Conversation Queer/ing Film Festivals – A Conversation

Wieland Speck, Skadi Loist, Zoya Honarmand, Kathleen Mullen Copyright: Speck @ Ali Ghandtschi, Loist @ KONRAD WOLF, Honarmand @ Honarmand, Mullen @ Sabel Roizen

Sun, 08/09/2020

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Join us for a conversation on the changing landscape of LGBTIQ+ cinema in Germany and the US to kick off the virtual exhibit and film series QUEER AS GERMAN FOLK.

Our guests from Germany include Wieland Speck, filmmaker, consultant, and long-time director of the Panorama section of the Berlin International Film Festival; Skadi Loist, Visiting Professor for Production Cultures in Audiovisual Media Industries at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF in Potsdam; and Zoya Honarmand, organizer, film programmer, and curator at TransFormations: Trans* Film Festival Berlin. Joined by Kathleen Mullen of Seattle’s Three Dollar Bill Cinema and Seattle Queer Film Festival, they will discuss the role of film festivals and curations in amplifying voices of LGBTIQ+ communities.

This event is part of Queer as German Folk, a project celebrating the intersectional histories of Germany’s and America’s diverse LGBTIQ+ communities. A digitally modified version of the exhibition Queer as German Folk and a full program of virtual events is presented by the Goethe-Institut in North America in collaboration with its Goethe Pop Ups and the Schwules Museum Berlin (SMU).

This event takes place on August 9, 11AM PDT online on Zoom. Registration is required—please use the link to register.

About the guests:  

Wieland Speck studied German language and literature, theatre studies, and ethnology at the Free University Berlin. In 1981, after studying film at the San Francisco Art Institute, Speck shot his first short film, David, Montgomery, and I, and presented it at the Berlinale. Numerous films followed, including safer-sex films, which were shown before porn films on videotape and in adult theaters. In 1982, he assumed organizational and artistic management of the festival’s Panorama section as the assistant to program director Manfred Salzgeber, the founder of the independent distributor of queer films Edition Salzgeber. Together with Salzgeber, Speck initiated the Teddy Award as the Berlinale’s queer film prize, worldwide the first queer film award to be presented by an A-list festival. In 1992, when Salzgeber (1943-1994) fell ill with AIDS, Speck became program director of Panorama and a member of the selection committee for the Berlinale competition—positions he held for 25 years.

To this day, Speck remains dedicated to the festival as a consultant and curator of special programs. He also serves as a jury member and program consultant for various international film festivals and a member of film grant committees.

Skadi Loist  is Visiting Professor for Production Cultures in Audiovisual Media Industries at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF in Potsdam, Germany. Her research deals with current developments in film and media industries with a focus on film festivals, global film circulation, gender justice in film production and queer cinema and has been published in numerous articles in magazines and books in German, English, and French. Outside the academy, Skadi works with the Lesbisch Schwule Filmtage Hamburg | International Queer Film Festival and was board member of QueerScope e.V., the association of Independent German Queer Film Festivals.

Zoya Honarmand is an organizer, film programmer, and curator at TransFormations - Trans* Film Festival Berlin. TFFB is a biennial grassroots, community-focused festival organized by an exclusively Black and PoC trans*, two spirit, gender-non-conforming team. With an intersectional understanding of trans* identities and experiences as its starting point, the festival strives to bring together a broad range of films, art works, and performances from different geographies and contexts in celebration of more nuanced discourses on queer, trans*, and inter-histories, presents, and futurities.

Kathleen Mullen is the Interim Executive Director of Three Dollar Bill Cinema, the non-profit LGBTIQ+ group that produces film events for Seattle‘s community throughout the year, including the annual Translations Film Festival, a groundbreaking film fest that provides the Pacific Northwest with a venue for films by, for, and about transgender, non-binary, and gender-diverse people. Mullen is also the festival Director of Seattle Queer Film Festival, which celebrates 25 years of running this year! With extensive knowledge of contemporary cinema and media arts culture, she has contributed to the planning and execution of film festivals and arts organizations nationally and internationally for 20 + years.