Blogging Berlin :: Crazy Days & Nights
(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 on the films he sees and the events he attends.)
Day 3: My apologies, as this post is so late. It has been a crazy few days here in Berlin.
I’m sitting here writing this on Wednesday and looking back to Sunday. What an amazing day. After a very late Saturday night with hitting the bars in Schoneberg (basically the gayborhood of Berlin) we were up and about watching films. First up was "The Case Against 8" straight from Sundance. I’m conflicted about this film. We’ve had gay marriage in Massachusetts for 10 years now. How does the Prop 8 issue affect us? Well, the film is very powerful and had many people crying. Can it work in Boston? I’m curious.
I skipped a couple of the Teddy films as they were screening in theatres that were pretty far away and instead had lunch with programmers from the Toronto LGBT film fest. I also skipped some films that people had warned me about. That is how this works. All festival people talk and if a film is terrible then we know to look for other films and not to waste our time on a film that isn’t going to work on our audience.
Appropriate for Boston?
We then saw "Appropriate Behavior" (also from Sundance) and I have to say that it was one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time. Lesbian. Persian. Brooklyn. Smart and funny. I loved this film.
The producer was at the screening, and I did my best to convince her to come to Boston with the film. So very good. It is a very refreshing take on love and family. Wow. So good. Will we get it? Don’t know. We are in April this year and before the Tribeca Film Fest. If a film is amazing then they aim for that fest. Frustrating but totally understanding. Tribeca is a festival that offers many films an entry point to the US market. Last year we got GBF directly from them. This year? Being before them might be a pain in the ass and cost us a film or two.
@ the Panorama party
I left the film and the group of us headed to the Panorama party. Panorama is the main part of the Berlin Film Fest and the party is the highlight. The Berlinale staff is there. It is an open bar. It is a great chance to catch up and make festival connections. I had a wonderful conversation with Ocean Leroy, a performance artist who has done shows in Boston over the years. I got a copy of the latest work, which is an examination of gender in a "real-world" setting.
Chatted with a woman from Zurich who works for Art Basel about cities with smoking bans. She had just come from Miami and Berlin was annoying her as they are actually enforcing the ban in bars and restaurants here. The party broke up around 9 p.m. and we headed to the LGBT Teddy Shorts program. I’ll talk more about that later. It is invitation only (for badge holders) and everyone goes!
And of course, since this is Berlin, we all ended up back in Schoneberg: boy bars awaited. It was another late night followed by an early morning. Berlin can be exhausting. More to come!