The Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) has launched its 2018 program, which will present 85 sessions across nearly two weeks.

The festival will encompass 38 features, 14 documentaries, and 72 short films, and will incorporate two world premieres, 12 Australian premieres, 21 Melbourne premieres, and two newly restored classic features.

Program director Spiro Economopoulos believes every film and documentary in this year’s program is guaranteed to entertain, provoke discussion, and confront many aspects of queer culture.

“We’re truly excited to share this global celebration of LGBTI cinema with Melbourne audiences,” he said.

“Every film will confront queer culture with honesty, insight, and not infrequently, the great leveller, humour.”

The opening night film this year will be Freak Show, a coming-of-age comedy based on the cult novel by renowned club kid James St. James.

The film follows fashion-forward teen, Billy, who, on moving to a new school, sets his sights on becoming Homecoming Queen – a decision that doesn’t sit well with his competitors.

Featuring performances by Bette Midler, John McEnroe, and Laverne Cox, the empowering film and opening night party will help to set the tone for the rest of the festival.

Newly-stated Executive Director Maxwell Gratton said LGBTI communities are always on a journey towards self-discovery and understanding.

“We’re optimistic that with each year, the remaining barricades towards complete acceptance of our community are gradually being eroded, which is one of the reasons why festival such as MQFF and its local and international counterparts are so essential,” he said.

Love, Simon will be screening mid-festival as the centrepiece presentation, exploring the oft-fraught journey to self-discovery and reminding us what it’s like to fall in love for the first time.

The closing night film this year will be Becks, which was awarded Best Film at last year’s Los Angeles Film Festival.

The film follows the title character who, after moving to LA to be with her girlfriend, finds out she’s been two-timed.

A sure-fire crowd pleaser, the film will be followed by closing night celebrations at ACMI.

Other highlights of the 2018 season include A Million Happy Nows, which follows a soap opera star who retires to a beach house with her younger partner before being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, and A Moment In The Reeds, which is possibly the first ever Finnish LGBTI romance.

Postcards from London will also have its Australian premiere at MQFF, following a beautiful teenager seeking his fortune in London who lands in Soho broke and jobless.

The Melbourne Queer Film Festival will run from Thursday 15 March to Monday 26 March. For more information and to buy tickets visit: www.mqff.com.au.

 

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