Starting from the idea of showing a few films to accompany the lesbian-gay "Herbsterwachen" (autumn awakening), the queerfilm festival Bremen was founded in 1994. Since then, the festival has taken place annually in October and presents queer films to the local LGBT*IQ community and the interested public. Since its inception, the festival has become a permanent feature in the regional culture scene and is also networked nationally: as a member of QueerScope, an independent association of gay and lesbian festivals in Germany.
For six days, the festival presents a diverse mix of movies, documentaries and short films at Bremen's communal cinema City46, selected from the current annual productions by a volunteer team. All films are shown as Bremen premieres and in the original version. The festival's programme also includes talks with directors and activists.
A special feature is the festival's Audience Award, which is given to the favourite movie of the year.
We see it as an important cultural-political mission to give a forum to cinematic representations of alternative lifestyles - especially lifestyles in a gay-lesbian-transgender context. Since its beginning, the programme of the queerfilm festival Bremen therefore differs conceptually and in terms of content from that of other commercial cinemas. The festival especially gives films a chance that have not yet found a distributor in Germany - for example, because they are brand new; or because they are not suitable for commercial exploitation. This also explains the quantity of premieres that characterise the festival. In the film programme as well as in the accompanying events - discussion rounds, exhibitions, talks - the festival tries to take up latest social debates and international developments: We not only want to inform, but also to contribute to actual discussions.
The festival programme is created by a volunteer programme committee. It is particularly important to us to achieve a balance between gay, lesbian and transgender contributions; between movies and documentaries; between German and international productions. The programme is completed by (at least) one evening of short films, thematic key programmes, and, if required, classics of queer film history.