Stefan Haupt's docudrama The Circle, about the origins of Switzerland's – and Europe's – first gay rights organization in the 1950s, has won the Teddy Award for best documentary highlighting LGBT issues at this year's Berlin International Film Festival.
Set in Zurich in 1958, the film follows the life of Ernst Ostertag (Matthias Hungerbuhler), a young teacher who falls in love with the transvestite star Robi Rapp (Sven Schelker) and is torn between his comfortable, middle-class life and the ostracized life that is the fate of out-of-the-closet homosexual. Ernst becomes a member of The Circle, a gay rights organization that becomes a pioneer of gay emancipation throughout Europe. Anatole Taubman, Marianne Sagebrecht and Antoine Monot Jr. also star.
The Teddy Award was presented on Valentine's Day at the traditional Teddy party in Berlin.
Contrast Film Zurich produced The Circle, which will be released in Germany (via Salzgeber) and Switzerland (Ascot Elite) this fall.
Wide House is handling world sales and has sold the film to multiple territories at the European Film Market in Berlin, including for North America and Poland.