The 29th Teddy Awards

Berlinale 2015! This years Teddy Jury had a lots of work to do: there have never been as many queer movies at the Berlinale as this year.  And as former mayor Klaus Wowereit said: „There’s so much pressure on LGBT people these days, everywhere and anytime and so we should never stop to focus on it and tell those stories in movies.“

So it’s been the perfect coincidence that the special award of the jury went to „The stories of our lives“ by Jim Chuchu/NEST, a movie in five episodes about gay people, who are persecuted in Kenya. The director cried a little bit on the stage as he received his Teddy and said: „I am so sad, that those people won’t see this movie!“

The award for best feature film won „Nasty Baby“ by Sebastián Silva, a story about two middle-class gay men, who want to have a child with their best friend. It reflects the queer reality in the U.S.A.

Best short film is „San Cristobal“ by Omar Zúñiga Hidalgo which tells the story about a gay couple that lives in a fishing village, who are in danger as their relationship got public.

The best documentary is „El hombre nuevo“ by Aldo Garay. The director accompanied Stephanía, who was born as Roberto, for nearly 20 years and reflects the fight of Trans*people in Latin America for acceptance.

This years winner of the Special TEDDY AWARD is Udo Kier, who participated in many high-trash movies and always was a special character in the mainstream movie industry, he is the needed sparkle of queerness in Hollywood.

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And last, but not least the The David Kato Vision & Voice Award went to Martha Tholanah from Zimbabwe. She’s a HIV positive activist, who risks her live every day, because she supports LGBTI people all over her country. She was very touched, because the majority of african states have rigid gay laws and every helping hand is needed.

The Gala, which was dedicated to director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, was presented by a wooden and charming Jochen Schropp, who instantly complaint about the skipped rehearsals. Also, there was a lot of musical entertainment, it was the night of the divas. Okay, that’s not a surprise, but it’s been a special momrnt, when the long companion and ex-wife of Werner Fassbinder, performed chansons he wrote for her. We also saw Katherine Mehrling from the Ensemble der Komischen Oper, the mezzo-soprano Agnes Zwierko and the Electro Pop Band „POP:SCH“ from Vienna with their song „Shut up haters“ against homophobia. Unfortunately I can’t: this band was simply crap and I really would like to know, why we need a trash pop combo like this, when there are so many talented queer bands in Berlin, who would love to pay their rent with music? They also performed at the after show party at the Schwuz and everybody laughed. Not very polite, but it was ridiculous. The Ballet of the Komischen Oper performed and the cocktail cherry of gay entertainment was the Cycleartistic duo „Felix and Flow“ who handed over the awards and seemed to be more than embarrassed. All in all it’s been an old-fashioned, but classy and queer evening with a lot of VIP in the audience. The conclusion of the evening and award winners in the lady’s room was: „Man, what a nice show, but there are too many dicks, if you ask me.“ Very funny, but the truth is, that there weren’t enough politic relevant movies directed by women in the competition. The quote also been a big theme at the Berlinale, but I don’t want to open this box now.

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