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


  • 09/2015 - GARDENIA wins Flemish ENSOR-Prize

    Exciting news from this weekend: our coproduction „Before the last curtain falls“ by Thomas Wallner and Eva Küpper just won [...]

    Exciting news from this weekend: our coproduction „Before the last curtain falls“ by Thomas Wallner and Eva Küpper just won the Flemish „Oscar“, the film award ENSOR as best feature 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. 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.  

    DVD
    official Website
    Facebook
    Flemish Film Awards



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  • 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: Lea-Marie Körner, Céline Deligny, 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

    Koproduktion

    Savagefilm_logo zdf_logo_dummy arte_logo CANVAS-LOGO-rot Telenet

    Kooperation

    15-03-27_SVT-logo_Gardenia

    Förderer

    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

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Kassler Dokfest - Gloria Kino - Kassel
      13 November 2014 at 10:15 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      L'iselp - FESTIVAL DU FILM SUR L'ART - Brüssel
      14 November 2014 at 7:00 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      IDFA - Munt 10 - Amsterdam
      19 November 2014 at 3:15 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      IDFA - Munt 11 - Amsterdam
      24 November 2014 at 10:00 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      IDFA - Brakke Grond Expozaal - Amsterdam
      26 November 2014 at 12:00 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      IDFA - Tuschinski 6 - Amsterdam
      27 November 2014 at 6:30 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      IDFA - Melkweg - Rabozaal - Amsterdam
      28 November 2014 at 8:45 pm

    • Gardenia - Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Top Kino, Saal 2 - IFF - this human world - Vienna
      06 December 2014 at 12:00 pm

    • Gardenia - Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Top Kino, Saal 2 - IFF - this human world - Vienna
      11 December 2014 at 7:00 pm

    • Bevor the Last Curtain Falls

      QUEER PROJECTIONS - Gibsons Heritage Playhouse - Canada
      15 December 2014 at 7:30 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      FIPA - France
      21 January 2015 at 3:45 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Gothenburg Film Festival - Sweden
      24 January 2015 at 12:45 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Gothenburg Film Festival - Sweden
      27 January 2015 at 5:30 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Gothenburg Film Festival - Sweden
      28 January 2015 at 12:30 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Gothenburg Film Festival - Sweden
      30 January 2015 at 7:30 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Reelout Queer Film Festiva - Kingston, Ontario, Canada
      07 February 2015 at 2:00 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      One World Film Festival - Svetozor - Large Hall - Prague
      04 March 2015 at 5:00 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      One World Film Festival - Municipal Library - Prague
      07 March 2015 at 3:00 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      One World Film Festival - Evald - Prague
      09 March 2015 at 5:00 pm

    • Gardenia - Bevor der letzte Vorhang fällt

      F.A.M.E. - Paris - France
      13 March 2015 at 6:00 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Zurich Moves! - Houdini - Switzerland
      18 March 2015 at 6:15 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      FIFA - Uqam - Montréal
      20 March 2015 at 9:00 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Atlanta Film Festival - Plaza Theatre - USA
      24 March 2015 at 9:00 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Vues d'en Face - Grenoble - France
      18 April 2015 at 9:00 pm

    • Gardenia - Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Torino Gay and Lesbian Film Festival -
      03 May 2015 at 4:15 pm

    • Gardenia - Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Torino Gay and Lesbian Film Festival -
      04 May 2015 at 3:00 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Vlaamse Film Festival - Netherlands
      08 May 2015 at 2:30 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Vlaamse Film Festival - Netherlands
      09 May 2015 at 11:30 am

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      EDOC Film Festival - Quito - Ecuador
      22 May 2015 at 7:00 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      EDOC Film Festival - Quito - Ecuador
      25 May 2015 at 8:00 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      EDOC Film Festival - Quito - Ecuador
      30 May 2015 at 7:45 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      SieFilm Center - Denver
      18 June 2015 at 7:30 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Open City Documentary - UK
      18 June 2015 at 8:30 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Film Festival for Women's rights - Seoul, Korea
      18 September 2015 at 4:50 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Film Festival for Women's rights - Seoul, Korea
      19 September 2015 at 8:30 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Bergen Internasjonale Filmfestival - Bergen, Norwegen
      28 September 2015 at 12:55 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Bergen Internasjonale Filmfestival - Bergen, Norwegen
      29 September 2015 at 7:45 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Librairie Vignia - Zefestival Nice
      03 October 2015 at 6:00 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      ZeFestival - Nice, France
      03 October 2015 at 6:00 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Northwest Film Forum - Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
      10 October 2015 at 2:15 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Luststreifen Queer Film Festival - Basel, Switzerland
      10 October 2015 at 5:30 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Queer Popcorn Festival - Bellinzona, Italien
      18 October 2015 at 5:45 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Inconvenient Films - Human Rights Film Festival - Vilnius, Lithuania
      19 October 2015 at 5:30 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Inconvenient Films - Human Rights Film Festival - Kaunas, Lithuania
      24 October 2015 at 7:00 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Inconvenient Films - Human Rights Film Festival - Vilnius, Lithuania
      25 October 2015 at 5:00 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Vermont International Film Festival - Burlington
      01 November 2015 at 7:00 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Gender Bender Festival - Bologna, Italy
      07 November 2015 at 6:00 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Florence Queer Festival - Closing Film - Italy
      17 November 2015 at 10:00 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      FACE à FACE Festival - St. Etienne, France
      21 November 2015 at 4:15 pm

    • Gardenia - Before The Last Curtain Falls

      Side by Side LGBT International Film Festival - St. Petersburg
      26 November 2015 at 8:00 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Salaya International Documentary Film Festival - Thailand
      26 March 2016 at 2:30 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Salaya International Documentary Film Festival - Thailand
      03 April 2016 at 7:00 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Side by Side LGBT International Film Festival - Sreda Loft, Moscow
      22 April 2016 at 7:30 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Against Gravity Film Festival - Warsaw, Poland
      13 May 2016 at 6:30 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Against Gravity Film Festival - Warsaw, Poland
      15 May 2016 at 2:00 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Orlando - Identità I Relazioni I Possibilità - Bergamo, Italy
      16 May 2016 at 9:45 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Against Gravity Film Festival - Warsaw, Poland
      18 May 2016 at 4:15 pm

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Fairy Tales Film Festival - Calgary, Canada
      20 May 2016 – 28 May 2016

    • Before the Last Curtain Falls

      Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival - Tel Aviv, Israel
      29 May 2016 – 07 June 2016

    • Indiewire.com on May 8, 2014

      "'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."