Queer Screen has released the early tease of the 2019 Mardi Gras Film Festival program, featuring ten films screening next year from February 13 to 28.

Spanning the globe and a range of diverse identities, 70 per cent of the films for the festival’s 26th edition are Australian premieres.

A major highlight of the program is the much-anticipated French film Sauvage, which bowled over audiences in Cannes for its visceral portrait of a gay sex worker on the streets of France.

This year’s festival also adds a documentary centrepiece screening with TransMilitary, a timely, politically charged look at transgender members of the United States armed forces, the first to take the honour.

“Adding a documentary centrepiece to the program this year was born out of the desire for TransMilitary to be seen by the widest audience possible,” said festival director Lisa Rose.

“It’s a little known fact that whilst Trump is trying to ban transgender people from the military, the military is in fact the largest employer of transgender people in the US, with 15,000 people choosing to serve their country.

TransMilitary is a changemaker.”

A teenage Hong Kong romance is rekindled in adulthood in I Miss You When I See You, which is partly set in Sydney, while Kanarie finds Johan on mandatory military service in 1980s South Africa, struggling with his sexuality while getting into the army choir.

Snapshots sees a ’60s period piece romance blossom between two women, while Freelancers Anonymous subverts screwball comedy expectations by stacking its cast with mostly women and doing away with the heteronormativity.

Sundance Award Winner Night Comes On follows Angel, who reemerges into the world after a year in prison and finds herself rejected by her girlfriend on the outside.

On the always-popular documentary side, Leities in Waiting examines the lives on indigenous trans women in Tonga facing a rising tide of religious fundamentalism, while Silvana looks at a lesbian rapper and pop singer taking a stance against a neo-fascist revival in Sweden.

And history buffs will love the look at the life of acclaimed playwright Terence McNally in Every Act of Life, featuring interviews with the man himself alongside acting luminaries like Nathan Lane, Christine Baranski and Stanley Tucci.

All ten teaser films are now on sale, with the full 2019 Mardi Gras Film Festival program to be announced on January 9.

“Our ten teaser films are just the tip of the iceberg for what will be a bumper festival for Sydney audiences come February,” Rose said.

For tickets, head to the Queer Screen website: www.queerscreen.org

Watch the teaser trailer for the festival below:

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