Teddy Award: MEET THE JURY : PREDRAG AZDEJKOVIC

How do you like Berlin? What is special about the city for you?

At least once a year I’m in Berlin. I can say that the reasons for my visits are sad and happy at the same time, because the majority of my friends left Serbia and now live in Berlin, and that’s sad, but at the same time I’m happy that I have the reasons to visit Berlin so frequently. Berlin is the city that I love very much, because you can be whatever you want without fear of violence.

How would you describe the Berlinale in one sentence?

Berlinale is the most important film festival in Europe, a big film fair were you see the most important films of the year. Also, Berlinale is a resource center for many smaller festivals, were you can find what you need, from newest queer films to distributors contacts.

What was your first encounter with the TEDDY AWARD?

The Serbian film “Marble Ass” with Vjeran Miladinovic Merlinka in the main role received the TEDDY AWARD in 1995. Merlinka was killed in 2003, and we named our festival after her in 2009. It was so important that such film received the TEDDY AWARD.

In your eyes, what does the TEDDY AWARD symbolize? What does it stand for? What makes it unique?

TEDDY AWARD is a part of film history, but also part of the LGBT movement and queer art history. TEDDY acknowledges many important low budget queer films from all over the world and gave a boost to many filmmakers to create queer films. In many cases awards are recognition of a brilliant film, but in TEDDY’s case it’s also a contribution to better fate of that film. We still live in a homophobic world where we must sometimes hide the queer element of the film if we want successes. TEDDY is contributing to that success without hiding the queer element. Und das ist auch gut so.