1. Call Me By Your Name
Could this be the greatest gay romance film of all time? Italian director Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love) has loving crafted an Oscar-calibre masterpiece celebrating young love and sexual awakening. Every frame is a work of art pulsing with sexual tension against the backdrop of a languid, luscious Italian Summer.
2. Beach Rats
As the title suggests, this is not your average gay sexual awakening story. Brimming with violence and repression, we follow the journey of a lost Brooklyn teenager as he struggles to find his sexual identity, dating a girl while simultaneously searching online for drug-fuelled hook-ups with older men.
3. A Moment In The Reeds
Occurring over only a few days during the Finnish midsummer, Leevi returns to his family lake house to discover his father’s new helper, a Syrian refugee called Tareq. A passionate summer romance ensues that paints of topical portrait of youth today and the power of the things we share.
Hot from winning the Queer Palm at Cannes, Beats Per Minute is a searing drama set in the climatic moments of the AIDS crisis in Paris where advocacy group ACT-UP demand action in the face of mass deaths. A testimony to the power of activism to shake up an apathetic world, the film empowers us to instigate change.
5. 100 Men
Can you remember every sexual partner you’ve ever had? Now in his sixties, Kiwi filmmaker Paul Oremland has traced, through past sexual encounters, a journey of self discovery and global LGBT rights transformation, from losing his virginity when homosexuality was illegal in New Zealand through to his legally recognised partnership.
All five films are included in this year’s Mardi Gras Film Festival, presented by Queer Screen. Full program and tickets here.