TEDDY Talents Talks: What’s seen but not said?

Tuesday, Febuary 20th, 2:30 pm - 4 pm
HAU 2, Hallesches Ufer 34, 10963 Berlin

In this new instalment of the captivating talk series hosted by TEDDY AWARD and Queer Academy, a room full of visionaries explore their readings of the verbal, the visual and the hidden codes in queer cinema. 
We have something to say and this proclamation, this statement or moment of speaking up and acting out our truths can be scary, thrilling, and courageous and is inherently connected to queer cinema. Queer stories often have been ahead of their time, questioning the heteronormative matrix and influencing the mainstream from the fringes, but it is not all sunshine and roses. The happy times are far and few between, and for decades queer individuals have grown up in a world reading between the lines when it came to representations in mainstream cinema. How these stories have been told have, even without our knowledge, influenced us, shaped opinions and raised questions. In this second edition of the Teddy Talents Talks, we invite five film professionals to talk about the queer films & series that have had an effect on their lives and have influenced their careers. 

Moderation: Djamila Grandits
Panelists: Levan Akin (Director, Crossing, Panorama), Bishop Black (Actor, Performer, The Visitor, Panorama), Philipp Fussenegger (Director, Teaches of Peaches, Panorama), Vic Carmen Sonne (Actress, Writer)

Information regarding ticket reservations will follow.


Berlinale - Levan Akin, Bishop Black, Philipp Fussenegger, Vic Carmen Sonne, Djamila Grandits


Levan Akin
Levan Akin (b. 1979) is a Swedish filmmaker of Georgian descent. His work explores class, gender and sexuality. His body of work includes the critically acclaimed film ”AND THEN WE DANCED”, which premiered at the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes 2019 and was selected as Sweden’s official entry for the Oscars. Akin has also made notable contributions to television, including the series ”REAL HUMANS” (adapted as ”Humans” for AMC in the US and UK). Additionally, he served as a co-executive producer and director for AMC’s highly regarded adaptation of ”INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE” (2022). Akin’s latest film, ”CROSSING” is scheduled to premiere at Berlinale Panorama in 2024. 

Bishop Black
Bishop Black (they/them) is a Berlin based, Black British porn performer, sex worker, dancer, theater performer and director and all-round charmer.  They have worked with some of the industry’s most provocative figures including Venice Biennale artist Shu Lea Cheang, directors Bruce LaBruce, Erika Lust, Paulita Pappel, Poppy Sanchez, Jennifer Lyon Bell and Morgana Muses. In their stage and screen performances Bishop regularly addresses themes of sexual fluidity and race using mythology, occultism, queerness and dance. 

Philipp Fussenegger
Philipp Fussenegger is an Austrian director, screenwriter, and producer. After completing his Bachelor of Arts in directing in Salzburg, he studied at the renowned Academy of Media Arts Cologne, where he shot his highly acclaimed diploma film “Henry.” This film received the FIRST STEPS Award in the category of “Medium-Length Feature Film” in 2016 and was nominated for the Austrian Film Award in 2017. In 2016, he wrote the comedy TV series “Die Schilehrer” and directed the pilot episode titled “Geld spielt keine Rolex,” which became a favorite among the audience at the Hofer Filmtage in 2017 and sparked significant controversy in the Austrian region of Vorarlberg. As a result, he founded Funfairfilms. Fussenegger also achieved success as a producer with the diploma feature film “Bester Mann” (directed by Florian Forsch). It was awarded “Best Medium-Length Film” at the Max Ophüls Prize in 2018 and was nominated for the Austrian Film Award in 2019. In 2021, Fussenegger made his feature film debut with the unconventional documentary film “I Am The Tigress,” supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) and the State of Vorarlberg. “I Am The Tigress” delves into the life of the extraordinary Tischa ‘The Tigress’ Thomas, an African-American bodybuilder, offering deeply personal insights into her life. Through her eyes, we experience firsthand the discrimination she faces based on race, gender, and beauty. Recently, he founded the innovative startup Cybrothel Berlin, where he combines his visionary filmmaking talent with his connection to the Berlin underground kink scene to create extraordinary worlds. He created the first human-based interactive Realdoll, Kokeshi.AI. Fussenegger is currently working on his documentary film project titled “KitKatClub – das Leben ist ein Zirkus.” The film delves into the vibrant and unique atmosphere of the KitKatClub, exploring the lives and experiences of its patrons. It offers a captivating glimpse into their world, shedding light on the extraordinary stories and experiences within this iconic Berlin nightlife institution. Fussenegger is actively involved in the production of the documentary, which is scheduled to be completed in 2023. 

Vic Carmen Sonne
Vic Carmen Sonne is an actress and writer based in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2016 Vic graduated from the Danish National School of Performing Arts, without prior formal education, and as the youngest applicant ever accepted. Throughout her career, Vic has been dedicated to forging emotional connections in cinema by challenging norms and illuminating the often-unseen complexities of human life. This dedication has manifested through nonconformist narratives, challenging stereotypes as well as societal norms and is a defining feature of her filmography. In 2016, Vic starred in Rasmus Heisterberg´s feature film IN THE BLOOD  for which she won a Bodil Award for Best Actress (the Danish Critic’s Association). Shortly after, she started her continuing collaboration with director Hlynur Palmason’s when she boarded his WINTER BROTHERS, for which she received the Robert Award (the Danish Film Academy) for Best Supporting Actress. In 2018 she starred in Isabella Eklöf´s Sundance premiere, the grand jury prize nominee  HOLIDAY. The film was recognized widely, awarding Vic with a Bodil for Best Actress. In 2019, Vic was invited to sit on the Feature Narrative and Documentary jury for film festival Oslo Fusion, a festival focusing on LHBTQIA2S+ and QTIBIPOC, alongside Bartholomew Sammut. In 2020, Vic’s contributions to cinema were internationally acknowledged when she was awarded Shooting Star at the Berlinale. In 2022, Vic starred in in Hlynur Palmason’s  "Godland," that premiered at Cannes and was shortlisted for the Academy Awards' Best International Feature. Vic's coming projects include E.L. Katz's "Azrael," Milad Alami’s "Bullshit," the Netflix series "The Helicopter Heist" created by Ronnie Sandahl and directed by Daniel Espinosa, and Magnus von Horn's "The Girl with the Needle."


Djamila Grandits
Djamila Grandits is a Vienna-based curator and film programmer. As part of the CineCollective, she is responsible for the artistic direction and management of Kaleidoskop Film and Freiluft. She is currently part of the pre-selection committees of Berlinale Panorama and Diagonale, programmes for frameout - digital summer screenings and is a member of the Non-Fiction Commission of the Zurich Film Foundation. Djamila is a lecturer at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and works as a moderator and host of various panels, events and interviews. Djamila is interested in entanglements and the exploration of collective spaces.