Berlin International Film Festival Honors LGBT Inclusive Films with Teddy Awards

Each year the Berlin International Film Festival honors LGBT cinema with the Teddy Award.  The award recognizes films and people who bring forward political and socially engaging themes that contribute to LGBT acceptance, social change and brings society closer to equality.

This year the Best Feature Film Award went to W imię... (In the Name of) by Małgośka Szumowska.  The film also received the Siegessäule Readers' Jury Award which is given by the Berlin gay and lesbian magazine Siegessäule. W imię... (In the Name of) tells the story of Adam, a gay Catholic priest who finds himself torn between his position in the priesthood and his heart when he meets Łukasz, the son of a rural family.

The 2013 Teddy Jury Award was presented to Concussion by Stacie Passon. The film, which made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January, centers on Abby, a 42-year-old lesbian who starts to reevaluate her life after suffering a head injury, and eventually turns to prostitution to reignite her passion for life.  Following its Sundance premiere, the film was acquired for distribution by The Weinstein Company.

Sébastien Lifshitz’s Bambi, won the award for Best Documentary/Essay Film. Described as "a story of deep-seated confusion, painful rejection and impassioned courage," the documentary chronicles the life of Bambi, a 77-year-old trans woman who overcame the expectations of family and society in order to become the woman she is today.

Taking the award for Best Short Film was another trans-inclusive film, Ta av mig (Undress Me) by Victor Lindgren. Running 15 minutes in length, the Swedish film tells the story of a post-bar hook-up between a young man and a woman who recently transitioned. 

In addition, German film director, author, painter, and LGBT advocate, Rosa von Praunheim, was honored with the Berlinale Camera. The award honors personalities and institutions for their contributions to film and the festival. Von Prainheim was given the award for his outstanding contributions to gay media, including several LGBT-themed films and books.  His latest documentary, Rosakinder, was screened at the film festival after he accepted the award.