The full program for the 2018 Sydney Film Festival has been announced, featuring a huge range of queer, Australian, and international cinema.

With 326 films on offer, this year marks the festival’s 65th year as it continues to grow in scope and attendance.

The festival opens with New Zealand comedy The Breaker Upperers, about two women who break up unhappy couples – including same-sex ones – for money.

The LGBTI highlights of the film festival include the previously announced Disobedience starring Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz, The Miseducation of Cameron Post starring Chloe Grace Moretz, and Anchor and Hope.

One of the most exciting new additions is the gorgeous-looking Rafiki, which is about to become the first Kenyan film to screen at Cannes – but the central relationship that forms between two women has also seen it banned in its home country.

A prize-winner at this year’s Sundance, We the Animals follows three Latinx brothers as they grow up in rural New York, with the youngest slowly discovering that his difference stems from being gay, drawing comparisons to Moonlight.

Brazilian film Hard Paint takes a look at social media alienation, as a repressed teenager who finds escape in performing as ‘Neon Boy’ for an online audience, who has an encounter with a webcam rival.

Official competition entrant The Heiresses revolves around a lesbian couple who have been together for more than 30 years, living a life of privilege in Paraguay, until one is imprisoned for fraud and the other must begin to fend for herself.

The top award at this year’s Berlin Film Festival went to Touch Me Not, an experimental, roving, unclothed Romanian portrait of sexuality and the human body.

L’animale‘s coming-of-age story centres on a young woman part of an all-boy biker gang who, as her male best friend falls for her, is drawn to Carla, questioning her identity in the process.

The Marriage, an Albanian film, forms an unusual love triangle as a man prepares to get married, only for his life to be upended by the return of his male wartime lover.

LGBTI audiences don’t often get to see themselves in the horror genre, making What Keeps You Alive exciting, centring as it does on a lesbian couple whose anniversary trip turns dark after the arrival of an old friend.

On the documentary side, The Ice King tells the story of John Curry, the first openly gay Olympian, while McQueen is a portrait of the famed fashion icon.

That Summer unearths lost footage of Big Edie and Little Edie Beale, stars of the iconic Grey Gardens, in an innovative reworking from documentary essayist Göran Hugo Olsson.

And the festival closes with Hearts Beat Loud, a heartfelt comedy starring about a girl whose dad tries to form a band with her so they can bond before she leaves for college, while she develops an adorable romance with a female friend.

The wider festival program is chock full of highlights, including Weekend and Looking director Andrew Haigh’s new film Lean on Pete, Chloe Zhao’s much-acclaimed The Rider, Alena Lodkina’s Strange Colours and many more.

We’ll bring you more highlights from the festival in coming weeks.

The 65th Sydney Film Festival runs from June 6 – 17. Tickets are on sale now at sff.org.au.

© Star Observer 2017 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex (LGBTI) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.