Berlin: 'Hard Paint' Wins Teddy Award for Best LGBTQ Feature

A socially withdrawn young man escapes into a virtual world as a gay chatroom performer in this intimate character study from Brazilian writer-director duo Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon.

Brazilian films swept this year's Teddy Awards, the Berlin International Film Festival's honors for LGBTQ cinema, taking three of the top four honors in what is the world's oldest gay cinema prize.

Hard Paint, a Brazilian drama about a vulnerable gay man in an unforgiving macho environment that some critics have compared to Barry Jenkins' Oscar-winning Moonlight, won this year's Teddy for best film. A hypnotic character study about a young gay man's double life as an online sex performer who smears on neon paint and acts out fantasies in online chat rooms, Hard Paint comes from Brazilian writer-director duo Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon.

Obscuro Barroco, an essay-style documentary by Greek director Evangelia Kranioti about Brazilian queer icon Luana Muniz (who also provides the film's narration), won the Teddy's Special Jury Award, while the Teddy for best documentary went to Claudia Priscilla and Kiko Goifman's Tranny Fag, a portrait of Linn da Quebrada, a black trans woman from Sao Paulo's impoverished favelas who is also a pop star raising her voice for queers of color.

The L'Oreal Teddy Newcomer Award for best first film went to Alvaro Delgado-Aparicio's Peruvian drama Retablo, a coming-of-age tale about a boy struggling in a macho world marked by violence. And the readers of German gay men's magazine Mannschaft picked yet another South American title, Marcelo Martinessi's Paraguayan drama The Heiresses, for its readers' award Teddy. The Berlin competition title focuses on a withdrawn, middle-aged gay woman who slowly inches out of the shadows after she separates from her more outgoing partner of 30 years.