Now in its 23rd year, Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival proves it’s as important as ever in bringing LGBQTI stories to audiences, with a massive program across 2 weeks. Held at The Star Event Centre, Festival Director Paul Struthers took us through an upcoming program with films from all over the world as well as homegrown stories.
Highlights include History Boys writer Alan Bennett’s true story The Lady in the Van, starring Maggie Smith as a homeless woman who lives in his driveway for 15 years, US drama Akron, Lesbian romantic comedy Portrait of a Serial Monogamist, and Swedish fantasy-drama Girls Lost. Highlight documentaries include Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer and Waiting For B, about a group of Brazilian Beyonce fans who camp two months to get in to her Sao Paulo show in 2013.
Aside from a massive range of international features, the festival supports local content with Australia’s largest LGBTQI film prize My Queer Career, offering cash and prizes to an Australian LGBTQI filmmakers, as well as the season premiere of hit web series Starting From… Now. Other Australian films include gritty queer crime drama Downriver, a documentary about Sydney’s gay rugby comp Bingham Cup called Scrum, and Remembering the Man, a doco focusing on the relationship between Tim Conigrave and John Caleo, subjects of the hit feature film Holding the Man.
With a huge program, the festival is expanding into new screens at Hayden Orpheum, Golden Age Cinema and the Carrington Hotel in Katoomba, alongside regular venues at Event Cinemas George St and Riverside Parramatta. Aside from the mammoth list of films and programs, the launch had a few surprises, with Ru Paul’s Drag Race winner Jinx Monsoon coming out for a song in aid of her doco Drag Becomes Him, and Deni Hines closing the night with a few numbers.
The Mardi Gras Film Festival runs in Sydney from February 18th to March 3rd. For tickets and more details head to queerscreen.org.au.
Article by Julian Ramundi.