The full program for the 64th Sydney Film Festival has been announced, showcasing a wide array of queer, local and international cinema.
Opening with Warwick Thornton’s documentary on the history of the Southern Cross, We Don’t Need a Map, the festival will run from June 7-18 at locations across Sydney.
Most exciting for LGBTI audiences is the announcement of Sundance sensation Call Me By Your Name as a Special Presentation.
Directed by A Bigger Splash‘s Luca Guadagnino, the film is adapted from Andre Aciman’s devastatingly brilliant and sensuous book of the same name.
The story of a teenager spending his summer at his parents’ Italian villa who develops an attachment to an enigmatic visiting academic, the film stars Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet and Michael Stuhlbarg.
From Chile comes A Fantastic Woman, which won the Teddy Award for best queer film at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year.
Starring trans actress and singer Daniela Vega, the film follows a trans woman whose much older male lover dies. Instead of being allowed to grieve, she is met with suspicion and prejudice by the man’s family.
The Ornithologist puts a blasphemous and homoerotic spin on the life of Saint Anthony, while The Wound explores sexuality and masculine rituals in black South African culture when a city-dweller encourages a young man to embrace his true self.
In the murder mystery vein, the Japanese film Rage follows three characters including a gay man embarking on a relationship in Tokyo who becomes subject to suspicion.
Australian queer cinema is represented in Pulse, which is written by and starring Daniel Monks, based on his experiences as a gay man with a disability.
And if you’re after something wild, Axolotl Overkill centres on the hedonistic Berlin party scene which and finds 16-year-old Mifti in a relationship with a much older woman.
The Untamed finds a creature from another world unleashing people’s base sexual impulses in a mix of social satire and erotic sci-fi from Mexican director Amat Escalante.
On the documentary side, Oscar-nominated Official Competition entry I Am Not Your Negro channels the voice of gay African-American writer James Baldwin with narration by Samuel L. Jackson.
Whitney ‘Can I Be Me’, on the life of the late, legendary singer, doesn’t avoid addressing rumours of Houston’s bisexuality, while Chavela documents the life of openly lesbian Latin American singer Chavela Vargas.
Australian documentarian Su Goldfish investigates her fascinating ancestry having found a new family in Sydney’s queer community in The Last Goldfish.
As part of its Punk retrospective, SFF will also present screenings of legendary queer director Derek Jarman’s flaming punk fantasia, Jubilee.
Perhaps the highest profile inclusion is Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, starring Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Colin Farrell, direct from the Cannes competition.
Another major entry from Cannes is Closing Night film Okja, starring Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal, from South Korean auteur Bong Joon-Ho.
As the film is a Netflix original, the SFF screening will be the only opportunity in Australia to see the film on the big screen. More late announcements direct from Cannes are expected in the coming weeks.
Other highlights include Ingrid Goes West, The Little Hours, John Waters’ Desperate Living, Patti Cake$, The Party and Lady Macbeth.
Tickets for the Sydney Film Festival are now on sale at sff.org.au.