Berlinale: Berlinale Topics


Teddy30

The only official LGBTIQ (in short, queer) film prize at an A-festival in the world celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2016: the Teddy Award. An offshoot of the Panorama, the prize has been awarded since 1987 in the categories Short Film, Documentary and Feature to works relevant to queer culture. Eligible every year are films from all of the Berlinale sections. Meanwhile, the award has achieved international significance. The anniversary programme presented a total of 17 films.

In 1987, before the still unknown directors Gus Van Sant (Best Short Films: Five Ways to Kill Yourself and My New Friend) and Pedro Almodóvar (Best Feature: Law of Desire) could be awarded the first Teddys, a number of filmmakers had already proven the existence of a cinematic culture that went far beyond the heteronormative mainstream. They included female directors, such as Ulrike Ottinger, Greta Schiller or Chantal Akerman, who is now deeply missed; and male directors, such as the Spaniard Agustí Vilaronga, the Israeli Dan Wolman or Lothar Lambert, who has contributed innumerable films to the Berlinale (not to mention the well-known greats of a distinctively gay cinema, such as Rosa von Praunheim, Werner Schroeter, Rainer Werner Fassbinder or Derek Jarman). For 2016 the Teddy put together an anniversary programme of rarely seen works, some of which had been made before the award came into existence, and were also why it was established in the first place.

Teddy - How it all began | A short introduction by Panorama curator Wieland Speck

In this context, the Panorama will be presenting a special screening, the world premiere of the restoration of Anders als die Andern (Different from the Others, Germany 1919). This film by Richard Oswald was the first gay film in cinematic history. Its restoration has been carried out by the Outfest Legacy Project / UCLA Film & Television Archive in Los Angeles and underscores the need to archive films on 35mm, at present the only reliable storage medium.

The films

1 Berlin Harlem – Germany (Federal Republic), 1974
By Lothar Lambert, Wolfram Zobus
Legendary film from super-indy filmmaker Lambert, one time most-featured Berlinale director, about the forms of racism in Berlin’s vibrant lifestyle at the time of the film's making. Brimming with cameos galore: alongside leading actor Conrad Jennings the likes of Ortrud Beginnen, Tally Brown, Ingrid Caven, Peter Chatel, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Günter Kaufmann, Dietmar Kracht, Evelyn Künneke, Lothar Lambert, Y Sa Lo, Bernd Lubowski, Brigitte Mira, Vera Müller can all be seen.

Anders als die Andern (Different from the Others) - Germany, 1919
By Richard Oswald
A significant world premiere: realised by the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project/UCLA Film & Television Archive, the newly-restored version of this cultural document of immeasurable value is screened for the first time – in a 35mm print, still the only reliable archive medium.

Before Stonewall – USA, 1984
By Greta Schiller, Robert Rosenberg
Info-Schau (former title of Panorama) 1985
The legendary film from Greta Schiller reveals a lot which is missing from Roland Emmerich's Stonewall - but nevertheless agrees with him in quite a few details. The world "before Stonewall", the beginning of the post-war gay rights movement: the German portrait of this dark Adenauer era in which homosexuals were transferred directly from concentration camps to West German correctional facilities and have not been rehabilitated is yet to come.
Greta Schiller later gained renown with Paris Was A Woman which she screened together with her partner and screenwriter Andrea Weiß in the 1996 Panorama.

Die Betörung der Blauen Matrosen (The Enchantment of the Blue Sailors) - Germany (Federal Republic), 1975
By Ulrike Ottinger
Ulrike Ottinger won the Special Teddy Award in 2012 for her incomparable lifetime achievement, of which this enchanting queer film is an early example even before her groundbreaking films Madame X and Bildnis einer Trinkerin (Ticket of No Return).

Die Wiese der Sachen (The Meadow of Things) - Germany (Federal Republic), 1974-1987
By Heinz Emigholz
Panorama / Teddy Award winner 1988
At a time when New German Cinema still appeared to be elusive, this artist and architect amongst West German filmmakers inspired with strikingly visual collages, associative streams and intellectual juxtapositions. An important work from an important German filmmaker.

