It is a bit cliché, curators and cinephiles speaking about the art of storytelling, and especially so in the introduction to a film festival. And yet this year, that is precisely how we will begin. Reflections on cinema and film-making, on narration and documentation, on the visibilities and vulnerabilities that come along with ‘representation’ – these themes run like a red thread through the program, and in particular so in the festival’s feature films. Different forms, practices and traditions of storytelling are explored, laying bare the ever-important questions to ask: Who tells a story, why, how, and to whom?
Apart from 13 feature-length films, we’re happy to present seven short film programs with more than 40 queer films from all over the world. Some stories are testiment to the day-to-day struggles of queer people, while nonetheless offering solace and hope. Binaries are powerfully contested, the body is celebrated as a site of transformation. Dominant patriarchal, colonial and gender-normative histories are rewritten, feminist lineages and intergenerational differences explored. The 16th XPOSED Queer Film Festival Berlin celebrates queerness as an approach, an experience, a perspective on the world. We’re excited to share and discuss these films with you, and grateful to be back in cinema.