Tag Archives: Queer Cinema

Queer Academy Summit 2020

The Queer Academy is an annual convention of international filmmakers and festival organizers in the gay-lesbian-transgender context at the Berlinale. The QUEER ACADEMY aims to establish itself as an institute of queer cultural memory. The ACADEMY will become an archive of queer culture and history that binds together queer cultural productions and cooperates with other organizations. Since memories are essential for the identity construction, the QUEER ACADEMY will offer an opportunity for queer people to form and find their identity in queer memory.

TIMETABLE

1pm – 1.30pm: 
KEYNOTE – Darick Qin, Director of Operations, ShanghaiPRIDE

Established in 2009, ShanghaiPRIDE has faced extraordinary challenges in its fight to show queer films. Battling censorship and legal issues, every year it is more than a film festival, becoming a central cultural community event sharing screen stories about the love, hardships, growth and triumphs of LGBTQI* in China.

1.30pm – 3.30pm: 
PANEL: From Shorts to Series – Interdisciplinary Storytelling in Queer Narratives

In conversation with:
Athina Rachel Tsangari,
Director of Trigonometry, Berlinale Series

Lia Hietala & Hannah Reinikainen,
Directors of Always Amber, Berlinale Panorama

Ray Yeung,
Director of Suk Suk, Berlinale Panorama

Omer Sterenberg,
Director of HaMa’azin (Listening In), Berlinale Shorts

Gil Baroni,

Director of Alice Júnior, Berlinale Generation

Athina Rachel Tsangari, Lia Hietala & Hannah Reinikainen,
Ray Yeung, Omer Sterenberg and Gil Baroni

Moderation: Kristian Petersen

The queer narratives on display are strong examples of the different approaches taken by filmmakers to share their stories. Series delve into the complex layers of a character; fiction features experiment with different forms of storytelling to communicate our desires; documentaries present the courage of people taking authorship of their stories; shorts compress a complex story conveying more with images than words. With the diverse guests from this year’s festival the potentials of cinematic approaches will be analysed and discussed.


Free Admission / The event is held in English.

TEDDY ACTIVIST AWARD – WINNER

The TEDDY AWARD and the award donator HARALD CHRIST, entrepreneur and longtime TEDDY supporter, will present the TEDDY ACTIVIST AWARD for the first time this year. The award includes a donation of 5.000 € and will be presented annually in the future in the scope of the TEDDY AWARD ceremony. 

Inspired by the work and courage of so many activists who fight for the ongoing struggle of sexual and gender minorities all over the world, the TEDDY ACTIVIST AWARD honours people who work for change under difficult circumstances and in a non-supportive political and social environment and thus contribute to tolerance, acceptance, justice and equality in the world. In many parts of the world, this means putting oneself and the people around you at risk and exposing oneself to rejection, marginalization, isolation and persecution. The award is intended to honour the courage and determination of these people.

The TEDDY ACTIVIST AWARD 2020 goes to a group of activists who, at risk to their own lives, courageously and resolutely save and rescue persecuted homosexuals and transsexuals in Chechnya from imprisonment, torture and murder and bring them to safety. The TEDDY and Harald Christ pay tribute to these courageous people with deep respect and hope that this prize will help to ensure that the continuing silence and look away of the so-called “free world” finally turns into a worldwide outcry of indignation and that the perpetrators are ostracized and held accountable by the world community.

The Gay Pogrom in Chechnya:

On April 1, 2017, the Novaya Gazeta, an independent Russian newspaper, reported that government security officials were abducting, detaining, and torturing gay men in Chechnya, demanding that these men divulge the names of other gays whom they would then abduct, detain, and torture as well. Chechnya’s President Ramzan Kadyrov has openly described the goal of this campaign as an effort “to cleanse our blood.” He has called upon family members to carry out so-called “honor killings.”

There are no estimates of the number of the dead. Hundreds of Chechens have simply disappeared since the atrocities began, and hundreds more have escaped.

Leaders of the St. Petersburg-based Russian LGBTQI* Network established a hotline in the early days of the pogrom. They set up a series of secret safe-houses throughout the country, in partnership with other LGBTQI* organizations, especially The Moscow Community Center for LGBT+ Initiatives.

In the first two years, they moved 151 people out of the Chechnya and beyond the Russian border. Countries receiving them include Canada, Germany, France, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, Argentina, and elsewhere. The US government rejected all applicants stemming from the pogrom. 

Response from Chechen Leadership:

Ramzan Kadyrov immediately denied the accusations when they first surfaced, calling them “lies.” What’s more, he says it is impossible to carry out such crimes because they “don’t have that kind of people here. We don’t have gays.” Despite these statements, Kadyrov has publicly endorsed so-called “honor killings,” urging families to murder relatives suspected of being gay, lesbian, or transgender. His press secretary stated: “If there were such people in Chechnya, the law-enforcement agencies wouldn’t need to have anything to do with them because their relatives would send them to a place of no return.” Those who commit such murders face no criminal ramifications. Russian President Vladimir Putin accepted Kadyrov’s denials. Yet under pressure from international leaders, Putin briefly moved forward with a widely criticized investigation, which found no witnesses and victims willing to give testimony, fearing retribution. The Kremlin claimed the lack of testimony was proof that no human rights abuses had occurred. 

