Jan 182015
 

Lilting-DI

The 22nd Mardi Gras Film Festival will deliver the best in LGBTQI cinema at Sydney’s Event Cinemas George Street from Thursday 19 February to Thursday 5 March 2015 thanks to the wonderful programme put together by Queer Screen.

This year’s Mardi Gras Film Festival program has such a special selection of films from all over the world. However, I’m especially proud of the really strong Australian talent that features this year. 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. And it’s easy to support our filmmaking industry when it produces the incredible films we’ve chosen for our program!                                -Mardi Gras Film Festival Director, Paul Struthers

Two of the homegrown titles are Drown, which explores the world of Aussie beach culture through the story of handsome young Sydney surf club champion; and Skin Deep (shot in and around Newtown), which sees two lost souls who discover that sometimes a stranger is the best person to open up to. Skin Deep received an Honourable Mention for Best Narrative Feature at the Austin Film Festival.

Other highlights include:
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.
Peter de Rome: Grandfather of Gay Porn tells the story of pornography art filmmaker, Peter de Rome, who captured the attention of the underground New York art scene from the ‘60s onwards (including Andy Warhol and David Hockney), with his erotic fantasy pornscapes.
Match, based on a Tony Award-winning play about an interview with an aging Julliard dance professor. This film also stars Patrick Stewart, Carla Gugino and Matthew Lillard.
Lilting, about a man (Ben Whishaw) who, in his grief, reaches out to his dead boyfriend’s mother, who is of Cambodian-Chinese heritage and doesn’t speak English.
Brokebank Mountain, which will be shown in honour of it’s 10th anniversary.

WHAT: Mardi Gras Film Festival
WHEN: Thursday 19 February to Thursday 5 March 2015
WHERE: Event Cinemas, 505-525 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000
MORE INFO & TICKETS: http://queerscreen.org.au/mgff/

Jan 162014
 

From cheeky laugh-out-loud comedies, to insightful, honest takes on LGBTIQ life and culture, Queer Screen is proud to announce a diverse, quirky and exciting program for the 21st Mardi Gras Film Festival, this February from Thursday, February 13th to Sunday, February 23rd at Event Cinemas George Street, Sydney.

One of the most respected Queer Film Festivals internationally, and now in its 21st year, the 2014 program features no less than five world premieres, with 19 films also making their Australian première.

The 2014 program features one of the most fabulously diverse schedules in the festival’s 21 year history, covering a wide range of LGBTIQ issues. Out in the Line-Up, The Battle of the Sexes and The Rugby Player all explore gays in sports, while the hot topic of religion takes focus in Vicky – The Gay Gene Comes to Australia. Bullying takes a heartbreaking turn in Valentine Road, a documentary about Larry King, a 15-year-old boy who was killed by another boy at school for giving him a Valentine’s Day card. Larry’s murder made international headlines and brought issues of gender expression and sexual identity of teenagers to the global spotlight.

Films direct from this year’s Berlin Film Festival include 52 Tuesdays, Quick Change and Test, with 52 Tuesdays also playing at The Sundance Film Festival this month. 2014 will also be the first time that a kids film will be screened as part of the festival, with Disney classic Beauty and The Beast, presented by Rainbow Kids and babies. There will also be four short film categories as part of the festival, including My Queer Career, Australia’s richest prize for queer short films.
 
For information about all the fabulous films, events and tickets, please visit: http://queerscreen.org.au/

Feb 172013
 

a liars autobiography

The 2013 Mardi Gras Film Festival is currently under way in Sydney. Held February 14 -28, this is the 20th year that Queer Screen has bought  LGBTIQ films to Australian audiences.

The film festival boasts a large array of films, from hard-hitting documentaries, to romances, coming of age stories, and films which address/explore issues in the  LGBTIQ community such as same-sex parenting.

Highlights from this year’s festival include the Academy Award nominated documentary How to Survive a Plague, which I found profoundly moving and extremely powerful; moving love story Beyond the Walls which played at the International Critics Week at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival; and Korean film Two Weddings and a Funeral, in which a lesbian and gay couple try to hatch a plan to marry without their families finding out who their true loves really are.

I was lucky enough to attend the sold out opening night gala in which the fantastic bio pic A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman in 3D screened. This was a very unique method of telling the life story of a very unique soul. The film was animated by 15 different animation companies, all of whom have their own style; and it was largely voiced by Graham Chapman himself, who recorded the audio a few years before his death in 1989.

I really enjoyed the film – it was largely humorous, but was at times quite moving and showed the pain that Chapman was obviously often in. The animation techniques used to show the horror of detoxing from drugs and alcohol was quite outstanding.

You can view the full programme for the 2013 Mardi Gras Film Festival here.

By Sam McCosh