This prestigious short film festival returns to Sydney  celebrating its 30th anniversary and the Rainbow Shorts Program, which is a dedicated program for LGBTQI shorts from around the world, should be of great interest to readers of this publication.

“There are queer short films across the other programs also, but the Rainbow Program is specifically for us, for our community so we can watch our own stories on screen,” explained curator Craig Boreham.

Boreham has previously submitted shorts of his own in Flickerfest and written and produced the gay-themed feature Teenage Kicks. He was asked by Festival Director Bronwyn Kidd four years ago whether he’d be interested in programming a queer program for Flickerfest and it’s been running ever since.

“The filmmakers who submit their short films are varied. Some of them are very experienced and some have entered their first films in the festival. One, in particular, is a French short film called Dustin which was an official selection of the International Critic’s Week program at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival. It stars trans actor Dustin Muchwitz and Felix Maritaud, the it-boy of French queer cinema.”

Boreham explained that the trend in short film topics seems to change from year to year. “This year it’s very much focused on identity and relationships and how identity affects relationships with lovers, family, and the community.”

There are two Australian short films in the Rainbow Program this year. Hookup is directed by Sydney director Laura Nagy and explores the feelings that a woman develops for her friend Alice when a double tinder date with two older men goes wrong. It’ll Be Over Soon is a beautiful short film by Australian filmmaker Benjamin Rigby. Set in the middle of the pandemic a couple who have been separated must evaluate the effects of a long-distance relationship.

When asked whether winning an award in the Rainbow Shorts Program could boost international recognition for queer filmmakers Boreham explained that Flickerfest is a very high-profile short film festival in Australia, so winning an award regardless of sexuality would definitely be career building. “It’s Oscar-accredited and BAFTA recognised so it’s a very worthy festival to be part of its official selection outright. That’s pretty much a leg up as it is so winning a prize is definitely the cream on top of that.”

Jan 22-31. Bondi Beach. Tickets & Info: www.flickerfest.com.au

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