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What happened to the film releases from 2020?

Just a few days after the exhilarating climax of the Berlinale – the TEDDY GALA 2020 – the lights went out everywhere, not just in our halls.

As you all know too well, the Covid-19 pandemic has hit cultural venues as well as professionals particularly hard, literally thinning the air they could breathe. Cinemas around the world have been closed indefinitely, film festivals have had to be cancelled or moved to a digital setting. At the same time, the private cinema – the movie experience at home – is becoming a popular evening activity thanks to the numerous streaming services.

But what about the movies? Weren’t these made for the cinema, and not to be used as an evening sideline to folding laundry?

We checked in with the TEDDY Filmmakers 2020 to find out what happened to their just-released films and how they’re coping under the seemingly never-ending restrictions.

 

Berlinale 2020 – One of the last festivals to take place before lockdown

Many filmmakers report that the Berlinale was in part the only “analog” festival they were able to attend.

Last year has been a very strange one but we have to say that we have been lucky in many ways. We managed to have our premiere in Berlin with you and also our national premiere at a film festival here in Stockholm before everything closed down. We are really thankful for that and still think about our time in Berlin and […] the amazing response we got from the audience <3

Hannah Reinikainen – Director from ‘Always Amber’

The Berlinale was the first and last festival we had the luck to be live at! Days after that we went back home and locked ourselves down… And we are still there.
I feel grateful though; I can’t think of a better place to have our only in-person live projection, being able to share with colleagues and audiences. […] It was beautiful to remember this strange year it has passed. Of course, our most beloved memories of it are from Berlin.

Martina Matzkin – Director of ‘El nombre de Hijo’

Berlinale was a great breakthrough for the film around the globe, during weird times… The movie is still traveling, this is so important for our LGBTQ+ community. It means a lot!!! […]
Also the movie was presented on many special screenings involving the Transgender Community in Brazil, and for Educational propose.

Diana Moro – Producer of Alice Júnior

From live to online – what changes does that bring to the movies?

Despite Covid-19, many of the 2020 TEDDY films were screened at numerous film festivals around the world, albeit mostly online.

We are quite happy with ‘The Twentieth Century’, though the pandemic has been hard for the movie industry, and especially arthouse films. Festivals tried to adapt as quickly as possible by switching online, which is a good thing because it keeps the circuit open, though the collective experience of screenings is not the same.  

Marc Nauleau – Producer of ‘The Twentieth Century’

During this last year, we have been virtually traveling with our short film all around the world: Argentina, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, US, UK, Albania, the Netherlands, Belgium, Russia, Estonia, Chile… And we plan on continuing the trip! It was amazing being able to share our piece with such diverse audiences. We are thrilled by all this!

Martina Matzkin – Director of ‘El nombre de Hijo’

Extractions seemed to do well at festivals […]. I found even virtually attending festivals to be difficult during times the programs were geolocked to certain regions. At the same time I got a lot of positive feedback about the film, and was able to participate in panels and discussions through zoom, which was really lovely. I think that film was a uniquely suited medium for switching to online presentations. However it can quickly get overwhelming to be watching films on a little computer screen all year. 

Thirza Cuthand – Director of ‘Extractions’

While some films can be transferred relatively well from the cinema to the computer screen, other filmmakers do not see virtual film presentation as an adequate alternative that does justice to the film. Nicolaas Schmidt reports resignedly on his film Inflorescence:

Knowing that Inflorescence, like most of my works, was produced for cinema and lives from its special experiences, I had a hard time with the decision to make the film available online. (It felt like a betrayal of my work and my own person).

Nicolaas Schmidt – Director of ‘Inflorescene’

 

Heinz Emigholz is also struggling with the screening of his film ‘Die letzte Stadt’. He is waiting for cinemas to re-open.

The theatrical release was planned for December 2020, then postponed to February and is now further standby. The online release is not an alternative for us now, we wait until the cinemas open again. Even if some festivals took place online, the visibility of the film through Covid-19 is much lower, festivals are otherwise the multiplier for the films of Heinz Emigholz.

Frieder Schlaich – Producer of ‘Die letzte Stadt’

How to make movies during a pandemic

How does filmmaking work under Covid-19? These filmmakers report on both current and upcoming projects.


