The fourth annual Queerdoc Festival begins next week at Glebe’s Valhalla cinema and this year it’s looking better than ever before, because documentaries have never been more popular.
It was more difficult in a way because there were a lot more documentaries to choose from, programmer David Pearce told the Star. We’d love to have shown three or four times as many as we’re showing at this festival, because there were so many that were so good.
The reasons for the doco explosion are cultural, technological and economic. Equip-ment is cheaper and of a high quality, and films like Fahrenheit 9/11, To Be And To Have and Super Size Me have attracted new and plentiful audiences.
Docos are also flourishing, Pearce explained, thanks to television.
It’s about the rise of pay television, especially in the US. Each channel wants more material to put in it, [which] has made it more commercially viable for people to make documentaries on a wide variety of subjects, he said.
This year’s Queerdoc has films on American men who choose to become eunuchs, dyke punk bands, the 1993 bust on Melbourne’s Tasty nightclub and a radical lesbian nun. There are also a surprising number of films on transgender issues from around the world.
Pearce’s faves? The all-Australian opening night program, and Garden, on the lives of young male sex workers in Tel Aviv -“ but Pearce thinks there’s something for everyone.
There’s quite a lot that’s controversial and entertaining at the same time, he said.
THURSDAY 9 SEPTEMBER 8PM:
The Tasty Bust Reunion
52 mins, Australia, dir. Stephen Maclean
Documentary about the shocking bust of Melbourne’s Tasty nightclub 10 years ago, the landmark lawsuit against the police and the reunion of the partygoers.
6 mins, Australia, dir. Dean Francis
The story of a 19-year-old Sydney University student who identifies as female and was born male.
26 mins, Australia, dir. Judith Cobb
Four tomboys and their lives beyond the playful genderfuck of their childhood.
FRIDAY 10 SEPTEMBER 7PM
Drag Kings On Tour
80 mins, Canada, 2004, dir. Sonia Slutsky
The 15-city tour of North America by six drag kings and one motor home.
11 mins, USA, 2002, dir. Jenn Garrison
In the spirit of Elvis Herselvis, watch one extraordinary lesbian channel her musical hero -“ in this case N*SYNC member Lance Bass.
FRIDAY 10 SEPTEMBER, 9PM
Too Hot For TV (program contains nudity)
80 mins, USA/Italy
Graphic footage of men becoming eunuchs by choice, castrated by a doctor since disbarred.
13 mins, USA
Penis enlargement by silicone injection: he’s ready for his close-up.
6 mins, USA
Backdoor Brazilians for the boys.
SATURDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 5PM
85 mins, Israel, 2003, dir. Adi Barash and Ruthie Shatz
The lives of young gay Palestinian sex workers in Tel Aviv.
SUNDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 3PM
Colonel Jin Xing: A Unique Destiny
52 mins, France, 2001, dir. Sylvie Levey
The story of China’s pioneering transsexual, a former army colonel, ballerina and movie star.
Unexpected Blow: Laura Is My Father
15 min, Netherlands, 2003, dir. Juul Bovenberg
Alisa’s father decides to become a woman.
Mind If I Call You Sir?
28 mins, USA, 2004, dir. Mary Guzman
Latino and Latina female-to-male transsexuals share their experiences.
SUNDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 5PM
Rise Above: The Tribe 8 Documentary
80 mins, USA, 2003, dir. Tracy Flannigan
The on- and off-stage antics of all-female, all-queer punk band Tribe 8.
SUNDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 7PM:
In Good Conscience: Sister Jeannine Gramick’s Journey Of Faith
82 mins, USA, 2004, dir. Barbara Rick
The tale of a revolutionary lesbian nun, stripped of her ministry for her sexuality and honesty. Introduced by Rainbow Sash spokesperson Michael B. Kelly.
One Wedding And A Revolution
19 mins, USA, 2004, dir. Debra Chasnoff
Now everybody wants one! The story of the first gay marriage in San Francisco.
Tickets are $15/$12 plus booking fee except for opening night, which is $20 plus booking fee. Bookings can be made online at www.mca-tix.com/site/festivals or by phoning (02) 9645 1611. For information visit www.queerscreen.com.au or phone 9332 4938.