Curated by award-winning filmmaker Craig Boreham, Rainbow Shorts aims to tell the stories of people from the community around the world, adding a much-needed focus on it for lovers of film.
Craig says the films in the 2019 iteration of the event are unique and will appeal to a wide range of audiences.
“I'm always just looking for unique voices and stuff that is different to the Australian experience. There are a few Australian films in there but they're also quite unique points of view. I was looking at that to create something that was new and fresh.
“I think it's harder here in Australia, our landscape is much more competitive and I think there's still a lot of fear, well I know there's still a lot of fear around telling queer stories as they're very niche for Australian audiences.”
This year there's films about the complexities of love and sex, the mind of a transgender woman, the journey of a gay refugee, the importance of being honest, and more. It's a vibrant showcase of real-life situations experienced by the LGBTQI+ community daily.
Craig believes we've made progress when it comes to representation and storytelling, but he also knows there's a way to go.
“We're still seeing queer characters in minor roles mostly and quite often they're quite small. There was a GLAAD report that noted that a lot of representation across the board has gone down. Which is surprising. There have been some great films that have cracked through like 'Moonlight'.”
'Moonlight', detailing the life of a gay man of colour growing up in Miami, took home the Oscar for Best Picture at the 2017 ceremony; a huge win for artists of colour and the queer community alike. One can only hope it's a marker for a more inclusive future if not only in the arts then in the world as we know it.
So, what is Craig most looking forward to when it comes to presenting Rainbow Shorts at Flickerfest? His answer is simple: “It's nice to put a queer programme in a festival like Flickerfest because it's not a queer festival”.
“The audience is very mixed. While we do get a strong queer audience coming along, we also get a lot of people who are just interested to check it out and might not have seen too much queer stuff... That's exciting.”
While it's great for audiences outside of the community to view characters from it in a strictly positive light, it's equally important for them to witness the darkness that thousands of people within it face at any given point in their lives, for a multitude of reasons.
Coming out in a rough environment, the costs and processes behind transitioning, families not providing a safe and accepting home... The list, unfortunately, goes on.
“There's a few light moments, but the struggle is still real in a lot of places around the world and it reflects in the stories,” Craig says.
“I'm hoping [audiences] walk away getting a much stronger perspective of what other queer people are going through around the world and feel moved by it.”
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What do you do in your day-to-day life? I drink way too much coffee, pat way too many dogs and cats on the street, try and be more of a socially responsible human with each day... and lots of Netflix/time spent goofing around with my partner. I also just bought a fixie so I need to learn how to ride it now that warmer weather is coming.Read more: