Ten years of shaping, forming, breaking, discovering and finding XPOSED is about QUEER FILM in all it’s forms, glory, shame, distaste, trash and beauty. Sometimes it’s all in one and sometimes it’s spread out like Blanche at the Rusty Anchor.
XPOSED was started as a passion project, a passion for Queer Film, for Berlin and the ever expanding possibilities of storytelling within the world of Queer Film and the festival remains to this day a passion project. This festival is made by people who enjoy making festival, who enjoy queer films, filmmakers and queer Berlin, and this is reflected within the programming of the festival.
By not only screening some of the newest films around, XPOSED takes special care to always mix their programs with new and old films, be it in a short film program or a feature screening with a short. XPOSED enjoys creating programs and these programs can only be created by looking at the queer perspective from all corners of the world, perspectives that challenge normative views, propose an alternate way of thinking, and approach life and story telling from another way.
Created in 2006, the XPOSED International Queer Film Festival has built itself with the aim of creating entertaining, odd, left of centre Queer Film Programs that also in turn eXPOSE the Queer Filmmakers out into the international world of Queer Festivals and beyond. You can only be you when you are truly XPOSED. This festival, in the end, is about YOU.
Cuando el niño andrógino (When The Androgynous Child)
When the child speaks from his or her androgyny – which is neither truth nor appearance, neither male nor female, but all at once – they will return to the places where they have belonged. He or she remembers and claims their identity as a foreigner, refugee, bilingual, rejected for not being a man or woman at all.
The Imaginary Woman
“You yourself will be that other woman you have never seen” The imaginary woman is an animated experimental poem about the intimate transformation of a woman. Collecting spellings, questions and songs this animated poem portraits feelings of rupture, reflection and love. The imaginary woman breaks the shape of the ordinary woman, to empower other ways of exploring femininity. She is the portrayal of one and multiple women, she is the blurred and unbalanced woman who keeps watch over herself, and she finds in her sensitivity many possibilities to embody the femininity and other ways to assume love. This woman shows her reflection in the others through the internal dialogues, dealing with the rupture and the power of thoughts, images and emotions that inhabit in her memory.
The night side of a modernist icon. The fauna and flora of Roberto Burle Marx’s gardens inhabited by visitors to Flamengo’s Park while the city of Rio de Janeiro falls asleep. “Fireflies” is a fabulated ethnography of the night at Flamengo’s Park.
Eine gewisse Liebe zur Symmetrie (A Certain Love for Symmetry)
Of powerful women and suspicious triangles – but first we need some background knowledge.
Plant Dreaming Deep
Following a diary-like aesthetic, deep colours and thick textures covers images of nature. Distorted by analog manipulations, their materiality seem to capture a sense of discovery and, at the same time, a feeling of oppression. Surprisingly, the images oscillates between being very close and distant, playing with absurdity and intensity. Like if someone was entering a mysterious place and going out very quickly, Plant Dreaming Deep is probably a joyfully overwhelming glimpse of transitions happening in daily-life.
Journey to the CharBagh
Drawing upon Sufi traditions of interpreting Islamic sacred texts where love and equality are celebrated, Journey to the CharBagh is a poetic and experimental exploration of queerness from a Muslim perspective. The narrative focuses on the figure of the Buraq, a winged mythological creature with the ability to travel to heaven, encountering terrestrial and celestial beings, moving toward a spiritual and queer awakening.
International Dawn Chorus Day
Birds of the world zoom about the untimely prison deaths of Shady Habash and Sarah Hegazi
Young lesbians go on a trip to a remote beach. While they wait for the new year’s eve, they build a safe and loving environment through music and friendship. They take care of each other and they feel free.
De Gris a POSITHIVO
Two years ago I was diagnosed with HIV +. Everything turned grey and I felt that I should say goodbye to the people I love. This is an act of healing to return to LHIVe and show the strength that love has when you live an experience synonymous with a death sentence.
Trans*Atlantic family bonds, established by the love for art and cyberspace. Alma Negrot, Make-Up artist and Performer in São Paulo chats with mother Aérea Negrot, whom she has never met before, on the day of Bolsonaros Government takeover. How do we create alliances to challenge the status quo of Make-Up?
