Short Film Profile


Tony, a dyed-in-the-wool Londoner, has travelled over 10,000 miles to rural New Zealand for a holiday with his ex, the man who abandoned him for a life on the other side of the world - Neil.

While Tony's hopes of rekindling his relationship with Neil are complicated by the presence of Neil's new man, Phil, it's a faded old teddy bear which will finally decide their fate.

Film notes

"I’m quite sentimental over teddy bears. My partner and I have several, one of which – his childhood bear – is the Teddy actually in the film. A couple of years ago, one of the larger Anglican churches in Auckland, St Matthew’s in the City, held a “blessing of the teddy bears” Sunday, and although neither of us are religious, my partner and I both went along.

It was so life-affirming that I ended up writing about it in a column for a local gay newspaper I was writing for at the time. I was surprised to find the atmosphere of inclusion and unconditional love that came through in that service as people shared their memories and life experiences. It was something I had never experienced when growing up as a Catholic.

The idea of blessing teddy bears seemed frivolous initially, but when I heard Reverend Glynn Cardy’s rationale behind the event, it seemed very appropriate:

He said: 'Bears are an important part of many people’s childhood. They come to us furry and clean and after seemingly only a little time start to lose both. As they’re cuddled, carried, sucked, and cherished they lose their pristine appearance and gain love instead. Then, smothered in love, toast crumbs and honey, they
become real.'

Once something becomes real, it can be lost. I liked the idea of a teddy representing a relationship and all the emotion that two people invest into it. It seemed beautiful and sad all at the same time."

- "Teddy" writer/director Christopher Banks
bear gay new zealand queer




Copyright © 2009 Burning Rope Productions Ltd

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Previous screenings

14 May – 24 May | Toronto, Canada
21 May – 11 Jun | Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, New Zealand
18 Jun – 28 Jun | San Francisco, United States
9 Jul – 19 Jul | Los Angeles, United States
7 Oct – 10 Oct | Cardiff, United Kingdom

Film details

Dialogue languages

Subtitle languages


Aspect ratio

Production formats


M (New Zealand)

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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 9 Nov 2009