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The Years of the Berlin Film Festival
Posted February 11, 2010 to photo album "The Years of the Berlin Film Festival"
The Berlinale turns 60 this year. What a strange journey it’s been.
Slide 12: 1987 - The East Comes West
Programmer Manfred Salzgeber and Wieland Speck start the Teddy Award.
The Festival may have been set up as a beacon of Western (i.e. Capitalist) values in the face of the Soviet Union and its satellites. But by 1987, the Berlinale had not only turned around, but had become one of the major showcases for Soviet cinema in the world. Partially this came from the festival’s new openness, but importantly the influx of work from the East was made possible by the slackening of control of film and culture by Gorbachev. Work that had been forbidden for export was now touring the world. Indeed Gleb Panfilov’s Tema, a film that was made in 1979, won the Golden Bear this year. In the same year, the festival’s attention to lesbian and gay work, especially in the Panorama section, was made tangible with the presentation of the Teddy Award, a festival prize bestowed upon the best GLBT work. In 1987, the Teddy went to Pedro Almodóvar’s The Law of Desire (starring an previously unheard of actor called Antonio Banderas).