In Córdoba, far away from Argentina’s capital city, the end of a military regime promises a spring that doesn’t last long. “La Delpi” is the only survivor from a group of transgender women and drag queens, who began to die of AIDS in the late 80’s. In a catholic and conservative city, the Kalas Group made their weapons and trenches out of improvised dresses and playbacks. Today the images of a unique and unknown footage are not only a farewell letter, but also a friendship manifesto.
Autumn again on planet earth. A couple of rosy rose petals in eternal solidarity enduring great trouble of a heavy thunderstorm. A Romantic Conceptualism Bedtime Fable of resistance&redundance, or the awkward ambivalence of truth, dream, life and love. Let‘s unite to inflorescence.
Between melanin and far away planets, BLACKN3SS proposes a dive into the journey of the black youth of São Paulo city. A documentary on blackness, queerness and spacial aspirations of the diasporas children.
Bodies Like Oceans
A dreamy portrait of photographer Shoog McDaniel, a self-described queer fat freak, whose work with fat bodies in nature transgresses reality. From mountain-fed waterfalls to the clear blue and weightless world under the surface of a natural spring, joy radiates.
Tracing Utopia is an odyssey into the dreams of a group of queer teens in New York City as they envision a better world. Directed by Catarina de Sousa and Nick Tyson, this short documentary imagines a form of queer community transcending time, through glimpses of a utopia made manifest in the streets, in community spaces, and online. A collaborative manifesto weaves these pasts and futures together–calling for the change that queer youth strive for today: “As queer teens in Queens, we demand this in order to build a better world.”
Katatjatuuk Kangirsumi (Throat Singing in Kangirsuk)
Eva Kaukai and Manon Chamberland practice the Inuk art of throat singing in their small village of Kangirsuk. Their mesmerizing voices carry through the four seasons of their Arctic land.
If I Had a Dollar to Spend
David Wojnarowicz’s performance at King Tut’s Wha wha Hut, East Village, NY May 1989.
This film parallels resource extraction with the booming child apprehension Industry. As the filmmaker reviews her life and how these Industries have affected her, she also reflects on having her own eggs retrieved and frozen to make an Indigenous baby.
The tender relationship unfolds between an elderly Vietnamese grandmother and her granddaughter, who was born and brought up in Germany. While they spend a day together at grandmothers apartment in Berlin-Reinickendorf, they begin to share small discoveries of everyday life and larger, existential questions.
Chrishna became a woman again. As the water goes by, she remembers and tells us. The spirits of the river are keeping a watchful eye.Beat Goes On
Beat Goes On is an all-archival, impressionistic portrait of the harm reduction and housing activist Keith Cylar (1958–2004), co-founder of Housing Works and a central figure in the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power (ACT UP) NY. A fellow activist recalls that “Keith moved from mixing with the government, to threatening the government, to beating the government—all in the space of five minutes.”
By resurfacing and weaving together archival media of Cylar’s own words and actions, this short video distills some of the personal charisma, political savvy and fearlessness that characterized Cylar’s advocacy.
I am a Believer
Two girls are strolling in a desert land, they don’t speak and it’s in listening to the sound coming out of the landscape that they will learn a new language. They will wake up in the middle of roads leading them to burned houses to a flooded village till they will found their own territory.
After white people leave Earth en masse for Mars, the Indigenous people left behind contemplate their place in healing the world and what happens next.
Mojana is an associative re-imagining of a Colombian myth and traditional song. A mermaid-monster, who is desired and punished: the man-eating, seductive Mojana. Aggressions against this free and rare spirit are justified by obsessive love and desire. The film denounces the naturalised violence against this mythical female creature and reappropiates her as a symbol of trans-feminine resilience. Kinematic bodies and animal-human hybrids. An absent body, which returns into representation. A history of dissident bodies who resist dying in a necropolitical world.
A circus and artistes of the sort one knows only from dreams: peculiar, eccentric, mysterious, but also brutal, bloody, and horny; that’s how the performances in Plum Circus by Katrina Daschner can be described.
