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'Gardenia' tells the story of great love, bitter disappointments and self-doubts - but most of all of courage. The courage to take risks, to 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. The cast has been through it all. Theyʼve gone from rock bottom, to clawing themselves to the top only to fall again. They have worked as performers and prostitutes, been shunned and embraced, undergone sex changes and experienced every shade of love, loss, humiliation and joy imaginable in their long and complicated lives. But they have summoned up their bravery to take 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.

The renowned director Alain Platel is widely known as a revolutionary, visionary and innovator of international dance theatre, transgressing the borders between dance, theatre, music and visual arts. Stage "wizard" Frank Van Laecke has gained a reputation in directing operas and musicals, both for theatre and TV. 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.

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Writer & Director

Thomas Wallner

Co-writer & Associate Producer

Eva Küpper


Axel Schneppat


Henk Rabau


Kerstin Meyer-Beetz

Executive Producer

Christian Beetz

Line Producers

Kathrin Isberner, Xavier Rombaut

Production Manager

Nick Pastucha




Bart Van Langendonck - SAVAGE FILM (BE), ZDF, Canvas

In association with

Telenet, Arte

World Sales


With the support of

Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, German Federal Filmboard FFA, German Federal Film Fund DFFF, MEDIA Programme of the European Union and Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF)

Festivals & Awards

Hot Docs

Jury award

Atlanta Film Festival

Best Pink Peach Feature Grand Jury Prize

Vues d'en Face

Audience Prize

Festival International du Film sur l'Art/Internat.

Grand Prize

Torino Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

Best Feature Film

Film festival Oostende September

Ensor Best Documentary

Docville, DOK.fest München, Göteborg Film Festival, Reelout Queer Film + Video Festival 7, F.A.M.E., Zurich Moves! / Zurich Tanzt, One World Film Festival, Esperanzah! Festival, Krakow Film Festival, Vlaams Film festival Breda, EDOC - Encuentros del Otro Cine Film Festival in Ecuador, Flemish Film Festival of Utrecht, Transcreen Filmfestival, Open City Documentary Festival, SieFilm Center, Bergen Internasjonale Filmfestival, FIWOM, ZeFestival, Northwest Film Forum, Luststreifen Queer Film Festival, Queer Popcorn Festival, Inconvenient Films - Human Rights Film Festival, Vermont International Film Festival, Gender Bender Festival, Florence Queer Festival, Side by Side LGBT International Film Festival, Face à Face LGTB Film Festival, Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels, FIFA Montreal


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Savage Film bvba/sprl

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1930 Zaventem

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