Flickerfest will once again run Rainbow Shorts as part of its short film festival in 2020. It’s the third successive year in which the session of short queer themed films is being included in the program, and the third time it has been curated by local film maker Craig Boreham. This year it will also be a competition.
“It’s a tough job because they’re very diverse stories,” says Boreham about trying to pick a winner among the seven films that have been included in Rainbow Shorts.
Flickerfest, which is Oscar accredited and BAFTA recognised, receives thousands of entries each year, so the final selection represents the creme da la creme of short films globally. The quality of queer films is very high.
“Queer cinema’s really evolving and I think the shorts that queer film makers are making now are just so much better than they ever have been in the past, and the stories are really different and unique and there’s really great new takes on old tropes,” says Boreham.
The seven films in the Rainbow Shorts program tries to be as inclusive as possible as well as cater to a variety of tastes.
“Like, we’ve got 110 minutes to represent everyone in the community, that’s a challenge. We want to make sure there’s a film for gay boys and a film for lesbians and a film for trans folk and gender queer people, we want everyone in the mix. That’s a challenge. The program could easily be twice as long, really,” says Boreham.
Flickerfest has always included a lot of queer content, but three years ago, Boreham and festival director, Bronwyn Kidd, thought it would be good to have a dedicated session for people in the LGBTQI community to watch as a shared experience. What they found was that audiences for Rainbow Shorts were more a hybrid of film watchers.
“Its very mixed…it’s a big festival, so a lot of people are there with their passes for the whole festival, so they’ll just go from session to session and watch things. So it’s kind of really great to have this audience that’s equal parts queer community and then equal parts filmmaker/festival community coming along to see these stories.”
Boreham says the selection of queer short films this year is so good that singling any out as highlights feels unjust. He’s discussed a few just as examples of the range.
“I mean there’s an amazing story about a trans performer from Pakistan which is just so brilliant…it comes from a place that we never see, it’s a really unique point of view, and I love that. And it’s also a beautifully camp and colourful film. That one’s called Darling and it’s in Urdu.
“I’ve got another great one that I love and it’s from Greece. And that’s a totally different film. It’s very simple, it’s simply made, but it’s just very skilfully made by the film makers, and it’s also the film that won the short film Palme D’or and the Queer Palme at Cannes.
“There’s another one called The Tears Thing directed by Clemence Poesy.”
Poesy is a popular French actress who has turned her hand to making films and has received a lot of acclaim for her last few efforts. The Tears Thing is a powerful, edgy lesbian story and was short listed at the Venice Film Festival.
Boreham says last year’s program was very political, with stories that reflected social crisis and injustice.
This year is not so much politically focused.
“It’s much more stories about desire. I’d say that’s the overarching theme generally,” he explains, but concedes that simply because of the nature of the subject matter and social climate in some of the countries, there’s inevitably going to be a degree of political context. Mostly, they are films to be enjoyed.
“It’s a wonderful program, people should come along. It’s a fun program and I think that they’ll really get to see what queer film makers around the world are wanting to talk about right now.”
Jan 10 – 19, 2020, Bondi Pavilion, Queen Elizabeth Dr, Bondi Beach
Touring Nationally Jan – May, 2020