A Mordida (The Bite)
Between a house in the Atlantic forest and a genetically-modified mosquito factory near São Paulo, a polyamorous, non-binary relationship struggles to survive an epidemic spreading across Brazil. While in the factory millions of mosquitos are born daily inside test tubes, the power dynamics between Helmut, Calixto, and Tao only intensifies. The Bite is a film found somewhere between horror, science fiction and a queer drama.
PANDA MOONWALK or WHY MENG MENG WALKS BACKWARDS
In Kerstin Honeit’s video work Panda Moonwalk or Why Meng Meng Walks Backwards, human and inhuman bodies actively and resistantly assert themselves in the context of social injustices.
Since 2017 the two Giant Panda Bears Meng Meng and Jiao Qing have been hired out by China to the Berlin Zoo for millions of Euros. Unfortunately for the Zoo this profit seeking attraction did not work out as planned – in fact it worked backwards. Meng Meng, the female Panda will only walk backwards – probably protesting against her imprisonment.
Surprisingly the international press takes a different, sexist route and suggests that Meng Meng’s behaviour relates to the fact that she has not yet bred and is seeking attention. Kerstin Honeit’s video aligns Meng Meng’s protest with other performances of protesting bodies using movement in public space to address grievances.
Animal captivity is a human decision.
An apparently invisible but in the eyes of anyone behavioral pattern, calls into question the deprivation of freedom through a paranoid choreography.
A foley artist creates sounds for a film starring a dressage horse and dissolves into his own imitation.
As the character in the film, played by the gender fluid performer Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau, seems to transform into a gender-defying centaur, the film reflects on the boundaries between the human and the animal as well as on fictional gender roles and their transcendence.
Shot on 16mm film, Passage alludes to Eadweard Muybridge’s pre-cinematic experiments with horses.
The daily life of a homosexual man whose body is inhabited by ants.
The Glamorous Boys of Tang
In artist Su Hui-yu’s signature style, a moody slow-motion pan captures a wild, glitter-scattered, blood-splattered orgy during the Tang dynasty. The film is an invocation of scenes from 1985 Taiwanese cult film “Tang Chao Chi Li Nan” that only existed in the screenplay, unfilmed until now due to what can only be imagined as budgetary restrictions and censorship pressures during the Martial Law era. Presented without narrative context, the orgiastic murder scene plays out like an unsettling nightmare.
A retelling of a cruising experience where the lines between real life and fantasy are blurred.
From above and below ground, a man named Eddie describes flood lines, levees and trivial histories of the crumbling infrastructure of Memphis, TN. In this same city, the filmmaker, a recent transsexual transplant, watches war films and contemplates masculine connectivity as he attempts to integrate into the American South. He posts a Craigslist ad asking men to masturbate on-camera with their firearms. He receives a single response from a man who’s name is also Eddie.
Better Than Clean
Lina’s dinner party is a wash-out when all of her friends let her down. As she clears the food away, she notices a mysterious advert on the side of a cosmetic bottle and decides to investigate. The evening takes an unexpected turn when she is led into a surreal scene of self-indulgence.
Der Wichser (The Wanker)
The Viennese wanker wanks all day. While waiting for his inseminators, he tells about his sexual fantasies and his honour of being the biggest cum-whore of Vienna. When the doorbell rings, the wanker doesn’t open.
Tribute re-imagines the idea of a lesbian cruising ground in London, in direct response to Annette Kennerley’s “Sex Lies Religion” (1993). At a time when physical spaces for dykes to freely express their sexuality in London is scarce, Tribute is a materialisation of this fantasy space in film form, enacted in the same historic cruising ground – Abney Park Cemetery in Stoke Newington – where Kennerley shot her film decades before.
Heartbreak, breathplay, suspension bondage, and a conscientious ghost create a queer tale of redemption set in the woods.
Real Snow White
The absurd logic of the ‘real character’ and the extreme discipline of Disneyland become apparent when a real fan of Disney’s Snow White* is banned from entering the park in a Snow White costume. As visitors are encouraged to dress up and a lot of costume-like merchandise is sold at the park, the full costumes are only sold for children.
