REGIONAL Victoria will experience a taste of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival when a selection from this year’s event comes to Ballarat this weekend.

Three events will screen at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (MADE) a curated package of Australian short films and two films that were hits at this year’s festival.

Any Day Now from acclaimed writer and director Travis Fine follows two gay men, played by Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt, trying to adopt a 14-year-old with Down syndrome in 1979.

Reaching for the Moon charts the stormy relationship between American poet Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto) and Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo (Glória Pires).

Festival director Lisa Daniel told the Star Observer curating a program for a smaller event like MQFF at MADE was about trying to get as many people as possible to engage with queer cinema.

“You have to be careful about throwing in a fairly out there documentary because you’re not necessarily going to get bums on seats, because it’s a much smaller audience,” she said.

She said the popularity of the two selected features made them an obvious choice, and with plans to continue the collaboration with MADE into future years, there could be opportunities to diversify the program later.

“We hope that we can capitalise (on early success) in the second year and maybe start pushing the envelope in terms of curatorial choices, like we’ve done in Bendigo over the years… maybe throw in a foreign language film or different shorts or something like that,” Daniel explained.

MQFF has continued to expand into smaller events outside the festival proper in recent years, with a collaboration with the Bendigo Queer Film Festival now in its 10th year.

Daniel said MQFF was responding to increased interest in queer film from regional communities themselves, and expected to continue being involved in these smaller festivals.

MQFF at MADE will run over the weekend of 31 May and 1 June. For more information visit the website.

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