Tag Archives: Jury

MEET THE JURY: GUSTAVO SCOFANO

Name: Gustavo Scofano
Country: Brazil
Festival: Festival do Rio, the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival

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How do you like Berlin? What is special about the city for you?

I love Berlin. I’ve been coming to the city since 2008 and it’s one of my favorite places still. It’s a cliché, but the amazing people there really make for an amazing time every year.

How would you describe the Berlinale in one sentence?

Great, very diverse programming, splendid market and some of the best parties on the festival circuit!

In your eyes, what does the TEDDY AWARD symbolize? What does it stand for? What makes it unique?

The award is amazing not only for its capacity of highlighting and giving visibility to films which would not normally get as much screen time, but also because of how pioneering it has always been. The way the award and foundation dialogue with the city’s art and queer scenes and the great web of filmmakers, artists and programmers from all over the world it has amassed over the past decades are also pretty remarkable.

Tell us about a movie you’ve recently seen.

It has to be two! Back in December I watched Konchalovsky’s The Postman’s White Nights, which I had missed earlier in the year and was awestruck. The amount of love and affection that the film shows for its characters is very heart-warming and that, combined with its glacial settings, made it a real experience for me.
The other one was Mike Nichols’ Heartburn. I watched it for the umpteenth time on New Year’s day and it only gets better. It really is the perfect film for me, if such a thing were to exist.

Meet the Jury: Shana Myara

Name: Shana Myara
Country: Canada
Festival: Vancouver Queer Film Festival

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How do you like Berlin? What is special about the city for you?

This is my second trip to Berlin. It’s very affecting to be here, since I’m the first member of my family to return since my grandmother fled in 1940.

How would you describe the Berlinale in one sentence?

It’s a film-lovers festival–for a queer diversity of us.

What was your first encounter with the TEDDY AWARD?

In 2007, I saw Tilda Swinton at the Teddy Awards Gala!

In your eyes, what does the TEDDY AWARD symbolize? What does it stand for? What makes it unique?

It’s an incredibly important prize, and it shows that The Berlinale takes pride in its LGBT themes. Importantly, it also sends an vital cultural message about acceptance that transcends film and hopefully enters everyday life.

Tell us about a movie you’ve recently seen.

Le Bal. With my mother last night. Extraordinary film and vision.

MEET THE JURY : BRADLEY FORTUIN

Name: Bradley Fortuin
Country: Namibia
Festival: Batho Ba Lorato Film Festival

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How do you like Berlin? What is special about the city for you? 

Berlin is a very beautiful city filled with beautiful people and extraordinary places and sights. It’s richness in history, art, fashion and even its advanced technology – which I love and admire – sets it apart from all other major world cities.

How would you describe the Berlinale in one sentence? 

Berlinale in one sentence! A amazingly great platform that helps to uplift and recognize amazing and well deserved talent and that changes the world as well!

What was your first encounter with the TEDDY AWARD?

My first encounter with the TEDDY AWARD was on YouTube after reading about it in a magazine and it’s always been a dream to attend it.

In your eyes, what does the TEDDY AWARD symbolize? What does it stand for? What makes it unique?

The TEDDY AWARD to me is like voice for the voiceless. It helps to change people’s lives and inspires them to do and be better not only at their craft but also as an individual human being. It celebrates the LGBTI community and creates awareness and also educates which is what I love. It brings people from all over the world and from different backgrounds together as one big happy family and just like a teddy bear it makes one feel warm, fuzzy and welcoming.

Tell us about a movie you’ve recently seen.

The latest movie I watched is The Book Thief directed by Brian Percival, which I found extraordinary engaging and extremely moving. Well written and directed.

MEET THE JURY : YVONNE P. BEHRENS

Name: Yvonne P. Behrens
Country: Germany
Festivals: Portland Queer Film Festival, Portland German Film Festival

Yvonne P. Behrens

How do you like Berlin? What is special about the city for you?

I love Berlin, it is vibrant, has a huge history and I love those old huge buildings and the architecture. I also love going to swap meets.

The movie history associated with Berlin is most special for me, the Babelsberg Film Studios, the UFA films, the Berlin International Film Festival. And I am tremendously proud to see new blockbuster movies coming out in the USA and those then have being filmed in Babelsberg.

How would you describe the Berlinale in one sentence?

Epic and most relevant for movies.

What was your first encounter with the TEDDY AWARD?

The TEDDY AWARD is and always was for me a fist look in what queer movies would come out in a year and which ones might be suitable for our film festival and of cause which movie I might want to see personally.

In your eyes, what does the TEDDY AWARD symbolize? What does it stand for? What makes it unique?

The TEDDY AWARD is the “Oscar” for queer filmmaking. It gives queer cinema an international visibility and opportunity to see queer films from all over the world which would probably not make it into your local theater and because of getting a major award, these films  are now being picked up for larger distribution and made available to a border audience.  The TEDDY AWARD stands for “achievement” in queer cinema and because of that genre it is unique.

Tell us about a movie you’ve recently seen.

STILL ALICE with Julianne Moore. It is hiding home as most everybody knows someone who is affected by Alzheimer’s and this is a film with a great story, and brilliant actors. Julianne Moore already got the Golden Globe, a SAG Award and she is deserving the Academy Award for her performance!

MEET THE JURY : PREDRAG AZDEJKOVIC

Name : Predrag Azdejković
Country: Serbia
Festival: international queer film festival “Merlinka”

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How do you like Berlin? What is special about the city for you? 

At least once a year I’m in Berlin. I can say that the reasons for my visits are sad and happy at the same time, because the majority of my friends left Serbia and now live in Berlin, and that’s sad, but at the same time I’m happy that I have the reasons to visit Berlin so frequently. Berlin is the city that I love very much, because you can be whatever you want without fear of violence.

How would you describe the Berlinale in one sentence? 

Berlinale is the most important film festival in Europe, a big film fair were you see the most important films of the year. Also, Berlinale is a resource center for many smaller festivals, were you can find what you need, from newest queer films to distributors contacts.

What was your first encounter with the TEDDY AWARD?

The Serbian film “Marble Ass” with Vjeran Miladinovic Merlinka in the main role received the TEDDY AWARD in 1995. Merlinka was killed in 2003, and we named our festival after her in 2009. It was so important that such film received the TEDDY AWARD.

In your eyes, what does the TEDDY AWARD symbolize? What does it stand for? What makes it unique?

TEDDY AWARD is a part of film history, but also part of the LGBT movement and queer art history. TEDDY acknowledges many important low budget queer films from all over the world and gave a boost to many filmmakers to create queer films. In many cases awards are recognition of a brilliant film, but in TEDDY’s case it’s also a contribution to better fate of that film. We still live in a homophobic world where we must sometimes hide the queer element of the film if we want successes. TEDDY is contributing to that success without hiding the queer element. Und das ist auch gut so.