How was the TEDDY AWARD Opening Party at SchwuZ Club you ask? Why, it was grand, as expected. A celebration full of Sex, LOVE, and Rock’n’Roll. The arriving guests received a warm welcome in form of a free drink that could be won by spinning the wheel of fortune. Cheers to the colorful Teddy!
Panorama-Curator Wieland Speck joined the party and introduced to international TEDDY AWARD Jury. From Serbia and Argentina to Botswana, the jury work to get queer films the recogntition they deserve all over the world.
A special highlight was the Sissy Show presented by the one and only Pansy. The dragqueen animated the audience and invited to sing along (…my heart will go oooon aaaand oooon…). It was hot and steamy!
The TEDDY AWARD social media campaign #shutuphaters is fighting against hate speech of any kind. At the Opening Party, there was a corner where everyone had the chance to be photographed with their personal messages to all the haters. The results can be seen on shutuphaters.org. We invite everyone to join the campaign, more people = stronger the statement!
The new year is still young and there is already the perfect reason to throw overboard all the good resolutions. It’s Berlinale and so finally it’s TEDDY time. Beside the films and the stars, there are the parties which provide topics of conversations at these days. The best party traditionally takes place at the SchwuZ. And today is the day. The TEDDY celebrate grand opening party. This is the perfect opportunity to fall down in old habits and revive old vices. Of course, we will introduce the this year’s international jury tonight.
For all those who are currently panicking because they don’t know what should they wear tonight here are some tips to come down – our today’s TEDDY films.
Director: Véronique Aubouy
Cast: Julia Perazzini, Nina Langensand, Megane Ferrat, Pauline Leprince
Annemarie Schwarzenbach was a shimmering figure of bohemian society of the 1920s. A talented writer, she was lesbian, addicted to drugs, a globetrotter, bewitchingly androgynous and – much to her domineering Nazi-loving mother’s chagrin – also anti-fascist. Berlin photographer Marianne Breslauer described her as the most beautiful creature she had ever encountered. Schwarzenbach died young at the age of 34. She remained forgotten until the 1980s when her books began to be republished and her biography reconstructed. Director Véronique Aubouy does more than merely save Annemarie Schwarzenbach from obscurity, she brings her into the present. Sixteen young actors of both genders slip into different roles in order to play Schwarzenbach, her friends and lovers. Increasingly fascinated by the pull of this figure, their oscillations between genders becomes a joint project. Something that begins as an audition in which the young actors are asked to attach their biographies to that of the writer, ends in a dance of relationships in which the borders between reality and dramatization are blurred.
Director: Rosa von Praunheim
Cast: Hanno Koffler, Andreas Marquardt, Luise Heyer, Marion Erdmann
When karate champ Andreas Marquardt thinks about himself he feels nothing but bitterness: ‘I refused to feel anything. I was cold, like a block of ice, I couldn’t give a shit about anything.’ When he was two years old, his father poured water over him and put him outside on the balcony in subzero temperatures. Another time he crushed his hand. When he was six, his mother began to seduce him: ‘Your prick belongs to me, my little friend.’ Later, Andreas became a pimp and earned millions – until he wound up behind bars. Lovely Marion was the only one who stood by him, who went on the game for him, and gave him the courage to go on … Interspersing interviews with dramatized scenes from Andreas Marquardt’s biography, Rosa von Praunheim describes a life that veers from fear and humiliation to contempt, hatred and brutality. Filmed in stylised sets replete with photographic wallpaper that recall West Berlin décor at the time, the film provides a shocking insight into the deep wounds caused by domestic violence and one man’s desperate attempts at resistance. Is it possible to break out of such a vicious circle? And how does Andreas Marquardt cope with these experiences today?
Director: Filipe Matzembacher, Marcio Reolon
Cast: Mateus Almada, Maurício José Barcellos, Elisa Brites, Francisco Gick
Having been good friends for years, Martin and Tomaz now find themselves on the cusp of adulthood. Martin’s father sends his son to southern Brazil, where the family is from, to sort out an inheritance matter. Tomaz accompanies him there. For both of them, the brief excursion to the coastal town becomes a journey into themselves. It’s not just the sea that nearly reaches the doors of the country house which exerts a slow, yet relentless pull on them – the two friends have the same effect on one other. Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon’s richly atmospheric, autobiographically inspired feature debut follows its two main characters on a weekend that will change their relationship forever. Beira-Mar is a wander through the borderlands between love and friendship, exploring sexual orientation and personal identity. The outstanding camerawork picks up on the protagonists’ complex emotional states in the same way as the soundtrack captures the roaring of the sea: gentle and powerful in equal measure. Always on an equal footing with the subject and the characters, the film creates a moment of magic and tenderness. Looking for love and finding it are sometimes one and the same thing.
