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February Events...

  • Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF)
  • Berlinale
  • Cinequest Film Festival
  • Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival
  • Dublin International Film Festival
  • Festival des Images aux Mots
  • Festival Massimadi
  • Göteborg International Film Festival
  • LGBTQ LOVE STORY Film Festival
  • LGBTQ Unbordered International Film Festival
  • Magnolia Independent Film Festival
  • Mardi Gras Film Festival
  • Midsumma
  • OUTsider Film & Arts Festival
  • Pink Lobster
  • Pinx Festival
  • Pride: Bloomington's LGBTQ Film Festival
  • Queer Lens
  • Reelout Queer Film + Video Festival in Kingston
  • Rotterdam International Film Festival
  • Santa Barbara International Film Festival
  • Spokane International Film Festival
  • Teddy Award
  • Zinegoak Bilbao International GLBT Film Festival
Mardi Gras Film Festival

Mardi Gras Film Festival

Wednesday, 15 February 2023 until Thursday, 02 March 2023

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.


 

2023 programme...

#LookAtMe

Banned in its local country Singapore, this fast-paced and gripping take on free speech, privacy and gay rights is a must-see.

8 Years

A love letter to breaking up, 8 Years is a sexy and poignant Spanish film about a recently separated couple trying to rekindle their spark.

A Place of Our Own

Two trans friends work together to overcome the prejudice that overshadows their daily lives, in this empowering and hopeful Indian drama.

About Us But Not About Us

Intrigue is on the menu in this masterfully constructed Filipino mystery, guaranteed to keep audiences guessing until the credits roll.

Afternoon Delight with The LOVE Project

Afternoon Delight is a movie matinee, afternoon tea and fun social gathering for the older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTIQ+) community, friends and allies.

All Man: The International Male Story

How did an innocuous menswear catalogue become a homoerotic handbook? This fun doco chronicles the rise of the International Male catalogue.

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

This extraordinary, Venice Gold Lion winning documentary is an electrifying portrait of the life of bisexual artist and activist Nan Goldin.


Asia-Pacific Queer Film Festival Award

Secret love affairs, rom-com obsessed teens and pop-culture-filled sexual fantasies are the subject of some of the best Asia-Pacific shorts.

All I Ever Wanted

Are You Still Watching?

Frozen Out

Happy Marriage

My Mother's Girlfriend

Ours

Tank Fairy

The Struggle


Beautiful Thing

A seminal gay classic, this tender love story between two working-class teenage boys living on a council estate is full of heart and laughs.


Best of MGFF23 Shorts

Representing some of the best short films the 2023 festival has to offer, this collection will warm your heart and put a smile on your face.

The Bower
In 1991, Seb takes Terri to witness Derek Jarman’s camp canonisation. In 2021, Terri takes young Jude to the same spot amidst tough news.

First Date
Tina, a recently widowed farmer, doesn’t want to be left all alone when her adult daughter moves back to the city. So she intervenes.

A Fox in the Night
Whilst picking up something from a dealer before a night out, flamboyant and confident Lewis is confronted with an unexpected connection.

Lucky Fish
Two Asian-American teenagers meet in the bathroom of a Chinese restaurant while avoiding awkward dinners with their families.

Monsieur Le Butch
Jude wants top surgery. Mum wants an “old lady pass” on the whole pronouns thing. The two butt heads about gender, language and body image.

Unicorn
A bisexual man meets an attractive couple to explore the possibilities of life as a unicorn: a drama-free, emotionally non-threatening third.

Warsha
Mohammad is a crane operator working in Beirut. He volunteers to take on one of the most dangerous cranes to live out his secret passion.


Bi+ Shorts

Queer, bisexual, pansexual, fluid and other non-monosexual people take centre stage in this hilarious, touching and sexy shorts package.

Aspirational Slut

Duet

Half

Refused Classification

Show Pony

Unicorn

Why Not Both?

Wishy Washy


BLACK AS U R

Amidst the Black Lives Matter movement, BLACK AS U R asks why those against racial injustice often don’t speak up when victims are queer.

Blitzed!

Boy George, Marilyn, Princess Julia, Gary Kemp and more recount the rise of the London nightclub that launched the New Romantic movement.

Breaking the Ice

Opposites attract when an icy 20-something hockey player has instant chemistry with her fiery new teammate, in this sincere romantic drama.

Casa Susanna

An essential chapter in emerging trans identity, Casa Susanna was a safe haven where transgender women found refuge in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

Chrissy Judy

Like an exceptionally dry martini, this witty film about the importance of queer friendship (and drag) in New York is something to savour.

Compulsus

Upending the power dynamic between men and other genders, this provocative feminist revenge fantasy pulls no punches against the patriarchy!

Cop Secret

Ready for an Icelandic buddy cop action spoof with a gay flex? Add sexual tension and a hilariously evil baddie for an unforgettable caper!

