Before the Last Curtain Falls

The documentary “Before the Last Curtain Falls” tells the story of great love, bitter disappointments and self-doubts – but most of all of courage. The courage to take risks, try something new and be yourself – no matter what age. The film dives deeply into the exceptional and heart-warming stories of a group of transsexuals and drag queens in their sixties and seventies, who summon up their bravery to take to the stage one last time. For two years they have been touring in five continents, basking in the success of a spectacular show called “Gardenia”, directed by Alain Platel and Frank Van Laecke. Now, as the show comes to a close, the glamorous aging performers must leave the limelight and go home to the quiet lives they left behind.

News

  • 10/2014 - German cinema release GARDENIA on November 13th

    On November 13th, “Before the Last Curtain Falls” will have its German cinema release. The premieres are at Volksbuehne Berlin [...]

    On November 13th, "Before the Last Curtain Falls" will have its German cinema release. The premieres are at Volksbuehne Berlin (3.11.), Abaton Cinema Hamburg (4.11.), Schauspiel Cologne (5.11.) and Euro-Scene Leipzig (5.11.) in the presence of cast and crew. The film dives deeply into the exceptional and heart-warming stories of a group of transsexuals and drag queens in their sixties and seventies, who summon up their bravery to take to the stage one last time. It has been awarded with the Special Jury Prize 2014 at the renowned Hotdocs and is now nominated for Prix Europa.

    Official website of GARDENIA
    GARDENIA on Facebook
    Real Fiction Filmverleih, Distributor GARDENIA
    Kölner Filmpresse, Press Contact GARDENIA


  • 09/2014 - BEFORE THE LAST CURTAIN FALLS nominated for "Best Documentary" at Mix Copenhagen

    Before the Last Curtain Falls has been nominated in the category ‘Best Documentary’ at Mix Copenhagen film festival. Mix Copenhagen is [...]

    Before the Last Curtain Falls has been nominated in the category 'Best Documentary' at Mix Copenhagen film festival. Mix Copenhagen is one of the oldest LGTB film festivals in the world, it presents productions that discuss LGBT topics in a social, political and artistic way.  "Thomas Wallner's beautiful documentary mixes almost wordless choreography with deeply personal interviews, creating a unique portrait of a group of sexual rebels - and lives filled with glamor, courage, tragedy and turbulent". Mix Copenhagen The screening is on Wednesday, 8 October, 7:15pm at the Cinemateket in Copenhagen.

    Mix Copenhagen Festival
    'Before the Last Curtain Falls' Official Webside
    'Before the Last Curtain Falls' on Facebook


  • 09/2014 - GARDENIA nominated for PRIX EUROPA 2014!

    We feel greatly honored: “Before the Last Curtain Falls” has been nominated for PRIX EUROPA 2014 in the category “TV [...]

    We feel greatly honored: "Before the Last Curtain Falls" has been nominated for PRIX EUROPA 2014 in the category "TV Documentary". The film dives deeply into the exceptional and heart-warming stories of a group of transsexuals and drag queens in their sixties and seventies, who summon up their bravery to take to the stage one last time. Since its founding in 1987, PRIX EUROPA has grown into Europe’s largest festival for Television, Radio and the Online Media. All winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on Friday evening, 24 October.

    Prix Europa 2014
    Before the Last Curtain Falls
    "Gardenia" on Facebook


Press Echo

  • "'Before the Last Curtain Falls' is an endearing recollection of life as an outsider, a sincere exploration of queer identity, and a stunning celebration of the communion we achieve in art."

    Indiewire.com on May 8, 2014


Before the Last Curtain Falls

Before the Last Curtain Falls is a film that explores the lives of six aging and highly unique transsexuals and drag queens in their sixties and seventies, through the prism of a great dance, theatre, cabaret and music show called “Gardenia”. It was evolved in collaboration with the directors Alain Platel, one of Europe’s greatest contemporary choreographers, and Frank Van Laecke.

What was supposed to be a limited run in some selected theatres unexpectedly became a huge international success. The performers toured for more than two years in five continents and over 60 cities. Now that the show is coming to a close and the artists are coming home it is their time of introspection, of reevaluation of choices made, of lives lived and possible futures. The cast has been through it all. They’ve been at the bottom, have clawed themselves to the top only to fall again. They have been shunned and embraced, worked as performers and prostitutes, undergone sex changes, have experienced every shade of love, loss and humiliation and joy imaginable in their long and complicated lives.

We are delving deeply into the lives of our protagonists, peeling away the many layers of protection, illusion and self-delusion to create a raw but ultimately warm human portrait of a group of people, who seemingly effortlessly navigate the twilight zone between being male and being female and are now entering the last chapter of their lives.  For the cast, who thought that their best days lay behind them “Gardenia” became the highlight of their lives.