Lesbians and Transgender Women and Men are Also Targeted:

Although much of the reporting on this subject has focused on gay men, Chechen lesbians and transgender women have reported similar treatment. Survivors have commonly spoken about forced religious exorcisms and involuntary commitments to psychiatric hospitals, as well as torture and detention. Evidence has also surfaced of so-called “honor killings” of lesbians. 

Women have little autonomy in Chechnya’s interpretation of Islam. Male family members generally accompany them when they are outside of their homes, making their efforts to escape to safety even more difficult — and dangerous — than for men.

The Victims are Being Hunted Around the World:

Since the operational goal of Kadyrov’s government is the elimination from the Chechen bloodline of LGBTQI people, fleeing the country doesn’t give victims safety.  Authorities pressure Chechen families to hunt them down and return them for execution. And their reach is surprisingly far. There is a vast global diaspora of people who fled during the two Chechnya wars. 

In November 2019, officials called upon diaspora members to enforce Chechen mores wherever they live. In remarks widely seen as referring to gay people, Kadyrov’s right-hand man said: “I’m telling you, those who live in Europe, America and Canada: Stop such people! By law, with our traditions and customs, we should resolve their problem,” said Adam Delimkhanov. “We implore you, don’t let them embarrass the honor of our nation.”  There have been cases of Chechens being tricked into returning or being forced in their new country to record denials of their homosexuality. Some have been attacked in their host countries. 

It’s Not a Good Time to be Gay in Much of the World:

The persecution of gay people is not exclusive to Chechnya. According to ILGA-Europe, there are 70 countries worldwide where being gay is criminalized, including 11 countries where the death penalty could be imposed.

However, what is happening in Chechnya is categorically different. It is the only government since Nazi Germany to round up LGBTQI people for extermination. 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Masha Gessen, “The Gay Men Who Fled Chechnya’s Purge, New Yorker, July 3, 2017 https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/07/03/the-gay-men-who-fled-chechnyas-purge 

Masha Gessen, “Fleeing Anti-Gay Persecution in Chechnya, Three Young Women Are Now Stuck in Place,” New Yorker, October 1, 2018 https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/fleeing-anti-gay-persecution-in-chechnya-three-young-women-are-now-stuck-in-place

“They Have Long Arms and They Can Find Me: Anti-Gay Purge by Local Authorities in Russia’s Chechen Republic,” A Human Rights Watch Report, May 26, 2017 https://www.hrw.org/report/2017/05/26/they-have-long-arms-and-they-can-find-me/anti-gay-purge-local-authorities-russias 

“Honor Kill: How the Ambitions of a Famous LGBT Activist Awoke a Terrible Ancient Custom in Chechnya, Elena Milashina,” Novaya Gazetta, April 1, 2017 https://novayagazeta.ru/articles/2017/04/01/71983-ubiystvo-chesti 

“Novaya Gazetta Learned of New Gay Persecution in Chechnya,” Novaya Gazetta, January 11, 2019 https://novayagazeta.ru/news/2019/01/11/148260-chechnya 

ILGA Europe, “Sexual Orientation Laws in the World, 2019” https://ilga.org/downloads/ILGA_Sexual_Orientation_Laws_Map_2019.pdf 

QUEER EVENTS AT HELLAS FILMBOX BERLIN 2020


HELLAS FILMBOX BERLIN is a Greek film festival established in 2015 to highlight the current, highly artistic Greek film scene and present it to a German audience.
This year’s is the 5th Edition of the Hellas Filmbox Film Festival in Babylon, Berlin and we thought some of these events might be of our readers’ interest.

Gender matters (?) – Open Discussion, Fri, 17.01. 2020, 17:00, Hall 2

On Friday, 17 January 2020 at 17.00 at Babylon, Hellas Filmbox Berlin will host an Open Discussion with the title “Gender Matters (?)”. To date, the panelists will be Maria “Cyber” Katsikadakou, activist, director and Director of the LGBTQI film festival Outview in AthensNatalie MacMahon, curator, actress/director Founder of the Female Filmmakers Film Festival Berlin and Lara Celenza, director/screenwriter co-Founder of Female Filmmakers Film Festival Berlin. The subject matter revolves around the gender equality at workplace and specifically in film business and Media.

This is a free admission event but the seats are limited.

IRVING PARK by Panayotis Evangelidis, Sat, 18.01.2020, 21:30, Hall 1

Greece 2019, 117 min, Greek with English subtitles
Irving Park is the story of four gay men in their 60s, living together in Chicago and exploring an unconventional lifestyle of master/slave relationships.

The film is followed by a discussion after in the Oval (same location as the film).

Short Film before:
SO QUIET THE PERFORMATIVITY OF A PUSSY by Maria Katsikadakou a.k.a Maria Cyber 
Greece / Norway 2018, 8 min, no language

Tickets

Hellas Filmbox Berlin Full Program

 

 

13. XPOSED Quer Film Festival

This year, 43 queer shorts films from all over the world have done just this and found their way into the XPOSED program. 43 shorts that explore and celebrate queerness in filmmaking, finding a way of storytelling that challenges not only heteronormativity but also conventional cinema. Queer film icon Mara Mattuschka opens XPOSED by personally presenting her newest work PHAIDROS and will be our guest of honor at the Artist in Discussion session in Aquarium.

>>http://www.xposedfilmfestival.com/