Thirza Cuthand
about the shooting and the unusual editing via Zoom:

The last film I made last year was a short drama featuring special effects, stunts, and driving. And VFX. We were lucky to be able to shoot in a small window when the case numbers of COVID were very low, before the September second wave began. I was not sure how editing would go, but we made it work remotely through a lot of zoom sessions with screen sharing between the editor, myself, and the producer. […] It was a very strange way to make a film but the fact we were able to shoot it still was pretty awesome. This year the films I am working on are either still in the script stage, or are very experimental and I will be the only crew person filming things around my neighbourhood.

Thirza Cuthand – Director of ‘Extractions’


Heinz Emigholz
works simultaneously on several films and an exhibition:

Last week we started shooting his latest film ‘Schlachthäuser der Moderne’ in Berlin, which we want to continue in Bolivia and Argentina from April. Due to the pandemic, this probably won’t work out, so we are preparing for a postponement.

So there is an ideal and an economic loss, but so far this has not been able to stop us from continuing to develop and produce projects.

Frieder Schlaich – Producer of ‘Die letzte Stadt’


Martina Matzkin
also uses the lockdown period effectively:

As for our future plans, we had to stop the shooting of our first feature-length documentary. But we expect to start again soon. In the meantime, we have had the time to revisit the shot material and to develop new projects. We have even had the luck to be at online development labs and workshops… We have no plans to stop making films!

Martina Matzkin – Director of ‘El nombre de Hijo’

 

We wish all filmmakers the best for their future projects and films. Hang in there! We are incredibly excited and look forward to seeing what you have to offer.

On top of the cake you can watch these video statements from more of our fantastic filmmakers last year:

https://vimeo.com/showcase/8180348

If you want to know more about the situation of the film industry, production and filmmakers, feel free to click through the the following links. There is so much to discover!

–> like the TEDDY Talk – A look back to the future March 3rd 4pm
–>basically all of our amazing talks TEDDY TALKS 2021

Writers’ Challenge: WINNER

No idea what film to watch as you are patiently counting down the minutes until our TEDDY Films 2021 will be screened in summer? That’s where our Writers’ Challenge 2021 winner comes in!

Krzysztof Dubicki writes about his favourite queer film AND THEN WE DANCED (2019), directed by Levan Akin.

“Cinema knows a lot of love stories with the art of dance as a beautiful background to the core of the human connection, passion and excitement. Where there are devotion and dedication there are emotions and feelings. Some of them – like love – can take us to the sky and some of them – like a heartache – can make us melancholic and full of grief.

Levan Akin tells a moving story of Merab and Irakli, two Georgian male dancers from the Georgian dance school and their passionate way to discover their feelings for each other. As a background to the love elation, the director shows us amazing images of Tbilisi, the country’s culture and family’s connection and respect for the country and the traditional Georgian dance, that makes this film so unique and graceful, but also really masculine and strong. Scenes, where this dance is being performed, are just a delight. Especially that they are spiced with the amazing sound of Georgian music, that takes a spectator to the journey inside the tradition and folklore.

Merab (played by amazingly good Levan Gelbakhiani) is intensively training with his girlfriend wannabe, Mary to get into the National Georgian Ensemble, being focused on his future and achieving perfection. His steady mindset is being interrupted by the arrival of Irakli (in this role a very charismatic and handsome Bachi Valishvili), who becomes not only his rival during the dance classes but also an object of Merab’s affection and distraction. The mix of sensuality and masculine energy of the dance brings boys together as they are both starting to discover the lust towards each other. Conservative climate of the country and approach towards LGBT communities in Georgia creates a lot of hate towards gay people. It pushes them, to hide their true identities and live their life the way they are expected to. Merab’s love for Irakli (which feels like his first-ever true love) helps him realize who he truly is. The intensity of feelings towards someone, who has become his secret lover brings a lot of excitement but also confusion and drama, that affect this young boy’s broken heart.

