There have been lesbian and gay film festivals in Sydney since 1978. Initially these were run by the Australian Film Institute. In 1986, the AFI partnered with what was then theSydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, to present an annual ‘Sydney Gay Film Week’during the Mardi Gras festival. The film festival was taken over by commercial concerns in 1991, but still screened as a highlight of the Mardi Gras season.
In 1993, a group of queer Sydney filmmakers, students and others approached Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras with a view to establishing an independent organisation whose primary focus was queer film and screen culture. This organisation, Queer Screen, had the central aim of reclaiming Sydney’s GLBTIQ film festival as owned and operated by the community. From that time, Mardi Gras was the principal funding body of Queer Screen, initially with a five-year funding agreement, followed by a three-year agreement in 1998. This agreement came to an end with the 2001 Mardi Gras Film Festival.
The Mardi Gras Film Festival has grown considerably since 1993. It is now one of Australia’s largest film festivals of any kind, and one of the top five queer film festivals in the world. It is highly regarded by filmmakers all over the world, and is the most important avenue for promoting gay and lesbian titles to distributors and exhibitors in this territory.
Including animated sequences, light cyberpunk as well as the tradition of Shakespeare and Taiwanese culture melded together in perfect harmony, As We Like It is a rare and entertaining treat.
Bringing together some of the best LGBTIQ+ short films from our Asia Pacific neighbours, this diverse collection spans sexuality and gender identity, as well as genres and borders.
Moonlight meets Queer As Folk in this adaptation of the 1994 novel from James Earl Hardy, B-Boy Blues. This is an unapologetic celebration of African-American gay men.
Shot over more than ten years, Being BeBe is at once a retrospective of the Cameroonian-American drag queen BeBe Zahara Benet’s career, a quiet look at the person behind the persona and the...
A titillating, shocking and fascinating portrait of a woman on the brink of madness, torn between lust, desire and sanctity – Benedetta must be seen to be believed.
The breakout hit from Queer Screen Film Fest 2021 is back, and on the big screen! This thought-provoking romantic drama explores the clash between queer and traditional immigrant cultures.
Filmed in a real brothel with genuine sex workers, Bliss offers an insight into the relationship between two sex workers, the experienced Sascha, and the recently arrived Maria.
Two young gay songwriters find themselves embroiled in Gloria Swason’s web as she attempts to take back the spotlight after years in obscurity in the engrossing documentary Boulevard! A Hollywood...
Bow down to Bound! This 90s lesbian noir classic opened our festival 25 years ago. Starring Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon and directed by the Wachowskis it deserves a raucous, fabulous screening!
When X (Derek Magyar) returns to turning tricks after some time away from the scene he finds a lot has changed. Trust us, like many of his clients, you won’t leave this episodic disappointed!
In Daniel Sanchez Lopez’s captivating romantic drama, two young men with differingoutlooks on life fall for each other over the course of a summer’s day in Berlin.
Facing the challenging reality their children face being openly queer in Korea, two mothers become involved in the fight for their rights in this powerful and insightful documentary.
Two transgender men find each other at a funeral and explore their shared grief through the Lavender League Bowling Club, a leather jacket and some incredible desert scenes.
This moving documentary follows global Cantopop superstar and queer Asian icon Denise Ho from her career beginnings, to becoming one of the most influential faces of the pro-democracy movement in...
The sweeping, achingly beautiful cinematography of A Distant Place will immerse you completely in this heartrending Korean drama of love, family and acceptance.
The Divide follows the darkly comic events that unfold in a besieged Paris hospital as it tries to cope with an influx of injured people during escalating political protests.
In a small town outside Oaxaca a group of muxes – the indigenous Zapotec "third gender" – face an impending tragedy that will send shockwaves through their tight-knit community and beyond.
Director Peeter Rebane’s sweeping romantic drama Firebird is a captivating and moving true gay love story set against the repressive background of a Soviet Air Force base during the Cold War.
Friendship grows into romance in this dreamy, tender story of the close bond formed between two high school girls in Hong Kong.
From comedies to animation and intimate portraits of a first time encounter, these gay short films are sure to take your breath away, entertain and make you laugh.
Repeatedly imprisoned for homosexuality in post-war Germany, Hans finds unlikely companionship with cellmate Viktor in this unflinching yet tender film. Winner of the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at...
Get ready to get hot and heavy with these steamy, sexy Guy on Guy Shorts featuring hook-ups, dares, intimate encounters and more.
Whether you know of Peter Tatchell or not, this documentary will transfix, move and inspire you with his ongoing legacy of support and activism for gay rights around the world.
Hetero will have you cackling from the opening scene, as five queer high schoolers recruit straights to save their Gay-Straight Alliance, all while catching feelings, navigating queerness and being...
Instructions for Survival narrates the love between two people whose lives are a constant battle but who stick together against all odds.
The world of country music in the US is fraught with sexism and homophobia even today, but that didn’t stop these lesbian women from pursuing and succeeding in careers as songwriters.
Starring the brilliant Cloris Leachman in her final role, Jump, Darling pairs the love of drag with an aging iconic diva in this heart-warming tale of finding your true voice.
Two secrets, a chance meeting in a bar. In Namibia, a country where same-sex relationships are still a crime, George and Simeon’s lives intersect. Don’t miss Namibia’s ground-breaking first gay...
This doco is inspiring and provocative, gritty and wholesome, a perfect mirror to the person and legacy of Keith Haring.
Leading Ladies doesn’t shy away from capturing its flawed characters, or their questionable choices, and in doing so, delivers a film that is anything but conventional.
This set of shorts will bring on the wanderlust for excitement and adventure of first love, getting to know you, and the feelings of discovery with someone you thought you knew so well.
