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Talents Teddy Talk: The Finally New Queer Cinema?

18.02.2016 - Toby Ashraf, Sara Jordenö, Händl Klaus, Bruce LaBruce, Akosua Adoma Owusu, Christine Vachon

Since its inauguration in 1987, the Teddy Award has made the Berlinale a home for queer cinema. It stands for the recognition of the many facets of a cinema that resists sexual stereotypes and any kind of heteronormativity. To celebrate the Teddy’s 30th birthday, this session invites Talents and festival filmmakers to join pioneering producer Christine Vachon (2016 Special Teddy Award for lifetime achievement) in an interactive “town hall meeting”-style discussion on the present and future of queer cinema worldwide. How can we define queer cinema, which, as a matter of principle, eludes any plain definition? Is “queer” more a cinematic art form than a character's concern? What has been the evolving role of queer cinema lately for filmmakers and audiences in different cultures and societies? Please come out with your opinions.


Toby Ashraf

photo of Toby Ashraf
Toby Ashraf is a journalist, curator and translator based in Berlin. He writes for various publications and moderates talks at Berlinale Panorama, Forum and Generation. In 2014 he founded the Berlin Art Film Festival and in 2015 won the Siegfried Kracauer Prize for Best Film Review. In 2016/17 he organised CIMA Berlin, a series of monthly screenings of queer films with live Arabic translation for refugees. He appears in films occasionally and focuses on feminism and queer cinema and culture in his work.

Sara Jordenö

photo of Sara Jordenö
Sara Jordenö is a NYC and Gothenburg-based Swedish visual artist and documentary filmmaker whose stories often concern communities facing different types of marginalization and how they position themselves in the world. Her cinematic projects and commissions have been shown internationally at venues such as the Rotterdam International Film Festival, The Viennale, 5th Berlin Biennial, The Modern Museum, Stockholm, GIBCA, Gothenburg, the Kitchen and MoMA PS1. KIKI is her feature documentary debut.

Händl Klaus

photo of Händl Klaus
Born in the Tyrol, Austria in 1969, he studied acting in Vienna and then joined the ensemble at the Schauspielhaus in the same city. He took smaller parts in films by Christian Berger, Urs Egger, Michael Haneke, Jessica Hausner, Dagmar Knopfel and others. Since 1994 he has been writing prose and plays for the radio and theatre as well as opera librettos for Beat Furrer, Georg Friedrich Haas, Arnulf Herrmann, Heinz Holliger, Klaus Lang and Hector Parra. His debut feature film MARZ (MARCH) won the Silver Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival in 2008.

Bruce LaBruce

photo of Bruce LaBruce
Canadian writer and director. He has published articles on film and music, worked as an actor and made a name for himself as a photographer. His award-winning films include THE RASPBERRY REICH, OTTO OR UP WITH DEAD PEOPLE, L.A. ZOMBIE and GERONTOPHILIA. His film PIERROT LUNAIRE premiered at the Forum Expanded section and won the Teddy Award at the 2014 Berlinale.

Akosua Adoma Owusu

photo of Akosua Adoma  Owusu
Born in Alexandria, USA in 1984, she studied art and media at the University of Virginia followed by film and art at the California Institute of the Arts. Her films have won many awards at international festivals. “Indiewire” recently named her amongst the six pre-eminent avant-garde filmmakers redefining cinema. She is an alumnus of the Berlinale Talents and lives and works in the USA and Ghana.

Christine Vachon

photo of Christine Vachon
American producer, who co-founded Killer Films in 1995. Over the past decade and a half, she has produced some of the most celebrated American indie features including FAR FROM HEAVEN (nominated for four Academy Awards), STILL ALICE (Academy Award winner), BOYS DON'T CRY (Academy Award winner), ONE HOUR PHOTO, KIDS, HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, HAPPINESS, VELVET GOLDMINE, SAFE, I SHOT ANDY WARHOL, CAMP, SWOON and I'M NOT THERE (Academy Award nominated). In television, Vachon recently executive-produced the Emmy and Golden Globe winning miniseries MILDRED PIERCE for HBO and an upcoming series on Amazon based on the life of Zelda Fitzgerald. Other recent work includes: KILL YOUR DARLINGS, MAGIC MAGIC, CAROL directed by Todd Haynes and WIENER-DOG written and directed by Todd Solondz.