The 2016 Teddy Awards – 30 Years of Queer Cinema

Aside from screening hundreds of new and classic independent and mainstream films from all over the world, the Berlinale also hosts a diverse and prestigious awards programme. One of those awards is The Teddy Award which this year celebrate’s its 30th anniversary and the Sofitel Kurfürstendamm continues to be a proud sponsor of the event. Considered the best queer film prize across the globe, The Teddy Awards acknowledge the fine works – features, documentaries, and short films – that best tell the stories queer people need told and rest of the population need to hear. The Teddy Awards provide a platform for films and film makers to be recognised for their voice; allowing social engagement on queer themes to be encouraged and contributing to greater understanding and solidarity for and within the queer community.

Teddy Statue © Teddy

Teddy Statue © Teddy

Two of the industry’s most acclaimed directors – Pedro Almodóvar and Gus van Sant (who at the time were unknown) – were among the first recipients of Teddy Awards back in 1986 and Tilda Swindon, Helmut Berger, and John Hurt are amongst the actors who have won past awards. The Teddy archives offer a fascinating insight into the progression of queer cinema over the past 3 decades. To celebrate the 30th anniversary, the Teddy’s will be presenting Teddy Retro, a retrospective featuring 17 of the greatest queer films shown across the history of the awards.

Tilda Swinton © Brigitte Dummer

Tilda Swinton © Brigitte Dummer

The program begins officially on Friday 12th February with the presentation of the International Jury at a reception at Südblock in Kreuzberg at 11pm. This independent jury will judge films in the following categories:

  • Best Feature
  • Best Documentary / Essay Film
  • Best Short Film
  • Special Jury Award

and eligible films from all sections of the Berlinale are in competition for the Teddy Awards. This year a special Teddy Award will be presented to film maker and producer Christine Vachon in recognition of more than 2 decades of contribution to queer cinema.

The awards themselves will be held on Friday 19th February at STATION-Berlin at 9pm, followed by a great big birthday party from 11.30 until very very late. Probably until sunrise. Because that’s Berlin. The Teddy Awards has a great blog to keep you up to date with all the action and if you’re on Twitter you can get real time news with #teddyaward.

Pre-sale for tickets to the award ceremony is now open and they can be bought online. You can also reserve tickets by email at tickets@papagena.de or call the hotline 030-47997474.

Helmut Berger © Brigitte Dummer

Helmut Berger © Brigitte Dummer

 

Melinda Barlow is an Australian freelance writer and editor, based in Berlin since 2012. Melinda works with print and online media and has a natural curiosity that informs her work. She is passionate about travel and great content. She loves to write most about the world, its people and why we all do what we do.