"Keep the Lights On" and "Call Me Kuchu" Receive Teddy Awards at Berlin Film Fest

Since 1987, the Berlin International Film Festival has singled out the best of the fest’s LGBT-inclusive cinema to receive their own trophies – the Teddy Award – and once again the festival has bestowed it on some truly great films.

The award for best feature went to Ira Sach’s semi-autobiographical Keep the Lights On, which traveled to Berlin after a triumphant premiere at the Sundance Film Festival (and GLAAD panel) in January.  Sach’s  honest and insightful film examines a relationship between two men over a near decade long period, in which the relationship is challenged by drug addiction, infidelity, and evolving emotions. 

In the documentary category, the top prize went to Malika Zouhall-Worrall and Katherine Fairfax Wright’s film on slain Ugandan LGBT-advocate David Kato and the others now carrying the torch, Call Me Kuchu.  In addition to some strong buzz, the film also won the Cinema Fairbindet prize from the German Ministry, which will take the film on a theatrical roadshow across Germany.  Hopefully a date for its US premiere will be announced soon.  Watch the trailer for Call Me Kuchu here.

Call Me Kuchu - Trailer from Call Me Kuchu on Vimeo.

Rounding out the winners, Claudio Llosa’s Loxoro won for Best Short Film, Vincent Dieutre’s film Jaures received the Jury Prize, and Special Teddy Awards went to German Filmmaker Ulrike Ottinger and to Mario Montez, an underground film star who appeared in works from Andy Warhol and Jack Smith (Flaming Creatures).  Past Teddy winners have included The Kids Are All Right, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Looking for Langston, Poison, and Go Fish.