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Watching exciting new queer films and re-watching old favourites is the crux of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, which starts next week. But there are some special MQFF events that veer outside the normal cinema experience and we’ve covered just some of what’s on offer in case you’re looking for something a bit different this festival.  

INFO: www.mqff.com.au

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Lights, camera, action. 

MQFF opens the festival with the witty and hilarious American comedy Gayby which will be followed with the opening night party at the ACMI cinemas. Gayby is a must see as it has won more than 16 festival awards since its 2012 premiere. It follows Matt and Jenn, two best friends from college who are stuck in a work/love rut; Matt can’t get over his ex-boyfriend while Jenn remains perennially single. Jenn decides to call in a college promise from Matt to have a baby together. But here’s the catch: they have to have sex the traditional way. Once the ball starts rolling on their new life, Matt meets a new man and Jenn has a one night stand with her boss’s brother. What could go wrong?

Thursday 14 March. ACMI Cinema 1 & 2. 7.30pm.

Check out the trailer for Gayby below:

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Geek off at the slide show

How did young queer Aussies meet before Facebook, Twitter and groups like Minus18 or Twenty10? Even more interesting is what they did before mobile phones? (Yeah ‘90s babies, that actually happened) Well, Australian Gay and Lesbian Archives have pieced together an interactive slideshow diving back into the history of queer life. There will be stories of queer young people from Australia’s past. Where did they party before gay clubs? How did they protest? And most importantly, what did they listen to before Lady Gaga? Daniel Marshall from ALGA will lead the audience through the colourful history of Australia’s LGBTI community.

Sunday 17 March. ACMI Studio. 2pm.

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Let’s talk gay TV

Queering the Small Screen returns for this year’s festival, bringing back its light-hearted and engaging discussion panel to chew over TV’s gay icons. The event ran a packed house last year as part of ACMI’s Live in the Studio series. Everything from Modern Family, The New Normal and even cult adult cartoon, Archer, will go under the spotlight. The panel includes cultural reviewer Tim Hunter, Outland producer John Richards, Melbourne writer/comedian Catherine Deveny and Melbourne Community Voice editor Rachel Cook. Panel members will take a closer look at queer characters in television land, how the community is portrayed and sneak a peek at what the future may hold.

Saturday 23 March. ACMI Studio. Noon.

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Late night shenanigans

Regardless of what you think of her, you could never call Canadian-born electronic music fiend Peaches dull. Which is why the biographical rock opera film, Peaches Does Herself, gets the coveted Midnight Movie spot of this year’s festival. Travis Mathews’ I Want Your Love was originally billed for this late night slot before it was banned by Australian authorities due to its sex scenes. Luckily, this bio flick on Peaches’ ascension from bedroom DJ to international cult figure will satisfy late night audiences.

Friday 22 March. Hoyts Cinema. Midnight.

Check out the trailer for ‘Peaches Does Herself’ below:

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Don’t forget your Shorts

There are stacks and stacks of short films this year. Locally made shorts will be featured in the Oz Shorts session as well as Celluloid Casserole while shorts focused on gay men include Short & Burly, Cocktales and Sex Drives & Videotape. For the ladies, MQFF has Short & Girly, Boobtube and Femme Fatalities. Gender issues are raised in Trans Phats. Queeries 1, 2 and 3 are collections of international shorts exploring gender and sexuality issues for younger audiences. And finally, Mixtape is the liquorice allsorts session for this year, featuring a random collection of films from the 2013 festival.

15-24 March. Various venues.

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And that’s a wrap!

To wind up the 2013 season, MQFF organisers have saved one of the two Australian feature films, Submerge, for the final night. The lesbian/bisexual drama follows uni student and elite swimmer Jordan who has the world at her feet. But after some knockbacks and a chance encounter with the subculture of fetish and anonymous sex, Jordan may lose everything in her pursuit of everything. The film will be followed up with a closing night party to rub shoulders with other film goers and mull over this year’s cinematic offerings.

Sunday 24 March. ACMI Cinema 1 & 2. 8.30pm.

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The 23rd Melbourne Queer Film Festival takes place from 14-24 March 2013.

FOR FULL PROGRAM INFO VISIT: www.mqff.com.au

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