The Disney slogan ‘Dreams Come True’ of course means dreams produced exclusively by Disney. Anything even slightly out of control immediately evokes fear of these real, possibly dark and perverse dreams coming true. The fantasy of the innocent Snow White doing something bad is so obviously real, that the security guards and management refer to it when explaining why the visitor can’t enter the park dressed up as Snow White.
*Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from 1937 is the first full-length cel-animated film in history; based on a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm
Nuoc Tuong (Soy Sauce)
Marriage, especially between LGBT+ persons, becomes the most common means to secure one’s place i.e. one’s “possible future” in another country. However, this leads to the clash of differences – between two person; the inequalities and the conflicts of powers, found in their private sphere. This simple story within one household – about spatial territories, gastronomic practices, personal memories, camouflaged identities and the coercive “assimilation” – showcases a quirky means of political resistance.
Sarah, a teenage lesbian school girl, faces few challenges with her sexual identity. She cannot express her feelings to her mother. She decides to leave town forever with her partner.
Beer! Beer! is an “anti-romantic comedy” set in the early morning following a wild party in Berlin. When Tao, a Chinese guy, meets Sebastian, a local German. As they seem to get more and more intimate with each other, suddenly a mattress changes everything…
Jonathas has been adopted, but it doesn’t take long until he is returned because he is “different” from the other kids. Inspired by true events.
Alice is together with Johannes but she doesn’t have enough space to be herself. On a night out with friends, she steals a strap-on and challenges her boyfriend’s thoughts about girls.
Anette (55) and Carla (70) have known each other for years. Their rebellious nature and their special sense of humour connects the two self-confident women. They have always been swimming against the tide and even today they are still committed to their values. In the 1980s they fought loud and visible as radical feminists.
Years have passed and since society has only changed in slow motion, Carla and Anette decided to modify their strategies by using their criminal energy with a breeze of fun and rage. Today’s shift to the right and that society pushes them to the edge not only as women but also because of their age does not stop them. Undaunted they are using their supposed invisibility to do what many would not dare to do.
Rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, and well done. Painted on a ceramic plate, Rachel is a fat child disgust for her mother. During adolescence, represented by watercolor brushstrokes, Larissa rediscovers her body and her menstruation capacities.
In the prime of life, between glitches and digital noises, the singer Raquel exposes the risks that she faces every day for being who she is.The clay in constant metamorphosis is the body of Valquiria transforming through the climacteric. The actress Helena lgnez, icon of Brazilian cinema in the 60’s, painted over the 35mm film, tells how her body was important for her career, and also how she was abused. Five women and their relationship with the body from childhood to old age take form in Flesh.
I was really young the first time I got raped. I thought about telling this story one day, the story of this photograph. I didn’t have the courage. If the film could speak for me I’d do it.
A conversation with Rick, the worldwide Web’s most celebrated gainer…
Gainers are men who purposefully gain weight because they enjoy inhabiting a fatter body.
The video explores the gainer’s bodily transformation in order to challenge our preconceived notion of desire, beauty and masculinity.
Untitled Sequence of Gaps
Composed of short vignettes in different techniques and materialities, Untitled Sequence of Gaps uses the form of an essay film to approach trauma-related memory loss via reflections on light outside the visible spectrum – on what is felt but never seen. Carefully shifting between planetary macro scales, physical phenomena and individual accounts of affective subject formation, the artist’s voice considers violence and its workings, class and queerness not through representation but from within.
The video’s montage is slow and rhythmic, yet also uneven. The flow of images is interrupted by gaps that hold no less significance than the imagery itself. Footage in which public visual memory stands in for personal remembrance exists alongside sequences recorded via infrared imaging and scenes captured under ultraviolet light or microwave radiation. While pondering the effects of the invisible and the power inherent in shifting violence beyond visibility, the piece simultaneously reflects upon the digital archives and technologies that help shape the contemporary human’s relation to past, present and future.
The work tests the limits of vision and recordability, contemplating instances where a subject remains opaque to itself. Ghosts appear from holes ripped into time by an unremembered childhood, and a recently abolished witch-burning ritual in the artist’s rural home town serves as a foil against which to question the politics of visibility.
