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30 years queerfilm festival

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT… the queerfilm festival turns 30!

Get your goggles ready and strap on your tentacles, because the queerfilm festival Bremen is celebrating its 30th anniversary!

In 1994, a small group of film projectionists and curators from the Kommunalkino Bremen launched the first “Lesbian-Gay Film Festival Bremen”. Just two years later it renamed itself “queerfilm festival Bremen”. At that time, queer was still an unusual term in Germany, and a pejorative and swearword in the English-speaking world. The founders chose the name because they liked the idea of appropriating the swearword and thus redefining it themselves. The subtitle ” Gay-Lesbian Film Festival” accompanied the festival through the years and later became ” Gay-Lesbian-Trans Film Festival”. Then in 2022, some queerfilm medusas decided to ditch the subtitle altogether. After all, why limit yourself when there are jellyfish of all shapes and colors in the ocean of community?

Then – Now

In 30 years of festival organizing, many conditions have changed, technologically, personnel-wise and socially: While the team in the 90s often had to rely on film recommendations – viewing copies on videotape were the exception – today we sift through a huge selection of digital viewing links. Subtitles were rare at first, later they could be “clicked” live into the film, while today we create them for you with software and insert them into the film files – film files that today we bring to the cinema with a download and that not so long ago had to be shipped around the world on 35mm film reels and had to be laboriously pre- and post-processed by projectionists. With the move from Kino 46 in Walle to CITY 46 in Birkenstraße, the small polyp queerfilm festival grew into a dazzling jellyfish. In addition to a second cinema hall, the all-time favorite and lovingly decorated bar complemented the queerfilm swarm there.

The Team

The people who plan the festival today are also no longer the same as 30 years ago. Initially a project of the Kommunalkino with the support of volunteers, queerfilm e.V. was founded in 2004 to put the festival on its own feet and to be able to finance it. Since then, every year a team of volunteers and one organizing staff realizes the festival. Like many activist groups, we have gone through a generational change. Today, we are no longer three, but rather 30 people and – like the festival – most of them are around 30 years old.
What has not changed is the valuable cooperation with Kommunalkino Bremen e.V., without which the queerfilm festival would probably not have grown into this lively and dazzling jellyfish.

Changes (?)

The social situation of queer people in Germany is different today than it was 30 years ago, in many cases a better one – but queer people are still discriminated against and attacked.
Still trans, inter and non-binary people have to fight for visibility and basic rights – also within the queer community. In the meantime, there are drafts for an abolition of the TSG, but politicians continue to pick apart the self-determination law into unsatisfactory bits and pieces. And despite same-sex marriage, queer parents still have to adopt their children to be legal parents. Traditional gender roles are more and more popular again and not only in Germany conservative, anti-feminist, racist and queerphobic movements use manipulative and perfidious strategies to gain more power and “bourgeois” prestige. And so, to the question “Is there even a need for a queer film festival these days?” we answer with rock-solid conviction: YES, ABSOLUTELY!

Bar & Audience Award

Everyone who washes up at the self-designed queerfilm bar is invited for tasty drinks and lively conversations before and after the films. And our beautiful raffle fairies will be selling you tickets for great prizes. Grab your tickets and win small and big treasures at our raffle!

This year, the audience can once again crown the most popular film with the Audience Award. Voting is possible after each full-length film!

Support at the Festival

Racism, sexism, homo-, trans- and queerphobia as well as any other form of discrimination will not be tolerated at the queerfilm festival Bremen. The queerfilm team will support you if you feel uncomfortable and you experience or observe assaultive situations.
Our awareness concept will be displayed in the cinema and DAH premises during the festival and shared on social media.