Eismayer

A hard-as-nails drill sergeant’s journey from serving in silence to true love, in this compelling character study based on a true story.

El Houb - The Love

A quiet, ambitious and commanding exploration of a Moroccan-Dutch man’s life at a crossroads when his conservative family discover he’s gay.

Elephant

A tender romance develops between a young man and the carefree outsider who shakes up his reality, in this astutely observed Polish drama.

Finding Her Beat

A group of women and non-binary drummers gather to create a historic and ground-breaking Taiko performance, an art-form dominated by men.

Follow the Protocol

Freshly dumped (via Zoom!), sexually frustrated bear Francisco wants to get hot and heavy during a pandemic. But how can he do that safely?

Framing Agnes

A powerful love letter to the trailblazing transgender individuals whose stories were buried within the case files of a 1950s gender clinic.

Gateways Grind

Winner of the Audience Award at Toronto’s Inside Out fest, Gateways Grind dives into the history of London’s longest-running lesbian club.


Gay Shorts

Featuring Emmy award-winning actor Colman Domingo (Euphoria), this collection of heartfelt shorts focus on gay men from all walks of life.

Birds of a Feather

Blonde Night

Mab Hudel

North Star

The Bower

The Third Solar Term


Golden Delicious

A Chinese-Canadian teen realises basketball is way more fun when he has a hottie neighbour to practise with, in this coming-of-age drama.


Guy on Guy Shorts

There’s only one thing on everyone’s minds, in this sexy selection of shorts about hot guys flirting, dating and hooking up with other men.

A Fox in the Night

Beautiful Stranger

Boyfriend

Outdoors

Tomorrow Then

Troy


Heartbeast

A harmless crush becomes an all-encompassing obsession, in this technicolour psychological thriller that thrums with excitement and danger.

Horseplay

The line between the homoerotic and homophobic blur when a group of 20-something men spend a summer together, in Marco Berger’s latest film.

How to Tell a Secret

A powerfully moving hybrid documentary tackling the stigma people living with HIV face when disclosing their status in present-day Ireland.

In from the Side

In from the Side is a captivating drama exploring an illicit affair between two partnered members of a South London gay rugby club.

In Her Words: 20th Century Lesbian Fiction

Revisit (and discover!) your 20th century lesbian literary favourites and celebrate the trailer-blazing authors that created them.

Industry Networking

Queer Screen’s industry networking is a chance to connect with other LGBTIQ+ industry members and find collaborators for your next project!

Inqueersition: Queer Screen Trivia Night

The word is out! Grab your GBF and head on down to The Bearded Tit, the ideal home for Mardi Gras Film Festival’s queer movie trivia night.

Joyland

This Cannes Un Certain Regard Jury Prize-winning romance between a trans woman and a married man is a watershed moment for Pakistani cinema.


Lesbian Shorts

From Africa, Europe to throughout the USA, this diverse collection of shorts brings together the experiences of lesbians from across the globe.​​​​

First Date

Masquerade

Minutes

Shams

The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night

This is Katharine


Lonesome

A solitary cowboy dives headfirst into a grungy world of lust and love on the streets of Sydney, in this frank and sometimes confronting film.

Lotus Sport Club

The incredible true story of the Lotus Sports Club is an eye-opening snapshot of queer resilience in the face of prejudice in Cambodia.

Mars One

A tender and authentic story of love and hope in working-class Brazil, following the everyday challenges of a tight-knit family of dreamers.

My Emptiness and I

Raphäelle Perez delivers a star-making performance as a young, sassy woman at the start of her transition, in the latest film from the director of Sediments.


My Queer Career

Eight films in the running for My Queer Career, Australia’s richest LGBTIQ+ short film prize, with over $16,000 worth of prizes to be won.

Dykes On Bikes: An Origin Story
From protectors in the streets to Sydney Mardi Gras icons, this is a love letter to Australia’s longest running LGBTIQ+ community group.

Ghosted
A weekend retreat with his put-upon boyfriend turns sinister for a social media influencer when he’s pursued by a persistent online stalker.

Pause
After two years abroad, with less than 12 hours in her rural hometown Rosie attempts to mend the broken heart of her childhood sweetheart.

Right Here
After coming out as non-binary to their parents, Grace meets their future self and realises who they want to be was inside them all along.

Single
Housemates Tilly, Luke and Bridie bamboozle their way through a kaleidoscope of psychedelic romantic encounters in Sydney’s inner-west.

Sparkles
A 30-something year-old woman with Down syndrome flees her small country town for the big city, befriending a drag queen along the way.

Tuī Ná
A 17 year-old struggles to reconcile his burgeoning queerness with his filial duties and expectations from his Chinese immigrant mother.


