DIRECTORS EXCHANGE: (Re)claiming Power

Monday, February 19th, 2 pm - 3:30 pm

Manifesto, Alte Potsdamer Straße 7, 10785 Berlin 

Their works embolden us, their stories are wild and their characters are fiercely unstoppable. Each turning the tables of power upside down and claiming their rightful places within these universes. Lola Arias and Bruce La Bruce sit down with us and share their approach to creating the wild, the wonderful and the powerful queer characters in their film sand what these characters bring to the community.   
Moderation: Djamila Grandits
Panelists: Lola Arias (Director, Reas, Forum), Bruce LaBruce (Director, The Visitor, Panorama), Jane Schoenbrun (Director, I Saw the TV Glow, Panorama)

Free entry without accreditation 


Berlinale - Lola Arias, Bruce LaBruce, Jane Schoenbrun, Djamila Grandits


Lola Arias
Lola Arias (Argentina) is a writer, theatre and film director. She is a multifaceted artist who brings together people from different backgrounds (war veterans, young refugees, sex workers, etc.) in theatre, film, literature, and visual art projects.  

Her most recent theater works play with the overlap between reality and fiction. Minefield (Royal Court Theatre, London, 2016) brings together British and Argentinian veterans of the Falklands/Malvinas War to share their experience of the conflict. Atlas des Kommunismus (Gorki Theatre, Berlin, 2016) gathers stories of women between the ages of 8 and 84 with backgrounds in the GDR. What they want to hear (Kammerspiele, Munich, 2018) is the reconstruction of the real case of a Syrian archaeologist trapped in German bureaucracy without any legal status. Futureland (Gorki Theatre, Berlin, 2019) is a science-fiction documentary piece performed by unaccompanied minors, teenagers who escaped to Germany on their own. Mother Tongue (2021-2022) is an encyclopedia of reproduction in the twenty-first century created in different cities with a diverse cast, and Happy Nights (Theater Bremen, 2023), an immersive performance where dancers and sex workers reflect on our relationships with sex, money, lust, and pain. 

Her first feature film, Theatre of War (2018), was selected for the 68th Forum of the Berlinale Film Festival and received several prizes, including the CICAE Art Cinema Award and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury. Arias also won the Best Director Award at the 20th BAFICI Festival in Buenos Aires. The film received the Movistar+ Prize for Best Documentary Film at Documenta Madrid and the Silver Condor Award for Best Adapted Script. 

Lola Arias’s work has been performed at the most prestigious theater festivals in the world, including Festival d’Avignon; Lift Festival, London; Under the Radar, New York; Theater Spektakel, Zurich; Wiener Festwochen; Festival Theaterformen, Hanover; and cinema festivals (Berlinale, BFI, San Sebastian, among others); as well as at venues including Théâtre de la Ville, Paris; REDCAT, Los Angeles; Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis; Parque de la Memoria, Buenos Aires; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Moma NY. 

Bruce LaBruce
Bruce LaBruce is a filmmaker, photographer, writer, and artist based in Toronto but working internationally. Along with numerous short films, he has written and directed fourteen feature films, including “Gerontophilia,” which won the Grand Prix at the Festival du Nouveau Cinema in Montreal. As a visual artist he has had numerous gallery shows around the world including one called “Obscenity,” a photography exhibit, which caused a national ruckus in Spain in 2012. His feature film L.A. Zombie was notably banned in Australia in 2010. His latest movie, “Saint-Narcisse,” was named one of the top ten films of 2021 by John Waters in Artforum. His new porn feature, “The Affairs of Lidia,” from Erika Lust Films, was released in 2022.

LaBruce has written and directed three theatrical works at the Hau Theater in Berlin, including a production of Arnold Schoenberg’s avant-garde piece Pierrot Lunaire at the legendary Hebbel am Ufer Theater. He turned this latter project into an experimental film, incorporating footage from the stage production combined with additional material shot on location in Berlin, which won a Teddy Award at the Berlinale in 2014. He has also directed theatrical works at the Theater Neumarkt in Zurich, Switzerland, and he participated as a director in the Hau Theater’s ambitious X-Homes project in Johannesburg, South Africa.

LaBruce has written a premature memoir called The Reluctant Pornographer, and another called “Porn Diaries.” He has had two books published about his work: Ride, Queer, Ride, from Plug-In Gallery in Winnipeg, and Bruce(x)ploitation, a monograph from the Italian distributor, Atlantide Entertainment. His photo book “Death Book” was published by Baron Books in 2020, who also published his books “Photo Ephemera” Vols 1&2 in 2022. LaBruce has contributed to a variety of international magazines, newspapers and websites as both a writer and photographer, including index magazine, for which he also acted as a contributing editor, Vice, The National Post, The Guardian UK, Honcho, Purple Fashion, Numero, Dazed and Confused, Tank, BlackBook, Bon, Fantastic Man, Man About Town, Bomb, and many others.
Additionally, LaBruce has directed a number of music videos, two of which won him MuchMusic Video Awards in Canada, and recently won Best Gay Director and Best Gay Film at the internationally recognized XBIZ porn awards for his film “Fleapit.”
The Visitor”, his latest feature film, will premiere at the Berlinale in 2024.

Jane Schoenbrun
Jane Schoenbrun is a non-binary filmmaker and writer dedicated to making and supporting personal, queer cinema.Their work includes 'I Saw the TV Glow,' 'We're All Going to the World's Fair,' 'A Self-Induced Hallucination,' and the punk rock variety TV show 'The Eyeslicer.' Their first novel is almost finished, and their New Year's Resolution is to get more comfortable with silence.


Djamila Grandits
Djamila Grandits is a Vienna based curator and film programmer. Part of CineCollective she’s responsible for the artistic direction and management of Kaleidoskop Film und Freiluft. Currently part of the pre-selection committees of Berlinale Panorama and Diagonale, programming for frameout - digital summer screenings and member of the non-fiction commission of Zürcher Filmstiftung. Lecturer at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Works as moderator and host of various panels, events and interviews. Djamila cares about entanglements and the exploration of collective spaces.