This film is a great and successful (24 awards and 21 nominations worldwide) representation of Queer cinema. Yes, it does have a bittersweet ending and for some, it might be a cliché of another dramatic and sad gay story, but these kinds of stories actually happen. Especially for the younger generation of people trying to find their true self in the world that is not accepting them. Akin’s world is full of cheerful and ‘Coming of Age’ moments, that works perfectly in this movie. With the mix of folk and pop soundtrack vibes and great acting full of chemistry and honesty, this piece is an extraordinary work from the hands of a true artist. Just like the dance, which is so easy to lose yourself, it is equally easy to get lost in the charm and magic of this irresistible story.” 

Congratulations to our winner Krzysztof for his wonderful film review!

Now you know which film to watch next. Check out the trailer below and see for yourselves…

The TEDDY Talks 2021

Finally, the program for the TEDDY Talks 2021 is all set! You can find all the information about all TEDDY TALKS and our daily livestreams from the 1st until the 5th of March below.

TEDDY TALKS LIVE from the TEDDY TV Studio
TEDDY TALKS LIVE from the TEDDY TV Studio

TIMETABLE

MONDAY March 1, 2021

14.00 THE SITUATION ROOM
Zsombor Bobák in conversation with Michael Stütz, Head of Panorama
-> watch it ON DEMAND

16.00 A DIRECTORS EXCHANGE: our role in writing queer history
Milica Tomović, director of Kelti, Monika Treut, director of Genderation and Eliane Raheb, director of Miguel’s War each take a unique approach to moments of queer history in their films, that not only look back but also forward to what that documentation in time means for our future. Each filmmaker deals with either social, personal or political aspects of (queer) history and sheds a light on- and changes/creates a queer narrative. How specific/individual and self-reflexive are those different approaches and do they, besides portraying of queer protagonists, offer universal options of life in opposition to heteronormativity?
Host: Kristian Petersen
-> watch it ON DEMAND

Panelists: Milica Tomović, Monika Treut, Eliane Raheb

 

TUESDAY March 2, 2021

14.00 THE SITUATION ROOM
Zsombor Bobák in conversation with filmmakers, festival organizers and producers 
-> watch it ON DEMAND

16.00 TEDDY Talk – From Live to Dial Up Content: Queer Films Festival Trajectories after moving online
With global lockdowns forcing many queer film festivals to adapt a community event that is made to bring people together, to one without a physical community. How has the path changed for Queer Film Festivals? In order to reflect on how this affected our audiences, our filmmakers and our organizations, an evaluation is required. Did having a wider online presence bring in more viewers and how does the introduction of online screening platforms influence the future of Queer Festival Programming? With the large network of Queer Film Festivals being often the sole distribution for many films, does the element of an online screening modify this network and will this platform be an integral part of our future?
Host: Bartholomew Sammut
-> watch it ON DEMAND

Panelists: Skadi Loist, Nick McCarthy, Sridhar Rangayan, Sylva Häutle, Muffin Hix, Jay Lin

 

WEDNESDAY March 3, 2021

14.00 THE SITUATION ROOM
Zsombor Bobák in conversation with filmmakers, festival organizers and producers 
-> watch talk ON DEMAND

16.00 TEDDY Talk – A look back to the future: Distribution Strategies in the wake of a Pandemic.
Looking back at a number of films that celebrated their premiers at the 70th Berlinale and how their distribution path changed in the wake of covid, global lockdowns and online festivals. From short films to features and documentaries, we speak with Producer Paulina Lorenz, Director Ray Yeung plus industry professionals María Vera from Kino Rebelde, Björn Koll from Salzgeber and Martin Gondre from Best Friend Forever to see how their initial plans changed after the Berlinale. What were the challenges and how did these film teams come together to navigate a strategy when making any sort of plans seemed impossible.
Host: Merle Groneweg
-> watch Panel ON DEMAND

Panelists: Paulina Lorenz, Ray Yeung, María Vera, Björn Koll, Martin Gondre

 

THURSDAY March 4, 2021

14.00 TEDDY SPECIAL – #ACTOUT AND BEYOND
Panel discussion of the Queer Media Society on visibility of queer actors in the media and in the public.
Host: Johannes Kram
-> watch Talk ON DEMAND

Panelists: Maren Kroymann, Mehmet Sözer, Nicola-Rabea Langrzik, Peter Schulze, Karimah El-Giamal

