Queer Screen Mardi Gras Film Festival 2021 Programme

Queer Screen's 28th Mardi Gras Film Festival has changed its format, offering for the first time both an online or in-cinema experience for viewers.

'Under My Skin'

The change comes thanks to COVID safety.

"The current ongoing challenges of the pandemic has helped us evolve our Festival model to deliver a world-class film festival to the widest audience and in the safest ways possible," Queer Screen Festival Director Lisa Rose says. "After successfully delivering Queer Screen Film Fest mostly online in September 2020, we have expanded on that with a truly hybrid model to provide the collective in-cinema community experience that we all love, alongside a strong on-demand offering."

"With more than half of the programme available online Australia-wide, and over 60 cinema screenings in Sydney, there are so many ways to experience the festival this year."

The festival will screen 94 feature, documentary, short and episodic films, with 70 per cent of them being available on-demand. There are 3 world premieres, 60 Australian premieres and 15 Sydney premieres, showcasing LGBTQIA+ storytelling from 30 different countries.

It will all open under the stars at the Moonlight Cinema with 'Dating Amber', following a special friendship between a gay man and a lesbian. Then, to close things off is the Australian premiere of New Zealand dramedy 'RŪRANGI', balancing drama, humour and heart.

'March For Dignity'

Two past recipients of Queer Screen's Completion Fund are in the festival too, presenting 'The Greenhouse' (Thomas Wilson-White) and 'Under My Skin' (Liv Hewson and Bobbi Salvor Menuez).

"We’re not just focused on sharing stories with our community but also helping filmmakers produce those stories through financial support. We know the Queer Screen completion fund is an important asset for local filmmakers and we will continue to help create stories that reflect our community," Queer Screen Co-Chair Cheryl Kavanagh says.

Queer Screen's Showcase programme will include five international narratives, one international documentary and two Australian narratives. Meanwhile, the Directors Showcase features leading Israeli director Eytan Fox presenting the Australian premiere of 'Sublet'.

You'll be talking about films such as 'The Dilemma Of Desire', a sex-positive documentary using Sophie Wallace's 'The Cliteracy Project' so explore what reclaiming sexuality means, as well as 'Bring Down The Walls' which is a complex analysis of the intersection of ethnic, societal, and pop cultures in the United States exploring the legacy of Black, Latinx and queer culture on '80s house music.

'Dry Wind'

There's some sexy stuff ('Dry Wind' depicting explicit sexuality, 'Ammonite' about two women sharing a passionate love affair, 'The Prince' where a young man grapples with his sexuality and finds himself in the violent, sexually-charged world of a 1970s Chilean prison) and some documentaries ('Cured' examining gay liberation activists overturning homosexuality as a mental illness, 'March For Dignity' about a pride march in Tbilisi, Georgia).

Online, those interested can attend a free livestreamed panel on Facebook and YouTube about inclusive and authentic casting, hosted by Editorial Head of ABC Queer, Monique Schafter.

Intimacy Coordinator Leah Pellinkhof will host a Zoom workshop, demonstration and Q&A for filmmakers and actors on intimacy coordinating, and safe sex in film.

Queer Screen Mardi Gras Film Festival 2021 is on from 18 February-4 March in Sydney.


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