The Queer Screen Film Festival 2019 will return for its seventh edition this September, opening with fiery, award-winning romance Portrait of a Lady on Fire.

Queer Screen today announced that the festival will launch with the acclaimed French drama, which premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival this year, where it won Best Screenplay and the Queer Palm, awarded to the best queer film at the festival.

Directed by Céline Sciamma, whose previous films Girlhood and Tomboy played the Mardi Gras Film Festival, the film is an enveloping slow burn of desire between two women in 18th century France.

A celebration of the female gaze and simmering queer passion, Portrait of a Lady on Fire stars Noémie Merlant as an artist, Marianne, secretly commissioned to paint a wedding portrait for Héloïse (BPM star Adèle Haenel).

Héloïse refuses to sit for her portrait and so Marianne must study her covertly, and as they spend more time together, a relationship begins to develop.

The second film teased this year is Same But Different: A True New Zealand Love Story, inspired by the real life romance between its writer-director Nikki Si’ulepa and producer Rachel Aneta Wills.

Same But Different charts the delightful, odd couple courtship of single mum Rachel (Robyn Paterson) and Kiwi-Samoan filmmaker Nikki (Hannah Martin) after they meet at a film festival and it’s one-sided love at first sight.

Both Si-ulepa and Aneta will be guests of the festival to discuss the film, which is sure to be a treat.

Announced to close the festival is Benjamin, which is written and directed by British comedian and TV personality Simon Amstell.

This witty, winsome feature about independent director Benjamin (Colin Morgan) and his new musician love interest Noah (Phénix Brossard) will be the perfect way to end the festival on a sweet, high note.

The 2019 Queer Screen Film Festival once again returns to its home at Event Cinemas George Street from September 18 to 22.

Tickets for the teaser films are already on sale, with the full program to be announced on August 8. To buy tickets, head to

Watch the trailer for Benjamin below:

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