The inaugural Geelong Queer Film Festival is kicking off in April, showcasing a selection of local and international queer films.

The festival will screen at the Pivotonian Cinema between April 13 and 15, bringing contemporary and classic, diverse, and inclusive LGBTI films to Geelong.

The opening night will feature Finnish film A Moment in the Reeds, which sensitively and sensuously explores the developing connection between Tareq, a Syrian refugee, and Leevi, who has returned to his native Finland to help his father restore the family lake house.

The festival continues on Saturday 14 April with a noon screening of Australian Shorts.

A diverse showcase of nine queer stories made by local filmmakers, the short films will take viewers inside the Australian sharpie scene, the Australian Women’s Football League, the inner life of a Melbourne bear, a trans kid’s first day at school, the alien abduction of a drag queen, and girlfriends doing crime.

Also on Saturday, the festival will screen Out in the Line-Up, a documentary following the stories of gay and lesbian surfers around the world, followed by a Q&A with the producer, Thomas Castets, and local media presenter, Joel Carnegie.

Quirky lesbian romance Signature Move screens on Saturday evening. Zaynab, a 30-something Pakistani Muslim lesbian, is struggling with her mother’s expectation that she find a husband when she falls in love with Alma, a bold Mexican lesbian, who shares Zaynab’s love for Mexican Lucha-style wrestling.

On Sunday 15 April, the festival will feature racy ensemble comedy The Feels, about a group of friends gathering for a weekend away to celebrate an impending wedding.

The festival will close with the award-winning documentary The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin, a documentary detailing the life and career of Armistead Maupin, celebrated author of the popular book and TV series Tales of the City.

Tickets to the films are available now. The festival is seeking volunteers for various roles, with LGBTI people and friends encouraged to apply.

The festival will also provide a $500 commission to an LGBTI early-career filmmaker to produce a short film. The commission will be for the best concept for a short film that explores a positive LGBTI theme in the Geelong region and it must include an iconic Geelong location or symbol.

Details on how to apply for the commission are available on the festival’s Facebook page.

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