Friday, February 17, 2017

31st Teddy Award Winners

Posting winners as they are announced.

Very pleased with top award winner as well as this year jury gave some awards to lesbian interest films, thank you!

And the Teddy goes to ...

Una Mujer Fantástica (A Fantastic Woman)by Sebastián Lelio, a co-production from Chile, Germany, USA and Spain

Statement of the Jury:
A Fantastic Woman is a perfectly crafted film with magnificent cinematic approach that tells an intimate yet under-represented narrative. This film offers a very authentic universe firmly grounded by the mesmerizing and natural performance of Daniela Vega as Marina. Sebastián Lelio has infused the story with understanding and compassion illuminating the ongoing discrimination and marginalization of transgender people around the world.

To check Jury statements and info about each of the winners go official site here. Winners are in *BLUE.

The 31st Teddy Award is presented within the framework of the Berlin International Film Festival.  For 31 years the award has been rewarding movies and filmmakers, who, by engaging with queer topics, contribute to more tolerance, equality, acceptance and diversity in the society.  Prizes are awarded in the following categories: Best Film, Best Documentary/Essay Film and Best Short Film.

This year Dieter Kosslick, Berlinale Director, did a remarkable introduction to Teddy Award Program Guide and here it is for your easy reference.

TEDDY #31: The Heat Is On
The year is starting off in a great way. It is true that such sayings as ‘I’d rather be a cold warrior than a warm brother’ (Franz Josef Strauß, 1970, a conservative German politician) are emerging again in their new, post-factual versions. However, 83 per cent of Germans are now saying ‘yes’ to marriage equality. The 31st TEDDY AWARD is bringing us joy for the New Year and a hope that victims of the dreadful Paragraph 175 will finally (!) be rehabilitated. TEDDY himself is a strong part of the movement fighting for the rights of the queer community and this year also carries out an important task of reminding us to never forget (again) or to never run away back to our comfort zones.

I am glad to see such a wide range of TEDDY nominees in the Berlinale Programme 2017! Queer films are represented in Competition, Panorama, both Forum and Forum Expanded as well as in Generation, Perspective and Shorts. For the first time the Queer Academy Industry Meeting - the exchange between artists and representatives of the industry always has a very special energy due to the TEDDY dynamics - will take place at the European Film Market in the Martin Groupius Bau.

Monika Treut, whom I met many years ago at the Hamburger Filmbüro, the Legend of ‘New Queer Cinema’, receives the Special TEDDY. The reach and strength of her creations were best summarized
by Claire Monk in an article about Treut’s classic – ‘Virgin Machine’: ‘… one of the most anarchist, most cynical, subversively wittiest attacks on the current sexual policy’.

I wish all the guests and artist the most enjoyable days in Berlin and a great Award ceremony and Party. The Heat is on! No place for cold warriors.

As Mr. Kosslick mentions the dreadful Paragraph 175 let me share what's this all about as it is this year's Teddy Award Focus and no doubt that even when is talking about Germany, the issue unfortunately has become relevant again in 2017 when uncertainty is around a specific country and around the world. Sigh.

Both on the national and international levels, on the silver screen and in real life, the queer community has claimed many victories during the past decades. Nevertheless, much needs to be accomplished! TEDDY has been the vitrine of many of these fights, setting the Berlinale’s spotlight on international queer cinema, broadening what it meant to fight for queer rights.

Just having turned 30 last year, TEDDY isn’t going to slow down! The fight continues and the 31st edition is paying respect to both the community past and present generations.

Already at the turn of the century, TEDDY recognized the importance of remembrance and praised Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s “Paragraph 175”, an outstanding documentary about the dreadful German law criminalizing homosexuality. Almost two decades later, historians have shown how homosexuals suffered under National Socialism and many have fought for the memory of the victims. Lesser known is the fate of countless homosexuals after the war, the appalling story of the continuities of such an injustice into the success story of the Federal Republic.

This year’s focus is on the struggle of the members of our community who made it through these dark times, but also on the injustice of such a crime, still lingering like an open wound in German history. TEDDY is seizing the momentum of the present discussions on rehabilitation and reparations for the survivors and victims of paragraph 175. Our focus is on the unjust and unrighteous treatment of homosexuality in Germany after the war until the complete repeal of the law in the 1990s.

This year focus on paragraph 175 will allow TEDDY to educate the new generations, to remember the dead and to celebrate the future. It is necessary to draw the lines between the stories told by the award winners of the last 3o years, the task ahead of us as we demand justice, and the possible parallels to the stories voiced by our brother and sisters across the world.

Beloved movie aficionados, we have the responsibility to never forget the past victories, but also to reflect on the dark times in our history! Please join us as we applaud our living vibrant queer community and concentrate on the fights to come. For its 31st anniversary, TEDDY is more alive than ever and ready to dive into the current discussion. Like every year, you can expect top-notch movies, captivating stories, engaging events and one of the best audiences of the Berlinale.

So, indeed there is much going on at 2017 Berlinale Teddy Award and most interesting for many that read the blog is this edition Special Teddy Award to Monika Treut, a filmmaker who contributed extraordinary merits for the characterization of queer film making over the years.  Monika Treut coined as an director, producer and writer not only the feminist and lesbian cinema since the 80´s, but also the German-speaking independent film scene and inspired as an pioneer the New Queer Cinema to the US American Indie film. The courageousness and the critical approach of her topics and aesthetics are closely related to the liberating energies of the Mao-Spontex movement of the 70´s.  Her filmography is must-be-seen for all those that enjoy lesbian interest cinema and yes, have seen and enjoyed almost all her films.  To read more about the tribute please go to page 11 (English version) of the program guide at end of the post.