Bertie and Fred, two-thirds of a formerly polyamorous couple, are surprised when their ex-lover, Lane, suddenly re-emerges, with subtle but profound consequences for each individual and their...
Filmmaker Broderick Fox has identified a thread of kinship amongst queer folks and their feelings of being othered in barbershops – traditionally masculinist spaces – in his documentary, Manscaping.
With a rather delicious cast, this gentle Italian drama not only provides some eye candy, but a satisfying story about perfecting the recipe for your own personal happiness.
Mayfly is a classic coming-of-age, tinged with hallmark Latin American magical realism that sets this charming, heartfelt film apart.
Set in South Africa in 1981, Moffie is the powerful and provocative story of handsome and shy soldier, Nicholas van der Swart, a closeted 18-year-old at the threshold of adulthood.
A deeply engrossing insight into gay life in modern China, Moneyboys is a superb and beautiful film experience with breathtaking cinematography that is not to be missed.
My Queer Career is Australia's richest queer short film prize with over $16,000 worth of cash and support to be won.
Featuring fascinating interviews with mainstays and up-and-coming queer comic creators plus gorgeous visuals, this paints our shared queer history in a new light and is a joy from start to finish.
The Novice is an intense character study with incredible cinematography, editing and sound design as well as a stunning, committed performance from Isabelle Fuhrmann as the driven Alex.
In this clever mockumentary, Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) asks friend Carrie Brownstein to make a documentary about her music, which slowly turns into a surreal spiral through the complexities of...
The inaugural Oz Doc Shorts features compelling Australian documentary short films together for the first time.
In Star Man, the history of LGBTIQ+ media pioneer the Star Observer, and its controversial founder Michael Glynn is delved into like never before;
The Space Around You follows queer couple Sarah and Bec, who collaborate, perform and live together, contrasting their pre-pandemic lifestyle to a newfound existence amid an arts industry in turmoil;
Deafying Gravity is the unique story of Katia Schwartz, a deaf and queer professional aerial performer as she reflects on her identity, life and career through passion, love and loss;
Past Continuous covers one inspiring couple who manage to stay together against all odds; and
Acts For The Invisible, in which a philosophical fashion designer loses his life partner and is propelled towards an entirely new life far from the fashion world. But can we ever really leave our old life behind?
The Perfect David tells the story of a young man’s journey of self-discovery when he’s put under intense pressure by family and society to strive for the perfect body.
Based on a real protest that interrupted a Romanian screening of The Kids Are Alright, and winner of several festival awards worldwide, Poppy Field is an exciting new entry into the Romanian New Wave.
Highly stylised with some very camp flourishes (Mean Girls’ Jonathan Bennett as Jesus is but one), this semi-autobiographical tale of a young gay Russian in America is unforgettable.
Pure Grit is a powerful documentary that transcends genres; addressing the importance of self-determination, family ties, and cultural connection, through the life of a lesbian Native American...
From Italy, Tanzania, the US and the UK, these Queer Doc Shorts will give you insight into the LGBTIQ+ experience around the world.
Coded: The Hidden Love of J.C. Leyendecker
Fresh, groundbreaking and charming, this Canadian web series follows two Indigenous queer women with vastly different backgrounds as they find one another and connect in the big city.
Highly explicit and with more fetishes than you could poke a stick at, this documentary combines raw, titillating footage from Palm Drive Video, intense behind the scenes content and fascinating...
At the intersection of punk and feminism in 80s London, Rebel Dykes charts the rise of a group of radical lesbians whose anarchist, counter-culture spirit and sex-positivity changed queer history.
At once a horror film featuring a lesbian couple fighting for their lives, this is also a cathartic experience of watching queer people rise up against overt and violent homophobia.
Set in Sydney’s very own Newtown, Romp is a punchy episodic follow-up to the record-breaking Love Bytes following three queer housemates on the search for love.
A thought-provoking, moving and inspiring documentary that showcases the experiences of six Spanish transgender women in a raw, unfiltered and ultimately hopeful light.
See You Then, from trans filmmaker Mari Walker, charts the explosive reunion of two former lovers over one evening, crafting a thought-provoking and poignant reflection on life’s desires left...
Directed by Turkish-Norwegian, Nefise Özkal Lorentzen, this controversial documentary highlights the immense courage it takes to go against the grain and stand up for what you believe in.
These Shorts About Family Ties show that family means something different to everyone, especially in the LGBTIQ+ community.
The Sixth Reel is a classic screwball caper comedy set in contemporary Greenwich Village with an all star cast including Margaret Cho, Julie Halston and Tim Daly.
A group of young poets in LA share their personal stories over the course of one day, creating a unique and compelling narrative tapestry celebrating identity and home.
Forced to spend the holidays with her family in a retro holiday park, awkward teenager AJ seems destined for a dreadful time. That is until she befriends Isla, the charming lifeguard.
Assembling films that put trans and gender diverse stories front and centre, this year’s Trans and Gender Diverse Shorts are here.
Assembling films that put trans and gender diverse stories front and centre, this package includes the multi award-winning God’s Daughter Dancing from South Korea;
Croatian animation All These Sensations in My Belly which follows Matia as she seeks a genuine connection;
Almost A Year in which the overlapping routines of three New Yorkers changes unexpectedly as the pandemic takes hold; Haze that shows what happens when Haze’s private recordings of their body end up in front of their mother;
Sheer Qorma, a story of belonging and acceptance, identity and family told through courageous, queer women choosing to embrace love that exists beyond their personal beliefs and social moralities; and
Shedding Skin which finds Alicia connecting with her neighbour and starting to find comfort in her own skin.
Set against the wilds of the Canadian Nova Scotia landscape, Wildhood is the beautiful and captivating odyssey of a closeted First Nations youth in search of identity and belonging.