Whatever your preferred flavour of film – comedy, camp, drama or otherwise – there are two upcoming Australian events showcasing queer films to suit every taste.
The Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) is the biggest and longest-running queer film festival in Australia and is celebrating its 33rd anniversary this year from November 9–19, 2023. The MQFF aims to educate, entertain and celebrate diversity through entertainment.
Coming next year is Queer Screen’s 31st Mardi Gras Film Festival running from February 15-29, 2024. Queer Screen is a non-profit charity based in Sydney and provides a platform for diverse and thought-provoking storytelling. Here’s what DNA recommends…
Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe
Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe is an acclaimed novel by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Director Aitch Alberto has brought this touching and much-loved story to the screen with its Sydney premiere at the Mardi Gras Film Festival.
In late 1980s Texas, lonely Mexican-American teen Aristotle meets polar opposite Dante by chance at a local swimming pool where they immediately bond. What follows is a heartwarming story of friendship and self-discovery, carried beautifully by the natural chemistry between its two leads.
All The Colors Of The World Are Between Black And White
All The Colors Of The World Are Between Black And White is Babatunde Apalowo’s directorial debut and has been praised for its depiction of queer male love. This Nigerian romantic drama follows Bambino and Bawa played by Tope Tedela and Riyo David.
Bambino is a delivery driver in Lagos who has resigned himself to having a solitary life. His expectations are shaken up when he meets the charming photographer Bawa during a photo competition. Tensions run deep in this story of exploration and discovery as Bambino and Bawa balance their growing affections with the looming anti-gay laws in Nigeria. See it at Mardi Gras Film Festival.
Following an electric debut at Sundance Film Festival, Mutt will have its Sydney premiere at Mardi Gras Film Festival. It’s the story of a transgender man reconnecting with three people from his past. Director Vuk Lungulov-Klotz’s use of contemporary film techniques, with lead star Lio Mehiel’s acting prowess, helps wrap us in this subtle narrative and makes for powerful storytelling.
Mutt follows 24 hours in the life of twenty-something trans man Feña. Navigating life post-transition, Feña is thrown into a frenetic day in New York City where he reconnects with his ex-boyfriend, sister, and father for the first time since coming out. Writer-director Lungulov-Klotz deftly captures these complex relationships and queer identity with a knowing rawness that is authentic and real.
It has been 25 years since the release of Head On with Australian star Alex Dimitriades. The classic story was a revolution for Australian cinema in its day and holds strong nostalgic ties for queer audiences today. The anniversary screening will be held on November 14 at Kino Cinema during the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.
Head On follows 19-year-old Greek Australian, Ari, struggling with his sexual identity as he has one clumsy heterosexual and several homosexual encounters. The film is like a time capsule of the attitudes of Australia in the ’90s and by revisiting this iconic film 25 years later, it’s interesting to see how much (and how little) has changed for LGBTQIA+ folks.
The Mattachine Family
The Mattachine Family is named after the early LGBTQIA+ rights organisation and aims to explore the evolving dynamics of family and parenthood in the queer community. Screenings are on for November 12 at the Victorian Pride Centre, and November 15 at The Capitol where writer and director Andy Vallentine will be visiting Melbourne for a special Q&A with MQFF CEO David Martin Harris.
This feel-good fix features Younger heartthrob Nico Tortorella and Fuller House actor Juan Pablo Di
Pace as a gay couple, Thomas and Oscar, whose dreams of making a life together unravel when their foster baby is reclaimed by his mother. The dynamics of queerness when applied to traditional spaces like the nuclear family are of specific interest for this film and are delved into with nuance and subtlety.
Sunflower is writer/director Gabriel Carrubba’s semi-autobiographical debut feature and explores the difficulties of coming out. The narrative at play feels young and hopeful with stellar performances from Nowhere Boys alum Liam Mollica and Luke J Morgan.
Sunflower follows 17-year-old Greek-Italian high schooler Leo who is crushing on his best mate Boof. The difficulties of coming out are made no easier by living in a large city and Leo is discovering how socioeconomic factors play into being part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Screens at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.