With both Sydney and Melbourne in lockdown, what better time to dive head first into this year’s Queer Screen Film Festival than right now. This year the festival is presenting some 40 films from 17 countries, in 18 different spoken languages, and with no less than 22 Australian premieres.
As Festival Director Lisa Rose explains, “although this this is the third time we have offered something online and Australia wide, it is actually our first ever completely online festival, which is exciting because it’s something different to do.
“Everyone in our community has been impacted by the pandemic in some way and we are delighted to create an online festival to help us through these times.
“People are really hanging out to watch something new and queer and have that experience of watching something together virtually.”
Rose tells us of the first of two of her personal highlights from this year’s program is Beyto a critically acclaimed drama from Switzerland exploring the clash between queer and traditional immigrant cultures.
“It has been playing every queer film festival across the world in the last six months or so. It’s a fantastic film about a young Turkish immigrant who meets a local Swiss guy, they fall in love and it’s about what happens when his family finds out. It’s thought provoking and beautifully performed.” Rose explains. “I also really love a fantastic film called Fanny: The Right To Rock which is a documentary about an all-female Filipina American rock band who were basically written out of rock history in the 1970s. They were the first all-female rock band; they paved the way for all these other bands to come through but never got any of the credit they deserve.”
In addition to the on-demand program, Queer Screen has a number of live free events scheduled including filmmaker Q&As and panels; the Halfway Hangout where people can meet virtually to chat about the films and the short film competition, Queer Screen Pitch Off.
“I always encourage people to step outside the box and watch something they would not normally want to watch.” Rose adds, “that’s part of the beauty of a film festival, you might watch four or five films, love three of them, like one of them and really hate the other one… It’s about immersing yourself in it, and getting to see different experiences, that’s what I want people to do with this year’s program.”
The 9th Queer Screen Film Fest will be hitting smaller screens from September 16-26.
For more info head to www.queerscreen.org.au