For those who want to learn more about our great Special TEDDY award winner JENNI OLSON we have recorded a conversation between her and SHARI FRILOT, Senior programmer at Sundance Film Festival, which is now available on our Vimeo Channel.
SHARI FRILOT in Conversation with JENNI OLSON
JENNI OLSON, film curator, archivist, filmmaker, writer and LGBT film historian was awarded the Special TEDDY AWARD 2021 at the 71st Berlinale for her decades of bridge-building work with which she has made queer film history visible and tangible. Jenni Olsons enthusiasm for the medium of film manifests itself in innumerable ways. She always finds the right instrument with which to put her curiosity and fascination into practice. She fights for the preservation and distribution of cinematic legacies and orphaned film copies, promotes emerging talents and has created her own cinematic oeuvre. She draws on a queer film network she herself has strengthened and expanded over the decades with her collaborations and influence. Jenni Olson embodies, lives and creates queer film culture.
About SHARI FRILOT, senior programmer at Sundance Film Festival, joined the programming team in 1998 and currently focuses on American and World Cinema dramatic features, as well as films that experiment and push the boundaries of conventional storytelling. She is also the curator and driving creative force behind New Frontier at Sundance, a program highlighting work that expands cinema culture through the convergence of film, art and new media technology. As Co-Director of Programming for Outfest from 1998-2001, she founded the Platinum section, which introduced cinematic installation and performance to the festival. From 1993-1996, Frilot served as Festival Director of MIX: The New York Experimental Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. During that time, she also co-founded the first gay Latin American film festivals, MIX BRASIL and MIX MÉXICO. Shari is a filmmaker and recipient of multiple grants from institutions including the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Media Arts Foundation. She is a graduate of Harvard/Radcliffe & the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program.
The moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived. Our jury has chosen the winners of this year’s TEDDY awards! We’re incredibly happy to present you the following films. And for all those who missed the livestream, here is the ceremony as video on demand
BEST FEATURE LENGTH FILM
MIGUEL’S WAR, Director: Eliane Raheb, Lebanon / Germany/ Spain, 2021
Jury Statement: This creative documentary is the story of a gay man, Miguel, exiled from Lebanon to Spain in the ’80. The strong emotional impact of the film is provoked by the alchemy of both the sharpness of the filmmaker and the genuinity of the protagonist. The excellence of the editing, made of multiple layers – formal and narrative – is an impressive art of the language of cinema to investigate recollection of a gay man who faced traumas, caused by war, xenophobia and homophobia. The extra-ordinary form empowers the storytelling to shine out as an honest self-confrontation with a strong universality regarding being queer, feeling guilty, family, love, migration and self-exile. The whole becomes a mutual experience to share: we are reminded of the power in longing for a queer redemption. If you want to tell a story, tell it like Miguel’s War. You can watch the interview with Eliane Raheb below:
Jury Statement: This immersive documentary highlights a dramatic situation, which would have stayed untold: the one of Alexander (a Trans man) and his wife Mari in Georgia. The narrative focused on the project of the young couple to escape the oppressive and repressive social and political context. For its intricate way of bringing the urgencies of the Georgian queer community though a personal journey, Instructions for Survival offers both the subjectivity of queer kinship and the cost of being oneself in world that demands your sacrifice rather than letting you be who you are. It shines out not just for its importance for the queer community in Georgia as being a simple and strong survival story, but also with its rather conventional but strikingly direct structure, a sensitive aesthetic and a consistent approach. It is an eyeful success that the camera follows the daily life of the couple very closely over the years by not being intrusive. The film is an essential act of militancy that reminds us with power, that personal is political. The jury hopes that the journey of both Alex and Marie and the film itself be with more and more achievements. You can watch the interview with the director Yana Ugrekhelidze below:
Jury Statement: For its unique and poetic approach to filmmaking during a global crisis, International Dawn Chorus Day reminds us that film, as medium, perhaps is the best way to document the past, the present and the future. Made of trivial video shootings material and a terrific creative idea, the film succeeds in being highly militant and shaking the audience. It raises unique voices to express the common political issues of queer people via the most popular communication tool during a pandemic. Using a surprising and original dramaturgy, that leads the audience to an unexpected point, this short film is a pure masterpiece. It represents a creative, fun and beautifully crafted way of making us remember those who continue to pay the highest price for queer people’s freedom. You can watch the interview with the director below:
In addition to the awards for current films, the TEDDY Foundation also presents the Special TEDDY AWARD for outstanding achievement and long-term service to a figure from the creative industries whose work has made an exceptional contribution to a wide-scale public perception and reception of queer perspectives in art, culture and the media. Previous winners of the Special TEDDY AWARD include Tilda Swinton, Werner Schroeter, Ulrike Ottinger, Monika Treut, John Hurt, Udo Kier, Christine Vachon, Joe Dallesandro, Evita Bezuidenhout, Rosa von Praunheim and Elfi Mikesch.
This year’s Special TEDDY AWARD goes to the film curator, archivist, filmmaker, writer and LGBT film historian Jenni Olson for her decades of bridge-building work with which she has made queer film history visible and tangible.
Jenni Olson’s enthusiasm for the medium of film manifests itself in innumerable ways. She always finds the right instrument with which to put her curiosity and fascination into practice. She fights for the preservation and distribution of cinematic legacies and orphaned film copies, promotes emerging talents and has created her own cinematic oeuvre. She draws on a queer film network she herself has strengthened and expanded over the decades with her collaborations and influence. Jenni Olson embodies, lives and creates queer film culture.
The 35th TEDDY AWARD ceremony might have officially ended yesterday but we’ve still got a few tricks left up our sleeves… Director Dasha Nekrasova joined our studio today, together with actress & writer Madeline Quinn and actress Betsey Brown, to discuss her feature debut THE SCARY OF SIXTY-FIRST. Consistently irreverent in tone, and reaching its peak during a memorable, psychedelic nocturnal trek to Epstein’s New York residence, the film exacts ruthless, mocking revenge on the perpetrator, while also taking us on a brilliant romp back through the history of film and the media.
We’re starting the tenth day of the Berlinale Summer Special with endless energy and positive vibes as a much-awaited day has finally arrived!! The 35th TEDDY AWARD CEREMONY is happening TODAY, the 18th of June 2021, at 7 PM!! This year, due to pandemic restrictions, the ceremony will be streamed live as an online event from our TEDDY studio. Catch our amazing jury – Esma Akyel, Samuel Girma and Sylvie Cachin – in action as they award the best LGBTQ*-related films of the year! Access the link below to attend: