Saturday, January 16, 2016

30th Teddy Awards News

The Teddy Award is being presented for the 30th time on February 19th, 2016 at the Berlin International Film Festival. Over the past 29 years of its existence it has become an important and respected emancipation award.  There are many news so post it's long, enjoy!

As some of my friends had doubts about why is the 30th time believe that the following will clear the doubts and if not, please dear friends be so kind as to count with your fingers (lol!) to realized that 2016 will be the 30th time.

A Brief History

When the first TEDDY was awarded in 1987, there was not even a ceremony.

Mini-sized teddy bears from a department store were placed in envelopes and sent to the then unknown directors Pedro Almodóvar in Spain and Gus Van Sant in the USA.

Neither of them has forgotten this and they both remain loyal friends of the TEDDY. And this was the beginning of the success story of a film prize that, despite all initial homophobic accusations, has developed into one of the Berlinale’s largest events over the years.

The TEDDY evolved out of the meetings of festival-organizers from gay-lesbian film festivals worldwide who had been getting together in Berlin ever since the Berlinale’s Panorama section (first called the "Info-Schau") was founded in 1980. The goal of Manfred Salzgeber, then director of the Panorama, was to end the isolation of gay-lesbian cinema and give it a platform where it could not be overlooked by the film industry and the public. It was these ideas that Wieland Speck, who was Salzgeber’s right hand man from 1982 onward and is today’s Panorama director, had in mind when establishing the TEDDY – Queer Film Award.

Since then films with gay, lesbian or transgender content have been integrated in all sections of the Berlinale. Every year, these 40 or so films compete for the three TEDDY statues. The international nine-member TEDDY Jury chooses the best short film, feature film and documentary. The cash prizes accompanying the awards are raised by the TEDDY e. V. staff, who work on a voluntary basis, and its supporters.

Past prize-winners include Derek Jarman, Rosa von Praunheim, Nan Goldin, Constantine Giannaris, Francois Ozon, Greta Schiller and Andrea Weiss, as well as Todd Haynes, Stanley Kwan, Heiner Carow, Lukas Moodysson, Tilda Swinton, Peggy Rajski, later Oscar-winners Rob Ebstein and Jeffrey Friedman.

Since 1997 the TEDDY is a bronze bear on top of a cobblestone, two symbols of Berlin, designed by world-famous cartoonist Ralf König.

Special Teddy Award for Producer Christine Vachon at Anniversary Edition

With her company, Killer Films, Christine Vachon has been producing movies for over 20 years. Without these works both queer and US-independent cinema would be hard to imagine – a dozen of these films have been shown in Berlinale programs.

In the early 1980s, as a student at Brown University, she met Todd Haynes, whose debut film, Poison (Teddy Award 1991), became the first feature film she produced. Ever since they have been an effective team. Vachon also produced the Academy Award-winning films Boys Don’t Cry (Best Actress, Hilary Swank 2000) and Still Alice (Best Actress, Julianne Moore 2015); and last year, once more for Todd Haynes, Carol with Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.

Christine Vachon will be honored with the Special Teddy at this year’s award ceremony. She will be a guest of the Queer Academy Summit and present, as part of the Teddy30 anniversary program, the Killer Films production Hedwig and the Angry Inch by John Cameron Mitchell, which won the Teddy Award in 2001.

On other news ...

The only official LGBTIQ (in short, queer) film prize at an A-festival in the world is celebrating its 30th anniversary: 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. This year’s anniversary program will present 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 has put together an anniversary program 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.

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.

To check other films in the anniversary special program go to here.

The TEDDY jury of 2016

As every year, organizers collected interesting film-people from all over the world who are involved in the LGBT-Community, for the TEDDY Jury. Here we want to introduce them to you

Augustas Čičelis, Lithuania

Augustas Čičelis comes from Vilnius, Lithuania, and is the Director and Programmer of Vilnius LGBT* Festival “Kreivės”.

He has an academic background in gender studies and has been involved in LGBT* activism and wider human rights movement for about a decade. Augustas has started to combine his passion for activism and cinema in 2012, joining an LGBT* film festival in Vilnius, which then developed into “Kreivės” – a wider annual cultural festival.

Building on earlier and cooperating with current other queer initiatives, it provides a unique space for film screenings, events and community building. The upcoming festival will be a part of the “Baltic Pride 2016″ which will take place in Vilnius this June.

Alexandra Carastoian, Bucharest

Alexandra Carastoian has studied Cinematography at the University of Theater Arts and Cinematography in Bucharest, Romania (UNATC) and she is a filmmaker, a photographer and a human rights activist.

In 2015, Alexandra won the “Young Talent GOPO Cinematography Award” for the film “It Takes Two to Fence”. She started as a volunteer by organizing support groups for women in order to build up a community and facilitating LGBT groups, as well as organizing cultural events.

She works in film festivals and has been part of the team who is organizing the two main annual festivals: “LGBT History Month” and “Bucharest Pride”. She is a founding member of the first NGO in Romania which supports trans* individuals and the director of the first Feminist and Queer International Film Festival in Bucharest, Romania, which took place for the first time in November 2015.

Alice Royer, USA

Alice Royer is a film and media scholar, archivist, and programmer living in Los Angeles.

She is the Legacy Project Manager at “Outfest”, where she oversees the “Outfest UCLA Legacy Project”, the only program in the world exclusively dedicated to protecting and preserving LGBT film. She is also an Assistant Programmer at “Outfest”, and has screened films for “AFI FEST” and the “Los Angeles Film Festival”.