In the world of fetishes there’s a niche for every type of proclivity. Arwed caters to a special type of customer: he runs a private prison where he is happy to find all sorts of ways to bully and victimise his paying guests on the other side of the bars. As prison director he is master of ceremonies; during the course of one week, he and his partner Dennis help fulfil their prisoners’ wildest fantasies. The inmates treat the days and nights they spend in handcuffs and leg irons as a real holiday – here at last is a place they can finally switch off and relax. The role play looks a bit like improvised theatre, especially when director Arwed and his assistant Dennis plan the next day’s performance in the bare cells and corridors of their institution. But even when using the whip these ‘torturers’ never forget to be humane and, in spite of their tough prison warder guise, they are fully aware, in way that is almost caring, of their responsibility for those in ‘detention’. Director Jan Soldat poses his questions offscreen, in the same interview style that he adopted in his short films.
Director: Lirio Ferreira
Cast: Daniel de Oliveira, Caroline Abras, Sandra Coverloni, Rômulo Braga
A ship with a circus on board approaches an island in the South Atlantic. During the evening performance the ringmaster and illusionist Kaleb presents an artiste named Zolah who immediately wins over the hearts of everyone in the audience. Zolah is Pedro, who left the island twenty years previously at the age of nine. His reunion with his mother Rosa and his introverted sister Raquel brings the well-travelled acrobat face to face with old wounds and buried dreams. Raquel’s world is the sea, and she always retreats to its depths. She wishes that Pedro could be a part of it. Questions begin to present themselves to Pedro. Why did his mother send him away all those years ago? Whilst islanders and circus artistes enjoy a lively exchange, Pedro and Raquel seek out a place of their own. Feelings of guilt, rivalry and burgeoning pride soon become a challenge for the whole family. Lirio Ferreira explores these siblings’ willingness to take risks in images of impressively virtuoso circus acts, combining these with elements of classical tragedy and magical images of the sea to create a brilliant cinematic experience.
How do you like Berlin? What is special about the city for you?
I’ve only ever been to Berlin in the Winter – I really must get here in the Summer sometime to really experience the city! But even with a mad festival schedule, and the freezing cold, I always find ways of exploring the city’s little corners, galleries and the revolving nightlife. What is that bar with pink fur covering the walls? I remember walking in there for the first time and thinking “YES!”
How would you describe the Berlinale in one sentence?
The Berlinale is the big, wintry bear hug in the festival year where you’re as likely to catch up with old friends as you are to see your film of the year.
What was your first encounter with the TEDDY AWARD?
I first started following the TEDDY in 2010, and then really got to see what it was all about when I came to the Berlinale for the first time in 2011. Traveling with this little tribe around all the screenings and joining in with the queer programmers meeting – it gave me an instant home within the Berlinale, which can be a little (a lot) intimidating the first time.
In your eyes, what does the TEDDY AWARD symbolize? What does it stand for? What makes it unique?
The TEDDY AWARD is a means to support and recognize the artistry and courage in these films that capture the personal and political of the LGBTQIA experience in our world. It’s about acting on what’s happening right now and not losing our (once so elusive) queer heritage. The films that we’ll get to see will go from here, from this recognition of even being acknowledged, all over the world. The TEDDY AWARD can be such a powerful symbol of acceptance and importance that can change the lives of the filmmakers, but most of all, can reach millions of others out there. And being part of this jury is equally important for us. It says that we’re on the right track to doing something important in our communities.
Tell us about a movie you’ve recently seen.
Sometimes when you’re programming, you just watch so many films on a tiny screen with your headphones that it’s hard to actually go to the cinema with friends and see a film in a wholly indulgent way. But it is so important – it’s that coming together in the dark to be totally transported into another world that makes cinema so magical.
Last week I went to one of my favorite East London cinemas, the Genesis, and saw Whiplash. The cinema has a small screen just full of big comfy sofas – it’s such a luxury to get tucked up and see a film that keeps you gripped (laughing, crying, screaming!) from start to finish. If anyone had tried to convince me that watching the training of a young jazz student would keep me on the edge of my seat, I would never have believed them. But I’m a convert now!