King Combucha (2021)

2021 King Combucha, 1 hour 25 minutes film with Dan Allon, Hordaland Kunstsenter, Bergen Norway

King Combucha is a still-drawing movie, with an original voiceover and soundtrack. It takes inspiration from a genre that was popular in the 1960s, and simply known as "still image film", a film made of still drawings and based on editing and camera movement, rather than animation or live-action. King Combucha is written and produced by Israeli artist Dan Allon and Finnish artist Ari-Pekka Leinonen. The film was created during a residency at Hordaland Kunstsenter in Bergen Norway in 2020, and was completed by working remotely, between Israel and Finland during 2021.

It narrates a story of two misfortunate travellers, who cross paths unintentionally three times during their trips, affecting each other's destinies. The outline of the story is a "journey story", based on three diaries Allon's had written, starting in 2001 on a trip to Peru. It then goes on to 9/11 New York, and ends during the Covid-19 Pandemic in Brazil. It incorporates some 400 drawings, divided into three chapters, accompanied by two narrators, opening up their feelings, thoughts, and dreams. The characters deal with their vulnerability, lack of self-confidence, and self-deceit, while they explore unfamiliar territories, carrying the profound feeling "someone's paradise could be someone else's hell". They have overlooked the privilege they had while travelling, even when they chose to travel when it was almost impossible. This film is also about proportions: choosing to focus on small self-centered details, when the world seems to collapse.

Based on a story by
Dan Allon

Script by
Dan Allon & Ari-Pekka Leinonen

Drawings, Voice-over and Drums by
Dan Allon

Music, Sound Design, Voice-over and Post Production by
Ari-Pekka Leinonen

9.7.2022 King Combucha at Contemporão SP, Sao Paulo Brazil


22. october 2021, 19:00

Film Screening: 'King Combucha'

Hordaland kunstsenter is proud to present a screening of 'King Combucha', by Dan Allon and Ari-Pekka Leinonen. Screened in the Hordaland kunstsenter cafe space from 19:00 as part of the artist in residence program.


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21. december 2020

Preview of "King Combucha" by Ari-Pekka Leinonen and Dan Allon + conversation

Two videos from our artists-in-residence

HKS is happy to share the first preview of "King Combucha", a new film by residency artists Ari-Pekka Leinonen and Dan Allon, alongside a recorded conversation between the two discussing the process behind the work.

Ari-Pekka Leinonen and Dan Allon were Hordaland Kunstsenter's artists in residence for November/December 2020. Travelling from Finland, Ari-Pekka stayed as the guest artist in Bergen whilst Dan, located in Israel, joined the residency as a digital presence.

Over the residency period they worked on a still-image movie titled "King Combucha", an image-based film with a voiceover, in a genre that was prominent in the 1960s. The outline of the story unfolds a journey that started 20 years ago in Peru, went through 9-11 in NYC, and ended in current Sao Paulo. The main motives are vulnerability, lack of self-confidence, self-deceit, and the irony of telling a traveling story in a time when traveling is impossible. We sometimes do not appreciate our luck until it is too late to acknowledge.

The full film will be screened after completion in 2021.


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