Gendernauts - Eine Reise durch die Geschlechter (Gendernauts - A Journey Through Shifting Identities) - Germany, 1999
By Monika Treut
Panorama / Teddy Award winner 1999
One of the early researchers into the walled-in, gender-dualistic world of female and male, Monika Treut is at once a pioneer and veteran of Queer Cinema - an icon of the emancipation movement. She has screened numerous works in Panorama.

Hedwig and The Angry Inch - USA 2001
By John Cameron Mitchell
Panorama / Teddy Award winner 2001
Hedwig was once called Hansel and lived in East Berlin. After an operation and having crossed the border she now finds herself deserted by love, in pursuit of rock star Tommy, playing small clubs with her band in the US. This musical was produced by Christine Vachon, who is receiving a Special Teddy Award in 2016.

Je, tu, il, elle (I, You, He, She) - France / Belgium, 1974
By Chantal Akerman
In her boundary-breaking feature debut Chantal Akermann herself plays a young woman who seeks to address her experience of isolation through the study of other individuals. In tribute to Chantal Akerman, Panorama is screening two of her films: alongside Je, tu, il, elle, her Panorama film from 1983, Toute une nuit (A Whole Night).

Looking for Langston - United Kingdom, 1989
By Isaac Julien
Panorama / Teddy Award winner 1989
Now a star of the video art world, Isaac Julien has always first and foremost been a poetical activist, aesthete and cultural historian in the service of emancipation. This montage of archive material, dramatised scenes and literary texts creates an image of black gay identity exemplified by the life and work of Langston Hughes during the “Harlem Renaissance” in 1930s and 1940s New York City.

Machboim (Hide and Seek) – Israel, 1979
By Dan Wolman
Info-Schau (former title of Panorama) 1980
Today it is exactly the same as 36 years ago: love between Arabs and Jews is punished, hate and murder are accepted as normality. Dan Wolman casts a brave early look at this never-to-be-accepted situation.

Marble Ass – Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, 1995
By Želimir Žilnik
Panorama / Teddy Award winner 1995
Žilnik counters the homophobia and transphobia of Balkan societies which came to light years after the fall of the Berlin Wall with an early and anarchistic stand in what is still, to this day, one of the most extraordinary films to emerge from the entire region

Nitrate Kisses – USA, 1992
By Barbara Hammer
Forum 1993
A never seen in this way before, sensitively creative conquest of the female sexual realm, radically beyond the prescriptions of mainstream culture. Barbara Hammer has screened many of her works at the Berlinale.

Parting Glances - USA 1986
By Bill Sherwood
One of the first films which realistically, poetically and brutally embraced the then still taboo topic of AIDS. Parting Glances remained Bill Sherwood's only feature-length film – in 1990 he, too, died from the disease which is still wide-spread to this day.

The Watermelon Woman – USA, 1996
By Cheryl Dunye
Panorama / Teddy Award winner 1996
Racist tendencies might appear to have been expunged from emancipation and gender discourse – but this is far from being the case. The racism inherent in mainstream culture is not necessarily recognised as such by alternative thinkers. Dunye takes a stance with a reflection on a representative figure of this complex issue.

Tongues Untied – USA, 1989
By Marlon Riggs
Panorama / Teddy Award winner 1990
An early work of queer black emancipation from the then beacon of hope in the Afro-American gay rights movement – another artist and intellectual who died far too young from AIDS.

Toute une nuit (A Whole Night) - France / Belgium, 1982
By Chantal Akerman
Info-Schau (former title of Panorama) 1983
The director at the forefront of the post-war gender debate was already present in only the third year of the Info-Schau with this film. Virtuoso atmospheres between people and things, between spirit and world and time and space distinguish the work of this passionate artist who took her own life in October 2015. Panorama is screening two films in tribute to Chantal Akerman: alongside Toute une nuit, her debut from 1974, the radical Je, tu, il, elle (I, You, He, She).

Tras el cristal (In a Glass Cage) – Spain, 1987
By Agustí Vilaronga
A scandalous film at the time of making: an old Nazi and his young carer in Spain. A truly dark work about dark subject matters, the concealment and unrepentant nature of the post-fascist Spanish world when it had not yet begun to grapple analytically and politically with those grim times. In 2000 Vilaronga won the Manfred Salzgeber Prize with El Mar.