Q film: THE 25TH QUEER SCREEN
Reflections and Celebrations: 25 years of Queer Storytelling
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.