Based on the play "Gardenia" by
Vanessa Van Durme (Concept)
Alain Platel, Frank Van Laecke (Director)
Written and Directed by Thomas Wallner
Associate Director: Eva Küpper
Director of Photography: Axel Schneppat
Editing and Dramatic Structure: Manfred Becker
Sound Engineer: Henk Rabau
Sound Designer: Sven Serfling
DIT: Falco Seliger
Camera Assistants: Gäetan De Poorter, Olivier Van Tendeloo
Line Producers: Kathrin Isberner, Xavier Rombaut
Production Manager: Nick Pastucha
Production Assistant: Anique Roelfsema
Unit Production Managers Belgium: Sieber Marly, Tim Jansen
Production Assistant Belgium: Simon Waterkeyn
Technical Supervisor Post-Production: Philipp Weigold
Production Accountants: Daniela Schöne, Sandra Zentgraf
Supervising Producer: Kerstin Meyer-Beetz
Assistance Producer: Céline Deligny, Lea-Marie Körner, Sarah Maret
Executive Producer: Christian Beetz
Coproduced by Bart Van Langendonck (Savage Film)
Idea and Commissioning Editor ZDF/arte: Wolfgang Bergmann
Commissioning Editors Canvas: Marc Coenen, Reinhilde Weyns, Ingrid Lanckmans
Commissioning Editors Telenet: Ann Caluwaerts, Laurence Finé, Siegfried Moens,
Steven De Maertelaere
Supported by Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, FFA, DFFF, MEDIA programme of the European Union, Flanders Audiovisual Fund & Flanders Image

Coproduction

Savagefilm_logo zdf_logo_dummy arte_logo CANVAS-LOGO-rot Telenet

Sponsors

media_logo medienboard_logo ffa_logo FilmstiftungNRW_logo DFFF Flanders-Audiovisual-Fund FlandersImage_Partner_Gardenia
  • Before the Last Curtain Falls - World Premiere

    Bloor Hot Docs Cinema - Toronto
    28 April 2014 at 8:30 pm

  • Before the Last Curtain Falls

    TIFF Bell Lightbox 2 - Hot Docs Film Festival - Toronto
    29 April 2014 at 4:00 pm

  • Before the Last Curtain Falls

    TIFF Bell Lightbox 2 - Hot Docs Film Festival - Toronto
    02 May 2014 at 12:30 pm

  • Before the Last Curtain Falls

    DOCVILLE - Soetezaal - Leuven
    04 May 2014 at 7:30 pm

  • Before the Last Curtain Falls

    Rio 1 - DOK.fest - Munich
    08 May 2014 at 8:30 pm

  • Before the Last Curtain Falls

    DOCVILLE - Labozaal - Leuven
    09 May 2014 at 3:00 pm

  • Before the Last Curtain Falls

    Filmmuseum - DOK.fest - Munich
    10 May 2014 at 10:00 pm

  • Before the Last Curtain Falls

    Háskólabíó - Reykjavik International Film Festival - Iceland
    25 September 2014 at 5:30 pm

  • Before the Last Curtain Falls

    Rio Theatre - Vancouver International Film Festival
    25 September 2014 at 7:00 pm

  • Before the Last Curtain Falls

    Queer Lisboa - Sala Manoel De Oliveira - Lisbon
    25 September 2014 at 7:30 pm

  • Before the Last Curtain Falls

    International Village #8 - Vancouver International Film Festival
    26 September 2014 at 1:30 pm

  • Before the Last Curtain Falls

    Bíó Paradís - Reykjavíc International Film Festival - Iceland
    27 September 2014 at 7:45 pm

  • Before the Last Curtain Falls

    Rio Theatre - Vancouver International Film Festival
    29 September 2014 at 4:30 pm

  • Before the Last Curtain Falls

    Bíó Paradís - Reykjavíc International Film Festival - Iceland
    29 September 2014 at 11:00 pm

  • Before the Last Curtain Falls

    Bíó Paradís - Reykjavíc International Film Festival - Iceland
    03 October 2014 at 1:30 pm

  • Before the Last Curtain Falls

    Cinemateket - Mix Copenhagen
    08 October 2014 at 7:15 pm

  • Before the Last Curtain Falls

    Lesbisch Schwule Filmtage Hamburg - Kino Passage
    19 October 2014 at 5:45 pm

  • Premiere: Before the Last Curtain Falls

    Großes Haus - Volksbühne Berlin
    03 November 2014 at 8:00 pm

  • Premiere: Before the Last Curtain Falls

    Abaton Cinema - Hamburg
    04 November 2014 at 8:00 pm

  • Before the Last Curtain Falls

    Passage Kinos - Euro-Scene Leizig
    05 November 2014 at 4:30 pm

  • Premiere: Before the Last Curtain Falls

    Schauspiel Köln - Cologne
    05 November 2014 at 7:30 pm

  • Before the Last Curtain Falls

    Pink Panorama - Luzern
    13 November 2014 at 12:00 am