The much-anticipated Australian film Riot, starring Damon Herriman and Kate Box, has been received enthusiastically by viewers.

The film about the LGBTI rights movement in the 1970s screened on ABC last night to coincide with the 40th annual Mardi Gras season.

Wayside Chapel in Sydney’s Kings Cross hosted a special viewing party, attended by ’78ers who participated in the first Mardi Gras, as well as cast and crew of the film.

After recent controversy over whether LGBTI people should have to care about our history, social media responses to the film were enthusiastically positive.

“Heading into Mardi Gras’ 40th year it’s more important than ever to know our history. Unspeakable respect for the ’78ers,” tweeted one person.

Drag favourite Pauline Pantsdown called the film “fascinating history” and “a must see”.

“Great writing, acting and direction”, she tweeted.

Many people were affected emotionally by the history told in the film.

“Totally burst into tears of pride,” wrote one viewer.

“It was amazing, made me feel angry and upset. Already knew the story but seeing it really brought it home,” posted another.

Riot is available to watch on ABC iView for the next month.

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