FROM ballerinas to roller derby players, rodeo cowboys to surf lifesavers, and everything in between, the 22nd Mardi Gras Film Festival will deliver the best in LGBTI cinema.
Queer Screen today released the full program for the 2015 festival, which will be screened as part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival from February 19 to March 5.
The full program announcement comes after the release of 10 teaser films last November.
Mardi Gras Film Festival (MGFF) director Paul Struthers said he was proud of the strong Australian talent that features in this year’s line-up.
“It’s incredibly important to us at MGFF to support the local industry and get Aussie films shown to as wide an audience as we possibly can,” he said.
“And it’s easy to support our filmmaking industry when it produces the incredible films we’ve chosen for our program.”
Struthers picked the gripping and new drama Drown as one of his Australian film highlights. The film explores the world of Aussie beach culture through the story of young Sydney surf club champion Len, who is on a bender of jealousy and unrequited lust yet can’t stand new lifesaver Phil, who he thinks is gay. The film stars Harry Cook (Accidents Happen) and Matt Levett (Devil’s Playground) and is a world premiere for the festival.
Another world premiere in the line-up is All About E. Sydney-based DJ E always has a world of women at her feet, but when she and her gay best friend stumble upon a load of cash, they are forced to hit the road on the run from crooks. They soon realise there’s nowhere left to go but into outback Australia, and for E, that means heading back into the arms of ex-girlfriend Trish and dealing with her past.
MGFF will also celebrate the 45th anniversary of cult Australian film The Set, directed by Frank Brittain, which is believed to be the very first local production to have homosexuality as its central theme. The film depicts the story of Paul (Sean McEuan) who is pursuing his dreams in the Sydney art world when he falls in love with his cousin’s handsome boyfriend, Tony.
Shot in and around Sydney’s Newtown district, Skin Deep will be making its Australian premiere at the Mardi Gras Film Festival. Troubled university student Caitlin and straight-laced Leah are two lost souls who discover that sometimes a stranger is the best person to open up to. The film received an Honourable Mention for Best Narrative Feature at the Austin Film Festival where it had its world premiere.
This year’s program also features an assortment of fascinating documentaries for every taste, including the star-studded and hilarious Do I Sound Gay?
Meanwhile, Mala Mala celebrates the trans* community in Puerto Rico, through the eyes of nine trans-identifying individuals. Among the group are business owners, sex workers, and even RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant, April Carrión. The screening will be the film’s Australian Premiere.
Last year was the first time that MGFF screened a kid’s film as part of the program, and this year the tradition will be continued with a Frozen Sing-a-long.
Ten years has also passed since Ang Lee’s three-time Academy Award-winning Brokeback Mountain graced cinemas, and this year’s MGFF will offer a chance to relive the film on the big screen. It will be paired with the award-winning documentary, Queens & Cowboys: A Straight Year on the Gay Rodeo, which looks at the unexplored realm of gay rodeos.
VIP specials, Q&A sessions and much more are also on offer as part of this year’s MGFF. For tickets and full details, visit www.queerscreen.org.au
To read the festival program, click here.