A place among the finalists at short film competition My Queer Career should be welcome news for any gay director, but the accolade prompted mixed feelings for Sydney filmmaker Craig Boreham.

For the second year in a row, Boreham will be forced to skip the Mardi Gras Film Festival opener because of engagements in Berlin.

It’s a bit of a bummer, especially because My Queer Career is the opening night, and it happens at the State Theatre, and it sounds like it’s a really big event and I keep missing it, Boreham told Sydney Star Observer.

The director heads to the German capital next month to take part in the Berlinale Talent Campus, a week-long film program where 500 young directors learn from acclaimed international filmmakers.

Boreham won a place in the prestigious program partly on the strength of Transient, the tale of failed gay love that won the audience choice award at My Queer Career last year.

But its director missed the State Theatre showing because Transient was screening around the same time at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Boreham’s My Queer Career entry this year is And Everything Nice, which he co-directed with Peta Jane Lenehan.

Set and filmed in Sydney, the seven-minute movie tracks a schoolgirl as she follows a more popular classmate around for a day.

It’s just basically her observing and working out her own identity through following somebody else, Boreham said.

It’s about gender and identity basically.

Boreham and Lenehan made the film after a workshop with a group of 11- to 16-year-old girls at Channel Free, which runs sessions for young people as part of Paddington film centre Metro Screen.

The workshop participants provided ideas for And Everything Nice, which the co-directors turned into the film.

And Everything Nice will be among 11 Australian finalists vying for an award in My Queer Career next month.

Among the other contenders will be One End Stands, which examines the trials of lesbian love, and gay immigrant films The Bridge and Two Nights.

About 60 Australian and New Zealand directors entered this year’s competition.

My Queer Career opens the Mardi Gras Film Festival at the State Theatre on 16 February. For more information or to book, call 9266 4800 or visit the Ticketek website.

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