walk around the place, all my doubts were gone. I’m glad he talked me into it. The people are super friendly”, he recalled.

Credits: Instagram; Author: inbetweenfridays.film;

Maximilian continued to visit the location over the years. He ended up speaking with Rudi, the founder of Tojeiro, and the pizza night, a place where every Friday, there’s a big party, with up to 1,600 or 1,800 people. The event is similar to a mini festival, with techno, trans music and an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet.

During the pandemic, the German filmmaker “wondered where it was possible to live carefree during that period. This place came to mind, so I rang up Rudi to see how he was, we talked, and he told me that Covid-19 had hit Portugal pretty hard. The community had to close everything down, so their source of income was gone. That was the moment I realised I had to go back to Tojeiro.”

The documentary

Maximilian explained the events which led to his team being assembled. “After Rudi and I had our chat, I immediately called Aljoscha Habel and asked him if he would join me on my project to make a documentary and he agreed. We started looking for a cameraperson and put an ad on the internet. That is how we found Annemarie Chladek, a young and talented camerawoman, who provided a lot of new ideas, with a great eye for pictures. We also knew we would need someone to edit the film and we wanted to get that person involved early on. So, we put a second ad online and found Henrique Dosk, an experienced editor.”

Credits: Instagram; Author: inbetweenfridays.film;

Since the project did not have a specific deadline, the crew just “went with the flow”, as they finished the editing process, they began to look for someone who could do colour correction, for example, among other specialities, and the team slowly became bigger. “I was lucky to find such an amazing team, great people, who it wouldn’t be possible without them. I’m super grateful that I found people along the way and that I still have them in my life”, said Maximilian.

The documentary follows Rudi, his former partner Katrina, their son Francesco and his current partner Bea, who are responsible for The Fridayhappiness Associação, an artistic cultural community working towards the goal of self-sustainability. Located in the mountains of Monchique, in the South of Portugal.

Credits: Instagram; Author: inbetweenfridays.film;

Far from the big cities and surrounded by nature, this place offers an alternative way of life with permaculture gardens, farm animals, and sustainability projects, including art and culture workshops. Volunteers from all over the world help manage the gardens, animals and daily life throughout the year.

Heart of the community

The heart of this community is the Pizza Night, which is the main source of income for the constantly evolving population. The event has been held every Friday for the past nine years, including Christmas and other holidays.

Credits: Instagram; Author: inbetweenfridays.film;

“The family puts all their work and energy into this one party every week and I wanted to know what their lives were like apart from the parties”, disclosed the producer.

In 2021, the production of the film began, the team stayed in Tojeiro for the duration of 5 weeks, where they were shooting almost the entire time. “It would get a bit intense at times, but it was quite the experience. The team and I lived in somewhat of a small trailer, a tiny house, because the accommodations there are small caravans and tents. So, the tiny house was already a bit luxurious”, described Maximilian.

“There are a lot of volunteers from different countries, getting to know them and living with them, was really amazing. And of course, filming with our protagonists was the highlight of the production because over time they opened up more and more, and we had incredible talks. Both in front and off camera. I still try to visit them at least once a year”, stated the German filmmaker.

With this documentary, Maximilian Geschke “wanted to capture the atmosphere of Tojeiro. Bring it to life with all the creativity and weirdness that the location has to offer. With people who don’t have 9 to 5 jobs turning abandoned caravans into Waffle houses, it’s definitely a unique place that feels like an adult playground”.

Credits: Supplied Image;

“I wanted to focus on the delicate balance between living in a partially sustainable community, with composite toilets and fresh vegetables from the garden and so on, and what it's like to live in a location that hosts visitors every Friday, polluting the environment and bringing an imbalance to everyday life”, concluded the producer.

In Between Fridays premieres February 18 in Portugal, on the streaming platform: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/inbetweenfridays

Please find attached the trailer of the film for a visual foretaste: https://vimeo.com/899652844/06ffdfc76d?share=copy


A journalist that’s always eager to learn about new things. With a passion for travel, adventure and writing about this diverse world of ours.

“Wisdom begins in wonder” -  Socrates

Kate Sreenarong