Thank you so much to everyone that was a part of the 16th XPOSED Queer Film Festival Berlin! We are excited to announce the winners of three Lolly Awards and the 8th Queer Short Film Fund, both awarded by our 2022 jury, and the winners of the XPOSED Audience Awards for Short Film and Feature-Length Film.
Introduction by the Lolly Awards Jury:
We decided for three films that claim the livability of queer lives. In the face of structural violence and conflict, and in times of crisis and war it seems all the more important to us that film-making and art also holds a potential of creating alternatives worlds and visions. The festival has provided a wonderful selection of film that engage with multiple forms of violence and demonstrate the strength of endurance and the creative modes of resistance. We could have chosen so many of these films for the award.
If we are today celebrating films that strengthen queer practices of community building and sustaining relationships, this is because we see the need for supporting desires for another world, for the future as open in various directions. The films we have chosen present futures in the plural through performing non-linear temporalties.
The three Lolly Award Winners of the 16th XPOSED Queer Film Festival Berlin:
Uma Paciéncia Selvagem me Trouxe Até (A Wild Patience has taken me here) by Érica Sarmet
A Lolly Award goes to the Brazilian film Uma Paciéncia Selvagem me Trouxe Até (A Wild Patience has taken me here) by Érica Sarmet. The film depicts the livability of lesbian lives as a matter of community and intimate friendship. It explores how a non-hierarchical intergenerational encounter may develop out of mutual curiosity. Current possibilities depend on valuing memory and enlivening the archives. The rhythm of this film supported by an amazing soundtrack, carries the viewer in nonlinear moves through a weekend of pleasure, joy, and experiencing a polyamorous relationship. Sexuality is not limited to one-on-one encounters but comes along as an entanglement of moving bodies and blue satin folds caressed by the camera that does not fragment the picture. The sex scene is embedded in a series of other communal scenes: in the bar, in the kitchen, at the beach – so that sex becomes part of everyday life sustaining the politics of care.
Sitt el Beit (The Lady of the House) by Anya Kneez
In an ode to the great Lebanese diva Fairouz and home videos, this joyful and wistful film follows the mother and host of a queer, Lebanese-diasporic family gathering, set in 1991 Brooklyn. The filmmaker uses her own captivating abilities as a drag performer to grapple with the feeling of home and queer family structures in the diaspora, filtered through musical performance and the texture of VHS recordings. A ravishing and affective space-time capsule, full of nostalgia, wit, music, cooking and conversation that manages to find a very special way to embrace the past and the present at the same time, while not losing grip of the space in between them.
อนินทรีย์แดง (Red Aninsri; Or, Tiptoeing on the Still Trembling Berlin Wall) by Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke
Kathoey Ang works as a spy and is supposed to gather intel on an enemy of the state, disguised as a gay cis man. The film by Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke asks what it means to find one’s own voice. In doing so, he draws on the Thai tradition of dubbing, which was common in B-movies in the 70s/80s. Somehow, Ang’s target Jit suddenly speaks in his own voice. This breaks the mold of the formal framework of the film, as well as the societal framework of the question which identities are acknowledged. Thus, Ang’s life is also questioned, and they go on an intrepid search for her own identity. It is this movement of searching, the brittleness and uncertainty that make up queer perspectives. Our identities are not linear, not secure, and always in motion. Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke gives his characters the courage to embark on this search to find an identity with which they can relate to each other. In this failure he allows the two protagonists to succeed.
SESTRE (SISTERS) by Kukla
With ten clear principles, a group of three young sworn virgins declare war on patriarchy. Every day, the three of them give their all at training martial arts, to defend themselves and stand by their sisters. Despite all its toughness and clarity, the film shows their vulnerability within the regime of gender that they strive to overcome. It’s that necessary solidarity of sisterhood, which makes Kukla Kesherovics film so special. When the three are aided by a trans* woman at the end, it becomes the starting point for principle number 10: Sisters. A tender, raw and wild film about solidarity in patriarchy.
8th Queer Short Film Fund: Uncanny Home by Eric Bitencourt
Revisiting memories and places from the past. Being taken on an intimate virtual journey. Eleven years of friendship, voice recordings and footage being traces of a very special last encounter.
„can you take me home?
Remembering childhood gardens and long nights out. Shared moments of pleasure and joy. Shared moments of trauma and grief. POV footage of virtual lands, cityscapes and architectures serves as starting point in a formally complex, sensitive, and deeply personal endeavor to deal with loss, to work with grief and to grasp a beloved persons presence after their passing. An exploration of possibilities of moving together in transcendence of space and time. Creating a space of being for a voice from the past.
An elaborate yet deeply moving approach, built around footage and its inherent presence of a loved one who has passed. Curious to see this experimental mixed media project take shape, the jury awards
Uncanny Home with the Queer Short Film Fund 2022.
XPOSED Audience Award for Short Film
Jackfruit by Thuy Trang Nguyen
For Mít, a gender fluid person, life between two worlds is nothing new. Against the expectations of grandmother Roan and mother Mai, Mít is seeing Lara. But before Mít has the courage to separate from the family, Roan is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. For Mít, a part of the familiar world threatens to break away. If Roan forgets, then memories of the distant homeland of Vietnam also fade. Mít has to search for the connection between the two identities believed to be incompatible.
XPOSED Audience Award for Feature-Length Film
this year goes to two films which received the same voting results:
VALENTINA by Cássio Pereira dos Santos, Brazil 2020
Valentina, a 17-year-old transgender girl, moves to the countryside of Brazil with her mother Márcia to start fresh. To avoid being bullied in her new school, Valentina tries to enroll with her new name and hopes to be private about her gender history. However, the girl and her mother quickly face dilemmas when the local public high school needs a second parental signature for enrollment.
Presenting trans actress Thiessa Woinbackk’s debut in features, Valentina is a reflection of the real-life hardships that society forces a strong young woman to endure. Cássio Pereira dos Santos’ touching film shows the challenges a young trans person faces, all the while underlining the importance of sometimes unexpected support from friends and loved ones.
FRAMING AGNES by Chase Joynt, Canada & USA 2022
In 1958, a young trans woman named Agnes entered a study about sex disorders at UCLA to get the gender-affirming care she needed, by any means necessary. Her story was long considered to be exceptional until never-before-seen case files of other patients were found in 2017.
Directed by Chase Joynt (No Ordinary Man) and featuring an all-star cast of transgender artists and performers, Framing Agnes uses re-enactment and genre-blurring storytelling techniques to breathe new life into previously unknown people who redefined gender in the midcentury. Who becomes a symbol for what, and for whom? Featuring Angelica Ross, Jen Richards, Zackary Drucker, Silas Howard, Max Wolf Valerio, and Stephen Ira, this unusual film explores trans pasts and presents in the US, discussing overarching themes of visibility and vulnerability.