Re­flec­tions and Cel­e­bra­tions: 25 years of Queer Sto­ry­telling

Q Magazine - - News -

Cel­e­brat­ing 25 years of queer sto­ries on film, Queer Screen's 25th Mardi Gras Film Fes­ti­val (Fes­ti­val) is a glo­ri­ous mix of ret­ro­spec­tive trea­sures and the lat­est and great­est films cel­e­brat­ing love, life and the jour­ney to equal­ity across the LGBTIQ+ spec­trum. Tick­ets are now on sale at queer­screen.org.au for the full pro­gram which runs from 15 Fe­bru­ary to 1 March in Event Cine­mas Ge­orge St and across Syd­ney.

With more than 60 Aus­tralian pre­mieres, two World Pre­mieres, abun­dant award-win­ning films and 12 dif­fer­ent short film pack­ages, the Fes­ti­val will show­case 55 fea­ture length films and 69 short films in 71 ses­sions.

“Screen­ing the widest num­ber of queer sto­ries and giv­ing a plat­form to as many dif­fer­ent queer voices as we pos­si­bly can, par­tic­u­larly un­der­rep­re­sented voices, is our driv­ing force this year and the rea­son why we are show­ing so many short films,” ex­plains Fes­ti­val Direc­tor Lisa Rose. “It's not a hard task to dou­ble the num­ber of short pack­ages this year as the qual­ity of the films is ex­cep­tional. I'm also proud that three ses­sions in­clude dif­fer­ently abled pro­tag­o­nists and two screen­ings have Open Cap­tions.”

“In ad­di­tion to show­cas­ing our new­est film­mak­ers, we are hon­our­ing our past through time­less clas­sics such as DESERT HEARTS and YOUNG SOUL REBELS as well as an un­miss­able My Queer Ca­reer Ret­ro­spec­tive Gala cel­e­brat­ing some of the most com­pelling short films created here in Aus­tralia since we es­tab­lished My Queer Ca­reer in 1994”, con­tin­ues Lisa.

This year's Fes­ti­val will host a count­down of the Top 25 LGBTIQ Films of All Time as voted by Queer Screen fans, and dis­cussed by lo­cal film ex­perts Kate Jinx, Matt Ravier and Lisa Rose.

The Fes­ti­val opens with IDEAL HOME, a hi­lar­i­ous dram­edy about an ex­trav­a­gant bick­er­ing cou­ple played by Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd who must look after a grand­son they never knew they had.

Clos­ing Night film is the quirky com­ing-of- age and award-win­ning FREAK SHOW fea­tur­ing the camp and coura­geous Billy Bloom who is de­ter­mined to live life as his fab­u­lous self. With cameos from Bette Mi­dler and Lav­erne Cox, it's a great cel­e­bra­tion of be­ing here and be­ing queer!

“Our 25th an­niver­sary is all about cel­e­bra­tion”, com­ments Queer Screen Pres­i­dent Ch­eryl Ka­vanagh. “A cel­e­bra­tion of who we are, of the peo­ple who have helped us get to where we are, and of the amaz­ing di­ver­sity across our com­mu­nity here and glob­ally. It's very ex­cit­ing to be mark­ing such an im­por­tant mile­stone in our or­gan­i­sa­tion while Mardi Gras cel­e­brates its 40th an­niver­sary, what a fan­tas­tic cou­ple of months ahead!”

Hold­ing its World Pre­miere at the Fes­ti­val is BLACK DIVAZ, the Aus­tralian doc­u­men­tary fol­low­ing the in­au­gu­ral Miss First Na­tion pageant, pro­vid­ing an in­ti­mate por­trait of what it means to be an Indige­nous Drag Queen to­day.

In ad­di­tion, we are one of the first coun­tries in the world to show­case a spe­cial pre­view screen­ing of LOVE, SIMON the hotly an­tic­i­pated com­ing of age story about the thrilling ride of fall­ing in love for the first time.

Visit­ing Syd­ney to help us cel­e­brate our 25th an­niver­sary are many in­ter­na­tional guests in­clud­ing renowned Bri­tish film­maker Isaac Julien who wrote and directed the iconic com­ing-of-age film YOUNG SOUL REBELS, win­ner of Best Film at the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val in 1991. Will Sul­li­van and Derek Dodge, the US based writ­ers and direc­tors of this year's THE RING THING and 2016's THAT'S NOT US, will visit the Fes­ti­val and con­duct an in­ter­ac­tive mas­ter­class on writ­ing and di­rect­ing im­pro­vi­sa­tional drama for lo­cal emerg­ing film­mak­ers.

Natasha Ne­go­v­an­lis who plays Carmilla Karn­stein in THE CARMILLA MOVIE, a se­quel to the smash hit web se­ries CARMILLA, is a spe­cial guest of the Fes­ti­val where she will take part not only in a Q&A and Meet & Greet ses­sion but is also host­ing an ex­clu­sive din­ner event for some lucky fans! More guests will be an­nounced soon.

The sheer di­ver­sity of this year's films en­sures there is some­thing for ev­ery­one whether you like your films dra­matic, up­lift­ing, thought­pro­vok­ing, artis­tic or just plain sexy!

Tick­ets for all films are on sale now. Please visit queer­screen.org.au or the Mardi Gras Film Fes­ti­val app, or call (02) 9280 1533 to book. Be­come a Queer Screen mem­ber for dis­counted tick­ets and pri­or­ity en­try.

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