If you can’t make it to Mardi Gras this year, there’s still a great way for you to immerse yourself in Australian-made LGBTI stories with the new short film programs from the ABC and SBS.

‘Love Bites’, which debuts on ABC iView Arts channel on Sunday February 25, features 10 original documentary short films telling a wide range of rainbow stories.

From Club Arak, a fascinating exploration of Sydney’s beloved gay Arab dance party of the same name, through to Dani Boi, in which Dani Weber explains the origins of her drag king alter-ego, these shorts display the true diversity of the Australian LGBTI community.

Other highlights include Fez, a doco about Briefs creator Fez Fa’anana, an exploration of the radical queer party Monsta Gras, and Wicked Women, an account of the eponymous radical ’80s and ’90s magazine co-founded by Jasper Laybutt.

All the ‘Love Bites’ shorts are under 10 minutes long, making all of them an easy weekend binge alongside the premiere of Mardi Gras telemovie Riot and later Black Divaz, which airs on NITV on March 1.

Over on SBS On Demand, the ‘Queer for Short’ series features six films from emerging LGBTI filmmakers from around the country.

Tomgirl centres on a young Australian-born Filipino man who forms a friendship with Norman, a cross-dresser in the Bakla tradition.

Black Lips follows a lonely Chinese abalone worker who is awakened by a longing he’s never felt before, while Concern for Welfare looks at the work day of Ali, a queer Lebanese-Australian police constable.

Based on a true story, Joy Boy explores the impact of evangelical religion on a man’s emerging sexuality, while both Cherry Season and Disco Dykes look at young women coming to terms with their identities.

Combined with the focus on short films and emerging Australian filmmaking talent at both Mardi Gras Film Festival and Melbourne Queer Film Festival, there’s rarely been this much accessible content from local queer filmmakers on offer.

The ‘Queer for Short’ program is currently streaming on SBS On Demand, and the ABC ‘Love Bites’ series premieres on ABC iView on February 25.

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