Teddy Twenty Tribute

For the twentieth time the Teddy Queer Film Award will be presented at the Berlinale. To mark the occasion the Panorama, together with the Berlin Film Museum, has put together a tribute programme of 36 films that reflect the exciting history of gay and lesbian cinema. This Teddy Twenty Tribute presents winning films from two decades, and aims to promote debate on international gay and lesbian and transgender film at the Berlinale 2006.

When the first Teddy was awarded in 1987, the Panorama – which was still known as the "Info-Schau" at the time – could already look back on a long commitment to gay and lesbian film. When Manfred Salzgeber was appointed director of the section in 1980, one of his core concerns was to bring gay and lesbian filmmaking out of isolation and to make the film industry and audiences aware of it.

For a long time the Berlinale was the only international film festival that paid attention to gay, lesbian and transgender films. “When we saw that we had attracted movers and shakers and theoreticians with the films, the idea arose to hold meetings during the Berlinale,” reminisces Wieland Speck, who was Salzgeber’s right hand man from 1982 on and is himself director of the Panorama today. These gatherings took place in the Prinz Eisenherz bookstore. There films were shown on 16mm and video that didn’t fit into the Berlinale, but were important for the growing genre.

Out of this informal working group grew the idea of presenting a film award. During the 1987 Berlinale Wieland Speck decided to poll the participants of these meetings on their favourite films. They voted for two short films by Gus van Sant and Pedro Almodóvar’s La ley del deseo as the best feature film. This was the Teddy’s hour of birth.

Ever since, films with gay, lesbian or transgender content have been an integral part of every section. Every year about 40 films compete for the three Teddy trophies. The nine-member international Teddy Jury selects the best short film, feature film and documentary. The prize money is donated by the non-profit association Teddy e.V and its supporters. The Teddy has become the most important gay and lesbian film award worldwide and the Teddy award gala is a highpoint of every Berlinale.

The Teddy Twenty Tribute is comprised of eight feature and eight documentaries as well as all 20 Teddy short film winners. The screenings will take place at Kino Cinemaxx 4.

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