The Hidden Dimension by Container Love

The Hidden Dimension is a cinematic portrait of queer photographer Leo Maki. An intimate journey into the mind of the artist’s life in Poland. The film explores the creative process behind his work where sexuality, desire, and reality blend into art. The full film will be available online in May 2023.

Polish society is very strict and this got into gay culture too. I feel like in Poland, gay people are so used to exist in the shadows that some of them don’t even want to step out to the light anymore. It’s cool to be on Grindr, it’s cool to have an orgy behind closed doors, but taking naked pictures and having them published is somehow shameful since they’re there for everyone to see.

The Hidden Dimension is a short film about real-life diversity uncovering the complexity and the beauty of queer visual artist Leo Maki.

“Queer people are everywhere and they try to make a difference. But it’s a path full of struggles and a lot of sacrifices”, described the artist in an interview in 2022 with Container Love, the queer platform behind the film. LGBTQIA+ rights still have a long way to go in Poland, still one out of five countries in the EU that do not even allow same-sex civil unions and since 2018 had escalated the anti-LGBT hate speech across the country.

Through the story of the photographer and visual artist Leo Maki, The Hidden Dimension captures the mind, the inspiration, the struggles, and the self-created sense of safety of the provocative and captivating artist. Born and raised in Poland, the photographer opens up to share parts of his daily life and personal history and how that translates into his photography style where sex, nudity, and the stereotypical masculinity roles are challenged in front of his lenses.

The Hidden Dimension offers a deeper look into the intimacy, beauty, and complexity of queer spaces in adverse contexts. The film visually engages as an invitation to the artist’s mind carrying a message about the journey of self-expression in a mix of vulnerability and empowerment.

The film was co-created under awarded queer platform Container Love between Ben Galster -director, Christian Ruess -executive producer, and a group of acclaimed professionals in the industry that put their skills to service out of sharing a mutual vision and values. Even though when LGBTQIA+ stories have gained representation in recent years -especially in advertising and fictional productions- there is still a huge gap to a global understanding that celebrates diversity as the standard.

The Hidden Dimension is a reminder that queer identities matter, exist, and they must be considered when building up democratic and safe societies for everyone. 

Ben Galster, Director of The Hidden Dimension

Ben is an award-winning director based in Berlin and London. His work combines authentic storytelling with the influences of contemporary cinema, creative arts, global culture and music. His work has garnered international recognition and has been featured in film festivals and publications like Aestehtica, 1.4, Berlin Commercial, ICA, Dazed & Confused, Directors Notes, i-D Magazine and Promo News. He has also directed films for global brands such as Adidas, John Frieda, L’Oréal, Toyota and others.

Christian Ruess, Executive Producer of The Hidden Dimension

Chris is the founder of the Berlin-based Studio Christian Ruess and the global platform Container Love. As a creative director and photographer, he made a name in the industry working for several well-known advertising agencies creating acclaimed campaigns for brands like H&M, Zalando, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW having great recognition, published in media such as Vogue, L’Officiel, GQ, Document Journal, and receiving multiple awards. Passionate about diversity, lifestyle, and fashion, he provides an alternative to the stereotypical industry.

Starring. Leo Maki
Production Company. SCR/ Container Love
Executive Producer. Christian Ruess
Director. Ben Galster
Cinematography. Bernhard Russow
Producer. Julia Groszek
Editor. David Fabra @SEC
Colorist. Joseph Bicknell @Company3
VFX. Katalyst Berlin
Additional VFX. Tobias Lamp & Peter Marsden
Data Artist. Harald Schack & Tim Hunkemöller @Grotesk Group
Music. Gordian Gleiß @86 Tales
Sound Design & Mix. Dennis Beckmann
Artwork. Funs Kurstjens & Steffen Leukel @OOOZ Design Club