The following is the list of films according to what was published in the program. Tried to identify the interest in each movie but some are not easy to fully id; so, wrote my best guess to what interest predominates. For those with question mark (?) will try to read more to better guess interest and will modify post accordingly.

There is one film that called my attention as believe has some lesbian interest: Jassad gharib (Foreign Body) by Raja Amari.  Film is screening in Forum section, starring none other than one of my favorite actresses Hiam Abbass, and sure, has a very unconventional story. Surely film is not for all audiences and probably doesn't qualify for the award because story, but wish to share info for your reference.  Check info and video @MOC.

Feature Films

*Una mujer fantástica (A Fantastic Woman), Sebastián Lelio, Chile, Germany, USA and Spain (T) Best Film
Wilde Maus (Wild Mouse), Josef Hader, Austria (?)

Bing Lang Xue (The Taste of Betel Nut), Hu Jia, Hong Kong and China (G)
Call Me by Your Name, Luca Guadagnino, Italy and France (G)
Como Nossos Pais (Just Like Our Parents), Laís Bodanzky, Brazil (L)
Die Jungfrauenmaschine (Virgin Machine), Monika Treut, Germany, 1988 (L)
Discreet, Travis Mathews, USA (G)
Fluidø, Shu Lea Cheang, Germany (Fluid-all genres)
* God's Own Country, Francis Lee, UK (G) Männer ReaderS' Jury Award - Harvey
* 彼らが本気で編むときは、 Karera ga Honki de amu toki wa (Close-Knit), Naoko Ogigami, Japan (T) Special Jury Award
Inxeba (The Wound), John Trengove, South Africa, Germany, Netherlands and France (G)
Pieles (Skins), Eduardo Casanova, Spain (?)
The Misandrists, Bruce LaBruce, Germany (maybe L)

Casa Roshell, Camila José Donoso, Mexico and Chile (documentary) (T)
Casting, Nicolas Wackerbarth, Germany (GL)
Cuatreros (Rustlers), Albertina Carri, Argentina (documentary) (?)
Ulrike‘s Brain, Bruce LaBruce, Germany and Canada, 55’ (?)

Ceux qui font les révolutions à moitié n'ont fait que se creuser un tombeau (Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves), Mathieu Denis and Simon Lavoie, Canada (?)
Emo the Musical, Neil Triffett, Australia (?)
Freak Show, Trudie Styler, USA (G)
Richard the Stork, Toby Genkel and Reza Memari, Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg and Norway (?)
Weirdos, Bruce McDonald, Canada (?)

Perspektive Deutsches Kino
Ein Weg (Paths), Chris Miera (G)

Berlinale Classics
Maurice, James Ivory, UK, 1987 (G)

Panorama Dokumente
Bones of Contention, Andrea Weiss, USA (LGBT)
Chavela, Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi, USA (L)
Dream Boat, Tristan Ferland Milewski, Germany (G)
I Am Not Your Negro, Raoul Peck, France, USA, Belgium and Switzerland (G)
Mein wunderbares West-Berlin (My Wonderful West Berlin), Jochen Hick, Germany (G)
* 日常對話 Ri Chang Dui Hua (Small Talk), Hui-chen Huang, Taiwan (L) Best Documentary
Strong Island, Yance Ford, USA and Denmark (T)
Forum Expanded
Isla Santa Maria 3D by Oliver Husain, Canada (?)

Short Films
Berlinale Short Films
Kometen (The Comet), Victor Lindgren, Sweden, 11’ (G)
Vênus - Filó a fadinha lésbica (Venus - Filly the Lesbian Little Fairy), Sávio Leite, Brazil (L)
La prima sueca (Swedish Cousin), Inés María Barrionuevo and Agustina San Martín, Argentina (L)
*Min Homosyster (My Gay Sister), Lia Hietala, Sweden and Norway (L) Best Short Film
Perspektive Deutsches Kino
Final Stage, Nicolaas Schmidt, Germany, 27' (G)

Check available info and trailers @MOC

The Jury
Gizem Bayiksel, photographer and cinematographer, Turkey
​Sachiko Imai, LGBT film festival programmer, Japan
Hassan Kamoga, filmmaker and LGBT festival founder, Uganda
Saadat Munir, filmmaker, Pakistan and Denmark
Marjo Pipinen, LGBT film festival programmer, Findland
Carl Spence, SeattleIFF curator, USA
Martin Wolker, homocrom founder, Germany

To read about each film at official site go here.

This year the Männer Reader's Award got named Harvey, after one of the most important activists of the LGBT history -Harvey Milk- and will be presented by the following reader's jury: Stephanie Rohde,  Katayun Pirdawi,  Hannes Richter, and Ulf Spengler.

The awards ceremony will be on February 17 in the Haus der Berliner Festpiele and yes, there will be a HUGE party to follow with interesting performers as organizers always do.

The Trailer of 31st Teddy Award
Marion Habringer did the animation and cabine the artwork.

Teddy Program Catalogue

Check the Awards Ceremony ... Enjoy!!!

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