Queer Screen Mardi Gras Film Festival – Create Your Own Experience In 2022

Queer Screen Mardi Gras Film Festival returns for its 29th year with a whopping 119 films from 37 countries.


The festival will screen films at Event Cinemas in George Street, Parramatta, and Hurstville, as well as special ‘one night only’ screenings at Hayden Orpheum in Cremorne, before touring the Blue Mountains and Canberra in March. Yet the bulk of its content will also be available to watch from home, as Queer Screen’s Festival Director Lisa Rose explains:

“It’s exciting to do our own hybrid festival again with cinema screenings and on-demand components. Over 60 per cent of our programme is available for people to watch on-demand, with a variety of films from documentaries to shorts, major features, and episodics, that cover a diverse range of stories, people, and identities. We want people to enjoy our films whether they’re coming into the cinema or watching from the comfort of their home.

Finlandia MGQFF2022

“I’m looking forward to the fact that we’re doing a First Nations Focus, as well as a panel on queer, First Nations stories. It’s an intersection we don’t get to see as often as we’d like in LGBTQIA+ film festivals; so it’s exciting that we’re not only opening the festival with it, but have a narrative centrepiece, a documentary, and an episodic all on First Nations stories.”

Opening night film ‘Wildhood’ is predicted to be the festival’s best-seller. It follows a Canadian two-spirit teen, Link, as he seeks out his birth mother in order to escape an abusive, white father and reclaim his Mi'kmaw heritage. It’s been described as a coming-of-age narrative exploring themes of community, identity, and kinship, and will have a second festival screening the following Saturday.

Bound MGQFF2022

“‘Querencia’ is a fantastic series from a young, queer woman in Canada (Mary Galloway). It’s not something I’ve seen before: a romantic comedy about two indigiqueer women who meet at very different points in their lives in terms of connection to culture and identity, but also in terms of where they are in acceptance of their sexuality.”

‘Wildhood’ and the entire first season of ‘Querencia’ will screen as part of the festival’s First Nations Focus alongside ‘Finlandia’ and ‘Pure Grit’.

“I’m also excited about our other programme statement: Rebels With A Cause. The festival’s themed around the queer frontier and recognising people who’ve created space for both themselves and us as a community – who’ve been able to forge their own path. We want to celebrate them by inviting people to explore the queer frontier with us.

Firebird MGQFF2022

“We're doing a retrospective screening of the film ‘Bound’ from the Wachowskis. It was 25 years ago that the festival opened with ‘Bound’, so it’s exciting that we’re bringing it back to the big screen. We’re screening it straight after ‘Rebel Dykes’: a fantastic documentary in the Rebels With A Cause programme about radical women in 1980s Thatcher London. We hope people dress in their best leather outfits: there’ll be prizes for best dressed.”

Meanwhile, Lisa says their fastest seller since announcing the programme has been Peeter Rebane’s ‘Firebird’: a story following two Soviet men who fall in love during their military service, set against the backdrop of the Cold War.

“People will also connect with our closing night film ‘B-Boy Blues’, which will be its Australian premiere. It’s adapted from a seminal novel by James Earl Hardy about the African-American, gay male experience. It’s quite sexy and fun, while having some dramatic moments as well.”

Queer Screen's Mardi Gras Film Festival is on from 17 February-3 March.


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