* Hot Docs Toronto


* DOK.fest München

* Reykjavik International Film Festival

* Vancouver International Film Festival

* Queer Lisboa 

* Mix Copenhage
* Lesbisch Schwule Filmtage Hamburg 

* Passage Kinos - Euro-Scene Leipzig
* Pink Panorama Luzern 

* Kassler Dokfest
* IDFA Amsterdam

* this human world – Wien

* FIPA Biarritz
* Göteborg Film Festival

* Reelout Queer Film Festival Kanada
* One World Film Festival Prag
* F.A.M.E. Paris
* Zurich Moves! 

* FIFA Montréal

* Atlanta Film Festival

* Vues d'en Face Grenoble

* Zürich tanzt
* Vlaamse Filmfestival Utrecht
* A.R.S. - Art Resistance Shoah – Istoreco, Correggio

* Krakow Film Festival

* Torino Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

* Ensor for Best Flemish Documentary
* Prix Europa Nomination
* The Audience Prize for Long Featured Documentaries - Vues d'en face in Grenoble
* Grand Prix - International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA)
* Special Jury Prize - Canadian Feature Documentary at Hotdocs

Before the Last Curtain Falls

Category |Arts&Culture, Human Interest, Human Rights, Sexuality, Sexuality, Social Issues, Women
Year | 2014
Country | Germany/Belgium
Running time | 86’&52’
Format | HD
Production | Gebrüder Beetz Filmproduktion Köln GmbH & Co.KG , Savage Film
Director | Thomas Wallner

The film dives deeply into the exceptional and heart-warmingstories of a group of transsexuals and drag queens in their sixties and seventies, who summon up their bravery to take the stage once again – perhaps for the last time. Belgium’s pre-imminent choreographer Alain Platel and “wizard”stage director Frank Van Laecke collaborate to turn the castmember’s lives into movement. What was supposed to be alimited run in some selected theatres unexpectedly becamea huge international success, playing over 200 shows in 25countries. For two years the protagonists have been touring five continents, performing a spectacular dance, theatre and music show called “Gardenia”

Now the show is coming to a close and the artists are coming home to a time of introspection, a re-evaluation of choices made, of lives lived and possible futures. The cast has been through it all.

They’ve 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.

The film peels away their many layers of protection, illusionand self-delusion to create a raw but ultimately warm human portrait of a group of people in the last chapter of their lives, who seemingly effortlessly navigate the twilight zone between genders. For the cast, who thought that their best days lay behind them, “Gardenia” has become the highlight of their lives.


Both tender and lascivious, the stories unfold with all of the glamour, courage, tragedy and turbulence of lives lived as gender and sexual rebels. Director Thomas Wallner creates a profoundly human portrait of our persistent longing for love.

PRESS IMAGES: (click to preview)




Thomas Wallner is a director, writer, producer and game designer working in feature film, television, games and interactive media. In addition to producing innovative cross-media properties for television, he has written and directed five award-winning feature documentaries that have been broadcast in more than 30 countries. Thomas is a recipient of numerous honors including two interactive Emmy Awards and three additional nominations, two Geminis, a Rose d’Or, SXSW Interactive Award, two Webbys and two CNMA’s.


2012 Gardenia – Before the Last Curtain Falls
Theatrical Feature Documentary, Writer/ Director

2011 The Guantanamo Trap
Theatrical Feature Documentary, Writer/ Director http://www.guantanamotrap.com

2008 Inside Hana’s Suitcase
Theatrical Feature Documentary, Writer

2006 Tropicana
Documentary, Writer/ Director

2005 Mozartballs
Documentary, Writer

2004 Beethoven’s Hair
Documentary, Writer

1996 Solidarity Song – The Hanns Eisler-Story
Feature documentary, Co-Director/ Co-Writer

1992 My War Years: Arnold Schoenberg
Documentary, Associate Director/ Co-Writer