It all started back in 1994, with the idea to accompany the gay and lesbian event "Herbsterwachen" (autumn awakening) by showing queer films at a local cinema in Bremen.
Since then, the queerfilm festival Bremen has taken place annually every autumn, presenting films to the local LGBTI* community and anyone interested in queer films. Today, it is firmly established in the regional cultural landscape and is also a member of QueerScope, an independent co-operation of queer film festivals from all over Germany.
For six days every autumn, the festival takes over the screens and seats of City46, a municipal cinema in Bremen, to present a variety of dramas, comedies, documentaries and short films, selected by the queerfilm team from the current year's productions and submissions - in the original language whenever possible. Discussions with filmmakers and activists are also part of the festival programme.
The audience award has become an important part of the festival. It is given out on the last evening of the festival to the full-length feature film rated highest by the audience.
We consider our voluntary work an important contribution to cultural policy - creating a space for films depicting alternative lifestyles, particularly those set in gay, lesbian or transgender contexts. Consequently, our programme has since the very beginning differed from that of commercial cinemas in regard to both concept and content. We try to focus especially on films not yet distributed in Germany - either because they're too new or because they're not deemed commercially successful. This gives us the opportunity to show many films as national or international premieres.
Through its films as well as the accompanying discussions, exhibitions and interviews, the festival aims at engaging with current social debates and international developments, not only to educate, but to actually contribute to the discussion.
The festival programme is put together by a committee of about a dozen volunteers. We want to present a well-balanced selection of gay, lesbian and transgender films, including dramas, comedies and documentaries, national and international productions. At least one short film night, themed evenings and queer film classics round off the programme.