Experimental Films Sweep Teddy Awards at 2009 Berlinale

From: beaulieu4008 (email suppressed)
Date: Sat Feb 14 2009 - 04:51:26 PST

The 23rd Teddy Awards were presented on February 13, 2009 at the 59th Berlin Film Festival, and experimental films won big, perhaps for the first time in the history of the Teddy.

Best Short went to Barbara Hammer's A HORSE IS NOT A METAPHOR, beating out CONTRE JOUR by Christoph Giardet & Matthias Muller and the doc Queer Sarajewo Festival 2008, about homophobic violence that erupted in Bosnia in the fall of 2008 during the opening ceremonies of the first queer festival there. Hammer was not able to be there for the award, since she was performing in Italy, but filmmaker Jim Hubbard & publicist Nancy Fishman jointly acecepted on Hammer's behalf, reading a statement from Barbara.

Best Documentary was awarded to John Greyson's FIG TREES, an operatic portrait of 2 AIDS activists, incorporating intellectual threads about Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson, squirrels, and more.

Best Feature Film was RABIOSO SOL, RABIOSO CIELO by Julian Hernandez. This color and B&W 35mm that draws on ancient mythology and modern Mexican sexuality runs 190 minutes in its present form, and may or may not be cut down when distributed (by TLA in the USA; it has also been sold in France and the UK). It's a visually stunning work, from a real visionary. This is his 2nd Teddy, having won in 2003 for BROKEN SKY. The other nominees for best feature were EL NINO PEZ (directed by Lucia Puenzo) and SOUNDLESS WIND CHIME (directed by Kit Hung).

The lifetime achievement award went to Joe Dallesandro.

My understanding is that he three best film awards each come with a statue and a cash prize of 3000 Euros.

I was a juror for the 2009 Teddy Awards and it was a surprise and a delight to see experimental film triumph so easily for once.

I could write more but the awards were just last night.
There's some info here: http://teddyaward.tv/2009/index2.asp?KategorieID=1060&InhaltID=1883&Seite=2
but I don't see the winners posted yet.

Supposedly the ceremony is broadcast on Arte, but I'm not sure of the times.

The 2009 Teddy Jury was composed of:
Stephen Kent Jusick, Executive Director, MIX NYC
Justine Barda, Sundance & Seattle International Film Festival
Cosimo Santoro, Torino LGBT Film Festival
Manny de Guerre, Side By Side Film Festival, St. Petersburg, Russia
Mercedes MartĂ­n, Film Festival on Gender & Sexual Diversity, Uruguay
Emina Trumic, Organization Q, Bosnia
Rudi FĂĽrstberger, Verzaubert Queer Film Festival, Berlin
Kyle Stephan, London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

The Berlinale also showed a number of other exerimental works, notably in the Forum section, including work by Jennifer Reeves, Scott Berry, and the South Korean film LAND OF SCARECROWS Roh Gyeong-Tae.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.