Blogging Berlin :: Meet Teddy
Editor’s note: James Nadeau is the Executive Director of the Boston LGBT Film Festival. He is currently in Berlin attending the 64th Annual Berlin International Film Festival (also known as the Berlinale) and will be blogging from it over the next week.
In the realm of world-class film festivals Berlin is up there with Sundance, Toronto, Cannes and Venice. However, the thing that makes Berlin special is that this festival features the premiere LGBT award: The Teddy.
Since 1986 the Teddy Award has been awarded by a jury of queer film professionals to films with LGBT content that are screening as part of the main Berlinale Festival. It was the first award of its kind and the first given as part of a large, international film festival. Among the winners since its inception include Law of Desire, Poison, Go Fish, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Kids Are All Right and Keep The Lights On.
The Teddy Award brings queer festival programmers (such as myself), filmmakers, and distributors from all over the world to Berlin. We all congregate here and watch films, plot and scheme, and over the years have created a network for queer film that stretches from Los Angeles to Toronto to Mumbai and many other places. If you are part of the international queer film community (or want to be) then plan on being in Berlin in February. It is where many, many films you’ll be hearing about in the next 12-18 months make their debut. It’s exhausting. It’s energizing. And I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
I arrived on Friday and already am booked solid: I have 12 films on my agenda just for Friday. Will I make it to all of them? More than likely I won’t. I land at Noon, and head to my first film, Something Must Break (Nånting Måste Gå Sönder), at 2:20pm. I really have to watch this as it is the film’s one and only screening. I also have a meeting with a distributor and later that night the Teddy Grand Opening Night party.
The party starts at 10, but I have four films on my list for that time: Castanha from Brazil, The Dog and The Test from the US and Night Flight (Ya Gan Bi Haeng) from South Korea. We’ll see what happens: party or film?? I’ll let you what wins. I’m going to try and behave. I want to check out the new Yves Saint Laurent doc which is playing at 10 Saturday morning, but that could be rough. Stay tuned for more from Berlin!