16.00 TEDDY Talk – Building A Nurturing Work Environment for Queer BIPOC Industry Executives
The film industry can be a minefield for those embodying intersectional identities. 2020 saw a myriad of public commitments to equity and inclusion, but what work has been done internally to ensure that these organizations are equipped to be safe spaces for their LGBTQ+ Black, Indigenous and POC staff and artists? Taking a queer lens to Iyabo Boyd’s provocation to Build A BIPOC Power Pipeline, this Teddy Talk invites industry stakeholders to share their insights on the barriers we face when it comes to succeeding in our roles and advancing our careers.
Host: Lucy Mukerjee
-> watch Talk ON DEMAND

Panelists: Bianca Quesada, Masashi Niwano, Campbell X, Andrea Coloma, Sekiya Dorsett

18.00 Queer Your Program: Online Speedy Film Pitches
The annual two minute pitching sessions will be moving online and offered to filmmakers whose films are ready for distribution. Open to programmers, distributors and sales agents; join in to find potentially your next opening night film. 
Host: Bartholomew Sammut

20.00 Queer Industry Reception goes Online
An annual gathering of industry professionals from the Queer Film Industry, from filmmakers to programmers, to distributors and sales agents. What normally happens in person with a wine in hand and nametags plastered on your shirt, this friendly networking event will now happen online. We shall once again come together as a community, connect and network, chat about the year we had, the films we look forward to and also to have a little drink and a touch of gaiety.
Host: Bartholomew Sammut

 

FRIDAY March 5, 2021

14.00 TEDDY SPECIAL – Invisible Threat – Similarities and Disparities of the COVID-19 pandemic and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Two global public health crises, two invisible threats to human life. But in what ways compare the COVID-19 pandemic and the HIV/AIDS epidemic? What are the most striking differences? Is it ethical at all to compare the two? And what role can cinema and filmmakers play in tackling the harshest of realities brought by these viruses? Where do their responsibilities and political power lie? A conversation about visibility, power, trauma, memory, and film activism.
Host: Zsombor Bobák
-> watch Talk ON DEMAND

Participants: Wieland Speck, John Greyson, Dr. Alexandra Juhasz

16.00 TEDDY Talk – Queering Common Space
A Debate on Visibility, (Un-)Safe Urban Spaces and the Everyday Archive with POLIGONAL Office for Urban Communication and guests In what ways are queerness and queer practices represented in urban everyday life? Is visibility the key to a more inclusive urban future? In the discourse on what kind of city we want to live in queer narratives tend to be underrepresented – with crucial voices remaining unheard. To discuss the power of archiving this talk brings together protagonists from the project QUEERING COMMON SPACE – a digital living archive collecting visual and acoustic representations and documentations of queer memories, encounters and stories from common (un-)safe spaces in the cities of Tbilisi and Berlin.
Host: Christian Haid, Lukas Staudinger
-> watch Panel ON DEMAND

Panelists: Liz Rosenfeld, David Apakidze, Nini Goderidze, Nancy Naser Al Deen, Tzeshi Lei

 Don´t forget to watch the videos

TEDDY TALKS LIVE from the TEDDY TV Studio

Wir freuen uns auf den Sommer!
Stay tuned & bleibt gesund bis dahin!

THANKS TO THIS YEARS PARTNERS AND SUPPORTERS OF
THE TEDDY TALKS

brought to you by maxwell.smart

 

All Films 2021

We proudly present you the small yet great overview of this year’s TEDDY films of the Berlinale 2021.

You can also find the TEDDY AWARD 2021 film selection on our website. This awakens excitement for the summer!  

FEATURE FILM

DOCUMENTARY / ESSAY FILM

SHORT FILM

SERIES

Daily live from the TEDDY Studio

What a wonderfull week! We’ re pretty sad, that all magic of the TEDDY Studio is already ending. If you missed some of our amazing TEDDY Talks, you can watch all of them all on demand! If you want to browse again trough the TEDDY Talks Program of the 35th TEDDY AWARD , you can still find all information about the on our blog.

TEDDY TALKS LIVE from the  TEDDY TV Studio
TEDDY TALKS LIVE from the TEDDY TV Studio

We’re looking forward to the summer!
Stay tuned & stay healthy!

Thanks to this years partners and supporters of the
TEDDY TALKS

brought to you by maxwell.smart