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Teddy Awards Ceremony for the Queer Film Award 2007 in Hangar2, Tempelhof Airport

Awards Ceremony for the Queer Film Award 2007 in Hangar2, Tempelhof Airport on the 16th of February
Normally bears like to hibernate over the winter months, but as we know the TEDDY is no ordinary bear! Still the only queer film prize which is part of a major international film festival will be celebrating its 21st birthday at the Berlinale 2007.

Under the heading “TEDDY TAKES OFF” the 21st TEDDY Awards take place on Friday 16th February in the impressive surroundings of Hangar2 at Tempelhof Airport. Behind the restored original facade, Hangar2 provides a fully equipped 4,200 square metre events venue with a guest capacity of 2,500. The European arts & culture channel arte will broadcast the ceremony twice, first on Sunday 18th February 2007 and then as part of a dedicated theme evening on Friday 23rdFebruary 2007. In keeping with tradition, the TEDDY party starts after the ceremony where we will find our TEDDY strutting its stuff on the dance floor. Not without good reason has the TEDDY party garnered a reputation for being the biggest and most glamorous party of the Berlinale.
But it’s not all about bright lights and loud music. In 2007, our main political focus at the TEDDY Awards is the theme of religion and queer communities. This also links to the political angle of the last ceremony: homophobia in Poland and the situation for gay, lesbian and trans folks in South Africa.

TEDDY Award: A Moral Statement
The TEDDY Award has always had a political dimension and the ceremony continues to provide a platform for guests to speak out against human rights abuses worldwide. In 2006 for example, we welcomed Berlin’s Mayor Klaus Wowereit alongside the Vice-Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa, George Johannes, sporting a pink tie.

An Important Meeting Point for the Queer Community.
Continuing this international theme, the TEDDY has been busy learning French, Russian, Arabic and Chinese. The TEDDY Award website will soon be available in these languages as well as our usual German and English. We are proud that we will be able to keep a wider audience updated with the latest TEDDY developments.

That there is such a strong interest in the TEDDY (extra to the Berlinale) is evidenced by the around 80,000 visitors that receives each month. In February 2006 during the Berlinale there were more than 330,000 visitors to the website, mostly from the USA and China. With interviews, videos and background information on the films, stars and the history of the TEDDY, the website is an important forum for queer communities worldwide. Berlin’s Mayor Klaus Wowereit hit the nail on the head with regard to the TEDDY mission when at the 2006 Teddy Awards he announced, ‘ We still have a lot to do, but today let’s enjoy some good cinema.’

The first TEDDY Award took place in 1987. It is still the only queer film award at an
A-list film festival worldwide. Oscar winners such as Pedro Almodovár and other award winning artists such as Tilda Swinton, Greta Schiller, Andrea Weiss, Derek Jarman and Gus Van Sant were early TEDDY discoveries. Throughout the years, films with gay, lesbian and trans content have increased their visibility in all sections of the Berlinale programme. Any film from any section which relates to a queer theme is relevant to the TEDDY Award, and this is around 40 films every year. The nine strong TEDDY jury taken from the international film business battle it out to decide the best short film, feature and documentary or essay film. The winning films are then bestowed with the TEDDY Award along with prize money from TEDDY e.V.

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