Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

DAILY DISPATCH FROM BERLIN: Honoring And Remembering The Best of Queer Cinema

By Eugene Hernandez | Indiewire February 16, 2006 at 1:25AM

While Sundance sets the tone for a host of urban and regional film American film festivals that pick and choose from the annual Sundance lineup when planning their own local slates, the Berlinale fuels an array of international queer fests. Each year programmers from gay, lesbian and transgender film festivals travel to Berlin to screen films -- mostly in the large Panorama section -- to find films for their own events later in the year. And a select group of those programmers watch all of the queer content to choose, at the end of the fest, the best films of the festival with the annual Teddy Awards (which will be awarded Friday night in Berlin)]. More than 30 features are competing for the prize this year.
0

While Sundance sets the tone for a host of urban and regional film American film festivals that pick and choose from the annual Sundance lineup when planning their own local slates, the Berlinale fuels an array of international queer fests. Each year programmers from gay, lesbian and transgender film festivals travel to Berlin to screen films -- mostly in the large Panorama section -- to find films for their own events later in the year. And a select group of those programmers watch all of the queer content to choose, at the end of the fest, the best films of the festival with the annual Teddy Awards (which will be awarded Friday night in Berlin)]. More than 30 features are competing for the prize this year.

Get the latest news, buzz and iPOP photos from the Berlinale in indieWIRE's special Berlin International Film Festival section.

Started when Berlin's Panorama was just one year old, the Teddy (named after the little bear that was first given as the film prize) remains the only queer prize awarded by a major international festival. Previous recipients include: Pedro Almodovar's "The Law of Desire" (1987), Marlon T. Riggs' "Tongues Untied" (1990), Todd Haynes' "Poison" (1991), Rose Troche's "Go Fish" (1994), and Sandi Dubowski's "Trembling Before God" (2001), among others.

"(Queer cinema) has come out of its niche corner," explained Panorama section head Weiland Speck, chatting with indieWIRE about the Teddy Award, "This was always the idea of the Teddy -- it has worked over the years." Speck expressed particular pride in the award's ability to showcase gay & lesbian films, nurture filmmakers, and inspire the creative of new queer festivals. This year the Berlinale has taken the new Indonesia queer festival under its wing, supporting the event's programmer who is here in Berlin to see films and meet other festival organizers. An annual meeting of all of the queer fest programmers took place in Berlin Wednesday night.

Also of note this year, Speck explained, is the launch of the new Queer Academy, an initiative that will make available all of the winning Teddy Award films from the past two decades. Organizers plan to expand to include online resources such as information and resources for the nearly 600 films that have been eligible for the Berlinale Teddy Award since it was formed 20 years ago.

"Fabulous!" Doc Debuts

Particularly timely, given the celebration of twenty years of The Teddy Award, is this week's Panorama premiere of Lisa Ades & Lesli Klainberg's "Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema," a new Independent Film Channel/Netflix documentary exploring the roots of the gay, lesbian and trans films dating back to the work of experimental filmmakers in the 1940s.

Structured around a timeline of seminal queer cinema events, "Fabulous" is bookended by Kenneth Anger's "Fireworks" (1947) and Ang Lee's Oscar nominated "Brokeback Mountain" (2005). It includes interviews with a host of filmmakers (Waters, Van Sant, Haynes, Livingston, Troche, Barbato), actors, critics and indie film insiders (producer Christine Vachon, Sundance's John Cooper, Strand's Marcus Hu, Focus' James Schamus, and critic B. Ruby Rich).

Heather Matarazzo in a promotional image for "Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema". Photo provided by The Berlinale

Particularly interesting in "Fabulous!" is the ongoing exploration of the ways in which particular directors or actors were influenced by earlier work. John Waters reflects on Kenneth Anger, Randy Barbato talks about Waters, Jenni Olson recalls seeing "Go Fish" for the first time, Arthur Dong talks about being influenced by Robert Epstein's doc, "Word is Out" (1977). And actress Heather Matarazzo (star of "Welcome to the "Dollhouse") was especially inspired by the work of queer filmmakers, reflecting on her youth, "I wanted to kiss, hold hands with and make out with another girl," she recalled, "If I can't get it myself, I might as well just watch it on film." Detailing a scene in "Dollhouse" that featured high school students asking her if she was a lesbian, Matarazzo said she didn't even know when the term was when she made the movie. "I always knew I liked girls," Matarazzo recalled, adding "I later found out was lesbian meant," and she added, her identity dawned on her: "Oh yes, I am!"

Many of those interviewed in the film speculated that queer cinema today is poised for a next wave. "I think that this generation is revolting against the new queer cinema, (and the) limitations of the past decade," explained B. Ruby Rich. "I want filmmakers to surprise me," added John Waters, "To come up with something that offends."

"I think queer cinema is about understanding your outsider status," concluded John Cameron Mitchell ("Hedwig & The Angry Inch"), "And how it can contribute to the whole, to the community."

ABOUT THE WRITER: Eugene Hernandez is the Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of indieWIRE.

Get the latest news, buzz and iPOP photos from the Berlinale in indieWIRE's special Berlin International Film Festival section.

This article is related to: Festival Dispatch






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More