In addition to her film festival work, Alice is a PhD Candidate in Cinema & Media Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she previously earned an MA in Moving Image Archive Studies.

Dagmar Brunow, Germany

Dagmar Brunow is one of the programmers at the “International Queer Film Festival Hamburg”.

As a film scholar she teaches Film Studies and Gender Studies in Sweden. Dagmar has been working for the “Women’s Music Centre (fmz)” in Hamburg and has been one of the initiators of “Ladyfest” Hamburg. She regularly contributes to the journal testcard. Beiträge zur Popgeschichte and is a longstanding member of the radio collective “Freies Sender Kombinat” in Hamburg.

After publishing an edited collection on Stuart Hall (Ventil Verlag 2015), she is currently co-editing the first German-language volume on Queer Film Studies.

Adán Salinas Alverdi, Mexico

Adán Salinas Alverdi studied philosophy at the FFyL-UNAM, CU campus.

He is CEO of “ACGIC, Global Cooperation Agency for Cultural Exchange”; “MICGénero, International Film Festival with Gender Perspective and Bestiario Films”.

He works as curator, artistic director, programmer, researcher and museographer in different museums and associations such as “Museo de la Ciudad de México”; “Museo Soumaya Plaza Carso”; “Museo Tamayo”; “Circo 2.12″; “AMAPCiA A.C”. and “MANIFIESTA. Foro de resiliencia civil”.

He is currently preparing a map’s exposition “Scenarios of modernity” in co-production with SIGSA, GIS and UNAM, and other NGOs working in the field of postcolonial studies.

Nosheen Khwaja, Scotland

Nosheen Khwaja is a Glasgow School of Art graduate and many things.

Her main role is as the artistic director of “GLITCH” – Europe’s first 10 day, free, QTIPoC film festival and also the chair & leading tech tutor of the “Digital Desperados 2″ month filmmaking course for Women of Colour.

Aside from a devotion to film she is also a practicing multimedia artist, designer, filmmaker, jewellery maker and audio-visual tech & problem solver. She has run workshops, co-curated cabaret nights & screenings, exhibited artwork and performed in Hamburg, Berlin, Montreal, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, New York and the UK.

Serubiri Moses, Uganda

Serubiri Moses is an independent art writer, photographer, and curator.

His interests lie in coloniality, language and cultural space. His research experience has been through writing essays and academic papers on contemporary art and culture, published in different magazines, websites and books; as well as through curating exhibitions and panel discussions.

His research includes, ‘Life mu City’ (2014), a research project on protest language and local Hip Hop in Kampala, presented at the Goethe-Zentrum Kampala; the “biennial contemporary art festival, KLA ART 014 (2014)” on urban mapping and social classification in Uganda’s cities. As a research intern for “Contemporary And – C& website” in 2014, he produced biographical notes on contemporary artists, collectors, institutions, and curators from Africa and its diaspora.

In 2015, Serubiri has received the “City Writer fellowship” from the University of Bayreuth and curatorial fellowship from the “Kadist Art Foundation” in Paris.

Xiaogang Wei, China

Xiaogang Wei was born and raised in Xinjiang, China. He was trained as an actor at the drama department of the Xinjiang Arts Institute in Urumqi and at the Shanghai Drama Academy. Having a passion for community work and a drive to contribute to social change, Xiaogang has continually searched for meaningful ways to share his drama skills with others and to use them in socially relevant ways. After finishing his studies, he has been volunteered for a few NGOs based in Beijing, and has been a consultant for UNICEF since 2005.

During recent years he started to engage himself on the production side of various film- and other productions benefiting different social movements in China. In 2007, he founded the LGBT webcast “Queer Comrades”, for which he hosted and directed more than 50 half-hour episodes. Some of his recent directing feats include “Cures that Kill” (Queer Comrades, 2011), a documentary focusing on the “curing homosexuality” practices in China, and “Strong” (Queer Comrades, 2012), a documentary focusing on bullying faced by LGBT students. Since 2010, he’s the executive director of the NGO Beijing Gender Health Education Institute (BGHEI) which houses the webcast “Queer Comrades”. Founded in 2002, it constitutes one of the first Chinese NGOs to focus on issues of gender, sexuality and sexual health, thus fulfilling a pioneering role in Chinese society. Together with the BGHEI, he launched a series of groundbreaking events in China, including the “China AIDS Walk”, the “China Rainbow Awards” and the “China LGBT Community Leader Conference”. Xiaogang is the Co-curator of the “Beijing Queer Film Festival” and a board member of the “Beijing LGBT Centre”.

Jay Lin, Taiwan

Jay Lin (Taiwan) is the CEO of “Portico Media”, Chairman of the “Taiwan International Media and Education Association (TIMEA)”, and Director of the “Taiwan International Queer Film Festival (TIQFF)”.

In 2015, “TIQFF” successfully completed its second year with festival venues in three major Taiwan cities as well as a country-wide road-show. During the 2nd annual “TIQFF”, Jay spearheaded efforts to create a pan-Asian queer film festival alliance.

“Portico Media” distributes TV channels and programming from around the world and produces a broad range of original content including LGBT-related programming. Portico productions have won numerous awards, including the prestigious “Golden Horse Award”.

Good Links

Suggest to watch the video "Teddy - How it all began. A short introduction by Panomrama curator Wieland Speck". Actually is an excerpt from the panel "As Queer as it Gets" at Berlinale Talent Campus 2011. To watch short version go here.

In the same link you have to check the photos from the 30 years of Teddy, some are truly outstanding; click the foto to open the gallery and will be able to see who are in each photo plus a comment on why they got the Teddy.

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