The Melbourne Queer Film Festival is the oldest, largest and most successful queer film festival in Australia. We screen around 100 sessions of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex films over 12 days running through March and April.
Each year MQFF screens over 120 features, shorts and documentaries from Australia and around the world. With an annual audience of 20,000 MQFF is a highlight of Melbourne's busy cultural calendar and screens across three venues including the state of the art Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI).
2018 Films...1st Announcements...
MY DAYS OF MERCY: Dir: Tali Shalom-Ezer, USA, 2017, 107 mins
Ellen Page and Kate Mara star in this powerful and thought provoking drama as two women on opposing sides of the death penalty debate who meet and fall in love.
Lucy (Page) travels across America with her sister and little brother protesting against impending executions. Their stakes in the matter are personal, with a father (Elias Koteas) on death row, accused of murdering their mother.
My Days of Mercy brings an intelligence and compassion to a controversial topic that is often seized by political agendas, while Ellen Page delivers a career-best performance. Not to be missed.
BEHIND THE CURTAIN: TODRICK HALL: Dir: Katherine Fairfax Wright, USA, 2017, 100 mins
‘Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall seamlessly weaves personal, universal, creative threads into dazzling narrative.’ - Daily Californian
Described as "if Willy Wonka and Pee-wee Herman had a black child", Todrick Hall is a YouTube celebrity, recording artist, songwriter, Broadway actor, activist and much, much more. This frenetic documentary follows charismatic Todrick as he launches his most ambitious project yet: the original musical, Straight Outta Oz. Writing and recording songs by night and shooting music videos by day, while simultaneously preparing to take the show on the road on a tiny budget, the film showcases a passionate man and his talented team on a mission.
Through the songs and videos he creates, Todrick entertains while tackling issues such as gun violence, police brutality and sharing personal concerns that include a difficult relationship with his mother and struggles with his identity as a gay black man. Director Katherine Fairfax (Call Me Kuchu) captures Todrick’s energy and humour to create an inspiring film about perseverance and the redemptive power of art.
BPM: Dir: Robin Campillo, France, 2017, 140 mins
Winner Grand Jury Prize Cannes Film Festival 2017.
Taking out both the Grand Jury Prize and Queer Palm at Cannes last year, director Robin Campillo (Eastern Boys) draws on his own experience as an ACT UP member in Paris in the early ‘90s. Driven by a pulsating house music score by composer Arnaud Rebotini, this passionate, moving and urgent call to arms delves deep into the politics and commitment of this group of people who were literally fighting for their lives.
At the centre of the film is a heartbreaking love story but the wonder and power of BPM is that it doesn’t forget that amongst the fighting and the political debate, there is love, there is fucking and there is dancing.
WOMAN ON FIRE: Dir: Julie Sokolow, 2017, 83 mins
‘Woman on Fire's subject Brooke Guinan is "a superhero for the 21st century”.’ - Salon
Brooke Guinan is a true American hero. She is the first openly transgender firefighter in New York City and is a third generation firefighter: both her father and grandfather served in the New York Fire department.
Julie Sokolow’s gentle and inspiring documentary chronicles Brooke’s journey from initially coming out as gay man in an aggressively macho profession to coming out as transgender in a workforce that still struggles to accept women, let alone transgender women.
With the loving support of her boyfriend of two years, Brooke faces the challenges of being a local celebrity, while managing the impact her status as a public figure has on her parents. Woman on Fire is ultimately a heartfelt insight into the changing face of the American workforce and a moving portrait of individual courage.
SATURDAY CHURCH: Dir: Damon Cardasis, USA, 2017, 81 mins
‘Moonlight meets La La Land.’ - Variety
Ulysses is a gender non-conforming New York teen who is grieving the loss of their father. Ostracised at school, Ulysses is taken in by a group of trans youth and is introduced to the Saturday Church, a drop-in centre for at-risk queer teens.
The safe house is run by the street smart Joan (played by the irrepressible Kate Bornstein) and also hosts regular voguing dance-offs. Drawn to this vibrant ballroom scene, Ulysses begins to find a voice and even romance.
Drawing from a diverse cast of trans and gender non-conforming teens who themselves attend the program the film is based on, Saturday Church seamlessly blends musical numbers and fantasy alongside the harsh realities this group of young people face every day. Ultimately, this is an inspiring and hopeful cinematic experience.
SIGNATURE MOVE: Dir: Jennifer Reeder, USA, 2017, 80 mins
‘(A) heartfelt and cleverly constructed multicultural queer romance.’ - Sight and Sound
As a Pakistani Muslim lesbian living in Chicago, Zaynab (played by Fawzia Mirza) is out and proud — to everyone except her newly-moved-in mother. When artfully dodging her mother’s attempts to find her a husband becomes too much, Zaynab copes by taking up Lucha-style wrestling.
Her life climbs the turnbuckle when she meets Alma, a Latina bookstore owner, and the two fall head over heels into bed and relationship drama. With the spirit and spunk of ‘90’s New Queer Cinema, Signature Move revitalises the classic lesbian rom-com by crossing cultures and body slamming its way into your heart.