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Teddy Talents Talks: What's Seen But Not Said

Teddy Talents Talks: What's Seen But Not Said

Feb 20th 2024
Bishop Black, Levan Akin, Philipp Fussenegger, Susanne Heuer, Vic Carmen Sonne moderated by Djamila Grandits
In turns terrifying and exhilarating, the act of speaking up is intimately connected to queer cinema. Queer stories have often been way ahead of their time, challenging heteronormative hegemonies and influencing the mainstream from the fringes. But the journey has hardly been smooth throughout. For decades, the space for queer voices and stories on the big screen was minimal, and people had to read between the lines of the few that snuck their way into mainstream productions. Consciously or not, many of these stories ended up shaping us, influencing opinions and diversifying the language of cinema - a power that queer cinema definitely possesses still. In this second edition of the popular Teddy Talents Talks, illustrious filmmakers and creatives, connected in various ways to this year's Berlinale, join the audience to share and discuss their visions on the verbal, visual, and hidden codes of queer cinema today.

Bishop Black

Bishop Black (they/them) is a Berlin based, Black British porn performer, sex worker, dancer, theater performer and director and all-round charmer. They have worked with some of the industry’s most provocative figures including Venice Biennale artist Shu Lea Cheang, directors Bruce LaBruce, Erika Lust, Paulita Pappel, Poppy Sanchez, Jennifer Lyon Bell and Morgana Muses. In their stage and screen performances Bishop regularly addresses themes of sexual fluidity and race using mythology, occultism, queerness and dance.
© Michelle Gutierréz

Levan Akin

Levan Akin is a Swedish filmmaker of Georgian descent. His work explores class, gender and sexuality. His body of work includes ”And Then We Danced”, which premiered at the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes 2019 and was selected as Sweden’s official entry for the Oscars. Akin has also made notable contributions to television, including the series ”Real Humans” (adapted as ”Humans” for AMC in the US and UK). He served as a co-executive producer and director for AMC’s adaptation of ”Interview With The Vampire” (2022). Akin’s latest film, ”Crossing”, is premiering at Berlinale Panorama in 2024.
© Sulejmen Peljto

Philipp Fussenegger

Philipp Fussenegger is an Austrian director, screenwriter, and producer. In 2016, he wrote the comedy TV series “Die Schilehrer” and founded Funfairfilms. In 2021, Fussenegger made his feature film debut with the documentary film “I Am The Tigress”. He founded the Cybrothel Berlin and created the first human-based interactive Realdoll, Kokeshi.AI. Fussenegger is currently working on his documentary film project titled “KitKatClub – das Leben ist ein Zirkus.”

Susanne Heuer

Susanne Heuer is a German writer, dramaturg, and stage performer. Drawing inspiration from the London drag and cabaret scene, she gave birth to her alter ego “Lilly Mortis” and gained international recognition as conférencière and strong queer-feminist voice on the cabaret stage. As the narrator and singing host of the queer cabaret trio “The Velvet Creepers”, she brings her writing to the stage. For the documentary “Kitkat Club Berlin”, she is currently weaving together the stories of unique individuals tied together by the Berlin club scene.

Vic Carmen Sonne

Vic Carmen Sonne is an award winning actor and writer based in Copenhagen. In 2016, Vic starred in Rasmus Heisterberg’s feature film “In The Blood”. Shortly after, she started her continuing collaboration with Hlynur Palmason when she boarded his “Winter Brothers”. In 2018 she starred in Isabella Eklöf´s Sundance premiere, “Holiday”. In 2020, Vic was awarded Shooting Star at the Berlinale. In 2022, Vic starred in in Hlynur Palmason’s "Godland," that was shortlisted for the Academy Awards' Best International Feature.
© Andreas Bach

Djamila Grandits

Djamila Grandits is a Vienna based cultural worker, curator and film programmer. As part of CineCollective she’s responsible for the artistic direction and management of Kaleidoskop Film und Freiluft. She is part of the selection committee of DOK Leipzig. Programming for frameout - digital summer screenings and tricky women | tricky realities. Jury at sixpackfilm and member of the non-fiction commission of Zürcher Filmstiftung. Works as moderator and host of various panels, events and interviews. Djamila cares about entanglements and the exploration of collective spaces. She is inquisitive about the intersection and deconstruction of theoretical concepts, artistic-, political- as well as activist forms and expressions.
© Peter Griesser © Kaleidoskop