The Berlin Film Festival is one of the most important movie gatherings in the world, not just for the festival itself but also for the film market, where all sorts of films seek funding and distribution. It’s also home to the Teddy Award, which since its inception in 1987 has emerged has one of the most prestigious LGBT movie awards in the world.
Previous winners include Ira Sachs’ excellent Keep The Lights On, Marco Berger’s Absent, Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right and John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig And The Angry Inch.
This year’s Berlin Film Festival kicks off on February 7th, with the Teddy Award programme running alongside the main fest until February 17th. The Teddys culminate in the handing out of the awards in categories including Best Feature, Best Documentary and Best Short.
So what films will be showing this year, which hopefully we’ll get to see ourselves if and when they find distribution around the world?
Films include the much hyped Interior Leather Bar, James Franco and Travis Mathews’ film about recreating 40-minutes of gay S&M that were allegedly cut from the 1980 Al Pacino movie, Cruising. There’s also Angela Christlieb’s Naked Opera, about a wealthy but terminally ill man, Marc, who travels the world to places where Mozart’s Don Giovanni is being staged and takes on a young male lover in each city.
The directors of Call Me Kuchu return with Born This Way, about the lives of men who are part of Cameroon’s underground gay culture. The Korean White Night is about two men whose lives are a series of fleeting moments. They agree to meet in Seoul but only have a few hours together. Free Fall meanwhile is about a man who finds himself torn between his pregnant girlfriend and the exciting new feelings he develops for a fellow policeman.
Daniel Young’s Paul Bowles: The Case Door Is Always Open casts its light on a lesser known Beat generation writer, the titular Bowles, who was publicity shy and gay, but married a lesbian and decided to move permanently to Tangiers. There’s also the premiere of a restoration of 1967’s Portrait Of Jason, seen as one of the first unapologetic looks at a gay man, following the life of black, gay, self-declared hustler.
You can take a look at all the films that will be showing over on the Teddy website.