The Queer Short Film Fund
The Queer Short Film Fund – Public Pitch
A number of projects that open up perspectives on queer topics which go beyond established LGBTQI representations of mainstream niche cinema were considered for the 9th Queer Short Film Fund this year and five projects have been invited to pitch their films to an open audience on Friday, 16th of June 2023, at aquarium.
The Lolly Award Jury will select one project from those invited to pitch, which will receive the fund, consisting of a cash prize of 1,500 €, donated by XPOSED, a voucher for filming equipment worth 2,000 €, provided by 25p* cine support and two days of Grading — including Conforming — with additional creation of a DCP & Web Screener worth 3,000€, provided by Planemo.
In addition, the fund is accompanied by a mentoring programme. The mentor will advise the winner in five sessions from script development through to production and post-production.
The Queer Short Film Fund Mentor 2023 – Stéphane Riethauser
Stéphane Riethauser was born in 1972 in Geneva, Switzerland. He holds a law degree from the University of Geneva. Over the years, he has been working as a teacher, gay activist, photographer, editor, journalist and translator. He is the author of “A visage découvert”, a photography book about coming out (Ed. Slatkine, 2000). Between 2003 and 2008, he worked for Swiss Radio Television RTS as a journalist and director. In 2007 he launched his production company Lambda Prod and started working as an independent filmmaker. He lives in Berlin. His latest film Madame was selected at more than 60 festivals, won 13 awards, was nominated at the 2020 Swiss Film Awards for Best Documentary and released in theatres internationally.
The 9th Queer Short Film Fund – Finalists
The Sick have Secrets
Director: Kate Blamire
Synopsis: The Sick Have Secrets is a gentle and intimate documentary portrait about Elias, a young trans person living in Berlin with a chronic health condition. At the hospital the administrative staff are confused by Elias. They have even accidentally created two patient profiles on their system, one labeled Male and one labeled Female. Doctors come into waiting rooms sometimes calling out for “Herr” sometimes “Frau”. Every medical experience is an encounter with the gender binary. How does Elias deal with being a trans person with a medicalised body?
Kate Blamire is a chronically sick queer film maker and writer living in Berlin. Their film work experiments with the lived and political experiences of sickness and explores medical systems, healing and friendship. They studied documentary film making at the self-organised school FilmArche in Berlin. Their first experimental documentary film Flare (2023, 27 min) is a poetic adventure through landscapes of autoimmunity and accessible film making as a tool for healing.
Where the Night goes
Director: Silvia Maggi
Synopsis: Elliot and Sea are two queer people in their 30s and 40s. They fnd themselves walking along a desolate road near a lake in Lübbenau. As they walk the night falls and they share their stories and thoughts with each other, finding solace in the companionship of a fellow wanderer. They arrive at a dance hall where their journey is supposed to end. Inside, the dance hall is dimly lit, with a single spotlight illuminating the center of the room. Georgette Dee is singing “Mann in meinen Armen”* and a few people are dancing. It’s here that they finally understand that they were together on this night for a reason, crossing the mysteries of life and death.
Silvia Maggi is an Italian filmmaker based in Berlin. She has been working in the field of art and movies since 2004, presenting her works in festivals, art galleries, and universities (including Universidade do Minho- Braga PT, Centro de Arte de Vanguardia Neomudejar- Madrid ES, Festival del Cinema Indipendente – Cineteca di Milano IT, Festival del Cinema Italiano- Rovinj HR, Mix Festival – New York USA, Yermilov Center of Contemporary Art, Kharkov UA, among others). Silvia Maggi explores human feelings and behaviours in relation to social and political needs. At the center of her work we found memories, a bittersweet sense of nostalgia, and the presence of the here and now.
“A” for Andra
Director: Charmaine Poh
Synopsis: A is for Andra takes as its core the story of Andra, a former MTV VJ and host in Indonesia from 2007-2010. Using humour, performance, and poetry, Andra tracks their evolution from a young, rising star in Bandung to an adult living a private life as a kindergarten teacher in Berlin. The film maps the limits of expression in the early 2000s media imaginary and the gendered constraints that Andra often found themselves in, as well as the slow unlearning of their identity. Using the narrative tools of archive, theory and pop culture, the film celebrates Andra in the present moment, in a state of new growth and joy.
Charmaine Poh is an artist from Singapore working across media, moving image, and performance to peel apart, interrogate, and hold ideas of agency, repair, and the body across worlds.
Her current focus, THE YOUNG BODY UNIVERSE, is a series of enactments considering the potentialities of the feminist techno-body. Her work centers the affects of vulnerability, desire, and intimacy from the vantage point of subversion. Charmaine grew up as an actor studying international relations and visual anthropology. She developed a photography practice using documentary and ethnographic methodologies before looping back into using performance as a driving force. The birth of THE YOUNG BODY UNIVERSE stems from the artist’s experience as a child actor in Singapore in the early 2000s.
She is a co-founder of the magazine Jom. In the fall of 2022, she started her PhD at the Freie Universität Berlin. She is a 2023 Oberhausen Seminar participant and a 2023 Flaherty Online Fellow.
Director: Katrina Singleton
Synopsis: Raven is a young queer Caribbean-German artist who’s lucky enough to have her own place in Berlin. But during the pandemic lockdown in 2020, it grows to be more of a curse than a blessing. As Raven slips further and further away from her loved ones in a self- imposed isolation, she notices something strange in a window across the street.
Katrina Singleton is a Berlin-based documentary and fiction filmmaker. As an honors graduate of Toronto Met University’s Media Production BA program, Katrina has been studying filmmaking since 14 years old. Her main focus is highlighting and telling narratives of underrepresented and marginalized communities, particularly those from the Afrodescendant and Caribbean diaspora. Her most recent film, “House Of Living Colors,” has been selected to screen at numerous remarkable venues, including La Fete du Slip in Lausanne, the Berlin Revolution Film Festival, and Kantine Am Berghain.
Freaks of Nature
Director: Jo Sordini
Synopsis: Freaks of Nature is an experimental short film exploring the gender diversity, mating habits and social lives of five different animal species, which are being impersonated in an artistic way by different drag performers. In the style of nature documentaries, a narrator comments on their actions in a humorous way, juxtaposing animal and human behaviour, zoology research and queer subcultural codes and experiences. The film is a celebration of both diversity in nature as well as queer culture and art forms, with a tongue-in-cheek invitation to reconsider our assumptions about what is “natural”.
Jo Sordini (b. 1992 in Italy) is a transmasculine artist living in Berlin. Their performances, movies and objects are part of a playful investigation into the social constructs that surround us. Queer politics and aesthetics are at the center of their work: Sensual creatures, objects and images create multilayered narratives in a colorful and often surreal do-it-yourself aesthetic. Ultimately, they hope to create spaces and narratives that break up limited and normalized visions of the present and future.