Letter to my mother // Yek nameh be madaram (نامه ای به مادرم)
In a bold and heartfelt cinematic letter to her mother, Amina Maher reveals the most painful of childhood secrets. The film explores gender confusion, sexuality, guilt and repression in relation with violence and identity. Letter to my Mother is a means for survival, a way to stand, speak up and understand. It is an attempt to break taboos and push boundaries – both social and personal, and to create life and art out of the darkest experiences.
The Comic Sans Video
Provoked by the Twitter response to the Eric Garner “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirt design, “The Comic Sans Video” is a “desktop cinema” essay on the ways in which taste is determined by race, class, gender, drawing in equal parts on the theoretical writings of Pierre Bourdieu and conversations with two colleagues and my mother.
All the world’s a selfie and everyone’s a troll. 16mm selfie was made using 16mm film footage from the 1950’s found in forgotten corners of storages in Mumbai’s Thieves Market (Chor Bazaar).
The Stroker is based on Takala’s two week-long intervention at Second Home, a trendy East London coworking space for young entrepreneurs and startups. During the intervention Takala posed as a wellness consultant named Nina Nieminen, the founder of cutting-edge company Personnel Touch who were allegedly employed by Second Home to provide touching services in the workplace.
After… After… Access
An essay film that confronts questions of accessibility through an attempt to record my open-heart surgery. The film follows me, as I prepare for the surgery: watching medical imaging of my body with friends, revisiting a former lover, preparing for my mom to come to New York, documenting my family’s arrival, and ultimately being admitted to the hospital.
Alongside this footage, the film’s narration considers the relationship between showing and telling; various dimensions of access; and how access is frequently considered only after the threat of liability, in the context of both filmmaking and disability. The film prioritizes access as a precondition of the film itself; audio description and open captioning are inseparable aspects of the film.
A sparse room, a xerox machine. Leather, metal, fur. A place where you don‘t sit at a square table with flowers and a salt shaker, but where you explore all dimensions of the space. Unwielding forms. Between 1981 and 1996, the lesbian-run „Pelze Multimedia“ in West Berlin was a beloved and notorious venue for experimental art and music, for sex parties, bar nights and avant-garde fashion shows staged on a scaffolding. Interviews with three of the showrunners are intertwined with carefully staged private archive materials. SUBJECT SPACES explores the memory of a subculture, the question of feminist heritage and an esthetic practice that stood in stark contrast to large parts of the women‘s movement at the time.
Women «intruders» occupy – the time of a mise en scène – the public space. They take on the same gestures, the same postures, as those of the men in such places: they play cards or watch a football match, without minding the passage of time. They occupy the terraces, expose themselves in the strangeness of a public space of exclusion – that of gender.
Less Lethal Fetishes
Grappling with a latent gas mask fetish, Cuthand muses on art world political controversies, toxic emissions from the petrochemical industry, and complicity in repression and pollution as an artist enmeshed in an art and film industry propped up by dirty funders.
Azul Vazante (Leaking Blue)
A mother looks for her son in a hospital bed. she finds her daughter instead. among shores and tides, blue leaks from the core.
Nattåget (Night Train)
Oskar is on the night train, heading home after an interview in Stockholm. With a long night ahead of him, he makes eye contact with Ahmad. For the first time he meets the gaze of someone who feels the same desire as he does.
In the early 2000s, following her return from a long stay abroad, Amélie invites her friends, Maude and Pascale to a cottage. In a disturbing and isolated forest, Amélie tries to reconnect with her friend Maude, while the rivalry between her and Pascale takes a dark turn.
Skies Are Not Just Blue
Yara, A. and brothers Monib & Tariq claim their identities as Muslims from diverse backgrounds by negotiating a space in the LGBTQ+ community and reflecting on their personal beliefs and experiences.
El Destetado (The Foreign Body)
Jairo is a native young man from Venezuela who was born with no nipples. Distanced from the customs of his people, he explores in the city a male ideal to belong to.
Hao, a chubby gay man, works as a janitor at a gay spa. For him, romantic relationships are an unreachable dream. One day, an attractive customer, Kai, walks into the place, and Hao has the opportunity to massage him. As they talk and get to know each other, they bond. However, things do not go as smoothly as Hao expected…