The opening night of the Mardi Gras Film Festival made a big splash on Friday night.
It was a night of many firsts for the 17th annual My Queer Career competition, including special presenters Screen NSW CEO Tania Chambers and the hilarious Tobin Saunders, and several inches of water flooding the grand foyer during the evening’s dowpour.
The deluge did not dampen the excitement of Western Australian filmmakers Nathan Keene and Will Faulkner. The pair were awarded the 2010 My Queer Career Award, collecting $3000 courtesy of the Stephen Cummins Film Trust for Disarm.
Director Kylie Plunkett was honoured twice for her film Evelyn Everyone, collecting the Audience Choice and Queer Perspective awards. Tania Chambers presented the Emerging Talent Award to Peter Ireland for his musical Blueberry Lane.
Well into the after-party celebrations, water levels from the rain breached the pavement and within 10 minutes the foyer of the City Recital Hall was flooded. In an unsurprising move, guests took off their shoes and splashed about in the grand foyer to the tunes of DJs Matt Vaughan and Seymour Butz, continuing to celebrate the official opening of the Mardi Gras Film Festival.
Guest were moved upstairs to avoid any slips and continued to celebrate on the mezzanine. The lock-in declared by City Recital Hall management was met with cheers and applause.
“No one’s spirits were dampened in the making of this opening night,” Queer Screen general manager Jain Moralee said. “I’d like to extend my congratulations to all the filmmakers who screened in this year’s competition and to those who took home awards.”
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The winners from My Queer Career. Photo: Ann-Marie Calilhanna

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