XPOSED Lolly & Audience Awards and 10th Queer Short Film Fund

Thank you so much to everyone that was a part of the 18th XPOSED Queer Film Festival Berlin! We are excited to announce the winners of three Lolly Awards and the winner of the 10th Queer Short Film Fund, awarded by our 2024 festival jury, as well as the winners of the XPOSED Audience Awards for Short Film and Feature-Length Film.

This year, the jury has awarded three Lolly Award winners among all the short films we showed at the 18th XPOSED Queer Film Festival Berlin. Each award comes with a cash prize of 250€. Under each film, you can find the jury’s reasoning of why they decided to give the award to the film. The jury also decided to award three Honorable Mentions.

Lolly Award: The River That Never Ends
by John Thomas Trinidad
Philippines, 2022

the river that never ends

This film speaks about quiet, devoted care almost without saying a word. Care for a sick family member is mirrored by tenderly performed sex work care services for kinksters longing for lost connections. A sublime cinematography is a character of its own, following protagonists in a subtle, caring way, so perfect that it reminds of our most precious and beautiful memories. While this agonising world takes so much from us, the most vulnerable, these simple gestures of care, so often cultivated among queer people, is everything that is needed to be human.”

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Lolly Award: Beyond the Golden Line
by SJ Rahatoka
Germany, 2024

Beyond the Golden Line

“‘Beyond the Golden Line’ is a visually stunning and emotionally resonant film that showcases the journey of a Black transmasculine pole dancer who courageously navigates the complexities of familial bonds. The film’s poignant narrative, underscored by its visually soothing aesthetics, gracefully captures the character’s emotional release and connection within the queer community, culminating in a profoundly healing and tender cinematic experience. The film’s soft visuals create an unforgettable and deeply moving experience.”

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Lolly Award: I Was Never Really Here
by Gabriel Bihina Arrahnio
Germany, 2022

I Was Never Really Here“Tender and moving, this film challenges the softness of its images by addressing the intricate intertwining of immigration, identity, and intimacy. I Was Never Really Here by Gabriel Bihina Arrahnio is a poetic short that follows the encounter of two boys—one Ghanaian and the other German-Ghanaian—resulting in a bittersweet story. It gracefully blends personal and political narratives through its cinematic language. The film relies on simplicity and captures delicate emotions through its gaze, setting, and narration, deftly decentering technical and bureaucratic aspects to deliver moments of profound representation. The script unfolds complex themes with both poetic and political sensitivity, making it a deeply resonant and thought-provoking experience.”

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Honorable Mention: Taking My Time to Dance
by Celeste Lapida
Philippines, 2022

Taking My Time to Dance

“In this visually beautiful Filipino short fiction film, the intergenerational feminist bounds between Rana (a young bakla) their grandmother, their late mother, and their transfem sibling, create a soft and flamboyant nest for Rana to reclaim their own time to move into themselves. « Taking my time to dance », is a rare gem showing us that transitioning and navigating gender identity doesn’t have to fit into mainstream timelines and expectations and can be experienced as a way to establish connection with one’s family and ancestry.”

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Honorable Mention: Queer Exile
by Ahmed Awadalla
Germany, 2024

Queer Exile

“‘Queer Exile’ provides a vital and timely exploration of the struggles faced by a queer refugee amid the turbulent backdrop of post-revolutionary Egypt and a hostile Berlin. The film adeptly highlights the harsh realities of queer asylum seekers while addressing themes of identity, exile, belonging, and the relentless quest for freedom against the rising xenophobia and anti-immigrant hate speech in Germany. It raises the question: are Black and Brown queers in exile ever truly free?”

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Honorable Mention: Flores del otro Patio
by Jorge Cadena
Colombia, Switzerland, 2022

Flores del otro Patio

“A group of activists and queer chosen family risk their lives to stand up for environmental rights, for rights to land and water, by casting a queer spell on an extractivist coal mining company. We are deeply thankful for the film’s powerful beauty in depicting this performative queer guerrilla, and for its uncompromising take on queer liberation as intrinsically linked to climate justice and indigenous rights.”

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10th Queer Short Film Fund: Masquerade
directed by Wellington Almeida, produced by Camila Klein

“The fundament of this project is a documentary one (even though with some fictional elements), and we believe that documentary work is always a journey where one discovers its goal closer to the end. The Masquerade might not yet have a clear scrip, yet it has a strong vision and three amazing protagonists, two real ones and one fictional, on their own journeys to discover their identity between the pressure from society and their own inner truths. We hope that this award will become the wind in the crew’s sales that will bring you closer to discovering the films’s soul.”

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XPOSED Audience Award for Short Film: Alex’s Machine (La Machine d’Alex)
by Mael Le Mée
France, 2022

Alex's Machine

Alex is the only girl in her “automotive biomechanics” class. For her degree, she has chosen to build an engine made of artificial flesh. One night, Chloé, who shares her boarding school room, discovers that Alex takes a singular pleasure in working on her living machine…

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XPOSED Audience Award for Feature-Length Film: Queendom
by Agniia Galdanova
USA, France, 2023

Queendom

Queendom boldly explores the intersection of drag, politics, and personal courage. At its heart is Jenna, a fearless person navigating the harsh realities of discrimination in Russia. Using drag as both a personal expression and a political statement, Jenna challenges the status quo and protests against the oppressive Russian government and their involvement in the war in Ukraine. Jenna fearlessly confronts injustice, even at the risk of arrest.

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May 30th – June 2nd, 2024: The 18th XPOSED Queer Film Festival Berlin!
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