Queer Screen is midway through its annual membership drive, with funds needed to help the organisation screen LGBTI cinema from around the world and support local filmmakers.

“While we have some state government funding, we’re not in the position to attract large amounts of funding or support and we really do rely on the community to assist us in any way they can,” Queer Screen general manager Jain Moralee (pictured) told the Star Observer.

“We’re aiming to raise $30,000 this year, which will ensure that Mardi Gras Film Festival will go ahead in 2013 and that our filmmaker development program continues to grow.

“The $30,000 is a true target we need to raise to ensure the film festival goes ahead next year in the way we know and love.”

As 2013 marks Queer Screen’s 20th anniversary as Australia’s first LGBTI screen organisation, it is seeking 20 ‘True Loves’ during the donation drive who will donate $500 or more.

“Queer Screen was started in 1993 by a group of passionate queer-identified filmmakers who wanted an outlet for the films they wanted to make and see,” Moralee said.

“It has grown and changed so much in those 20 years, but the core passion of those first filmmakers is still reflected in the organisation.”

Queer content may be increasingly prevalent in mainstream cinema, but the banning of several sexually explicit films at this year’s Mardi Gras Film Festival and the alarmist mainstream media coverage — The Sydney Morning Herald falsely reported that Queer Screen had been attempting to screen X-rated ‘gay sex movies’ — was a potent reminder that 20 years on, Queer Screen still plays an integral role in Australian queer culture.

“There are some key queer films making it into the mainstream, which means we’ve been doing our job as a community,” Moralee said.

“But not being able to have those films exempt from classification was a reminder that we need to continue to have this forum to screen edgier content — content that reflects our community in a much deeper way than mainstream cinema can.”

INFO: www.mgff.queerscreen.com.au

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