Number 96: TV's First LGBT Show

A special event celebrating groundbreaking Australian TV, followed by a discussion between historian Andrew Mercado and actor Joe Hasham.

Of an Age

A Serbian-Australian teenager develops intense feelings for his friend’s older brother, in this phenomenal Australian coming of age romance.

Petit Mal

An endearing film about a queer throuple, inspired by director Ruth Caudeli’s (Eva and Candela) own real-life polyamorous experiences.

Pride

Featuring an all-star cast including Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton, this British crowd-pleaser joyfully puts the protest back into pride.

Punch

Coached by his father (Tim Roth), a teen boxer preps for a major match while grappling with his sexuality, in this hard-hitting Kiwi drama.


Queer Comedy Specials with Joel Creasey and Rhys Nicholson presented by Prime Video

A free screening of two brand new queer stand-up specials: Joel Creasey: Queen of the Outback and Rhys Nicholson's Big Queer Comedy Concert.


QueerDoc Shorts

Be transported into the lives of diverse queer people from across the globe, in this insightful, inspiring selection of documentary shorts.

Beirut Dreams in Color

Love, Barbara

Peach Paradise

Prosopagnosia

Salman Toor’s Emerald Green

Space is Quite a Lot of Things


Victor's Body


QueerScream Shorts

Inner demons, horrifying faceless torsos and sexy tentacled monsters will have you screaming in fear (and laughter) in this exciting package.

Anaconda

Griffica

Hideous

MonsterDykë

Repression

The Demons of Dorothy


Raya and the Last Dragon

Join us for a special Rainbow Families screening of Raya and the Last Dragon: an exciting, epic journey into the fantasy world of Kumandra.

Saving Face

A fixture of "best in lesbian film" lists, this light-hearted romance between two Chinese-American women was Alice Wu's 2004 directorial debut.

Shall I Compare You to a Summer’s Day?

Arabic pop songs and polyamorous gay confessionals swirl together in this evocative experimental film about the love lives of gay Arab men.

Sleep with Me

“Are you a tower? Because Eiffel for you.” So goes the pickup line that catalyses this sweet rom-com from the director of Billie and Emma.

Smartphone Filmmaking Workshop

This smartphone filmmaking workshop will put the power to tell your stories your way into the palm of your hand, using your very own phone.

So Damn Easy Going

Perfectly capturing the charm and chaos of first love, this is a captivating adaptation of the critically-acclaimed Swedish YA novel.

Soft

Direct from TIFF, Soft is a warm-hearted coming of age gem about friendship and resilience, from genderqueer Canadian director Joseph Amenta.


Stephen Cummins Retrospective Gala

A celebration of Australian filmmaker and artist Stephen Cummins, Queer Screen’s co-founder who left an indelible mark on queer cinema.

Screens with:

Blue Movie

Body Corporate

Breathbeat

Deadpan

Elevation

Le Corps Image

Resonance

Taste the Difference

The HIV Gameshow


Sublime

Teen rockers Manu and Felipe have their friendship tested when one develops an unexpected crush, in this refreshing coming of age tale.

TÁR

Cate Blanchett delivers a ferocious, career-best performance in this acclaimed, award-winning portrait of an intimidating lesbian maestro.

The Blue Caftan

A woman’s love for her husband is unwavering even as he falls for another man, in this achingly beautiful, award-winning Moroccan drama.

The Five Devils

Love, mystery and time travel collide in this compelling drama starring a mesmerising Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue is the Warmest Colour).

The Giants

An exhilarating and unforgettable documentary chronicling the extraordinary Dr Bob Brown, Australia’s first openly gay member of parliament.

The Inspection

Inspired by writer-director Elegance Bratton's experience as a gay Black man in the US marines, The Inspection is a raw, emotive drama.

The Longest Weekend

Lou, Avery and Rio’s lives are falling apart, but adultery and binge drinking are just the tip of the iceberg, in this Sydney-based drama.

The Origin of Evil

Seeking a family reunion, Stéphane is drawn into a web of intrigue, but who’s the predator and who’s the prey remains unclear in the wickedly funny thriller.

The Venus Effect

Liv thinks she has everything figured out until she’s swept off her feet by free spirit Andrea in this feel good, award-winning rom-com.

The Winner Takes It All

Sydney drag icon and RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under alum Maxi Shield stars in a farcical comedy that brings to mind the works of John Waters.

This Place

Fates collide in a Toronto laundromat when a chance encounter sees love blossom between a young Tamil woman and a Mohawk-Iranian woman.

Three Nights a Week

A straight man falls in love with a drag queen, in this crowd-pleasing French dramedy that questions the rigid confines of gender presentation and sexual labels.

Three Tidy Tigers Tied a Tie Tighter

In this unconventional, Teddy Award-winner, three queer youths embark on a surreal, dystopian adventure through the streets of São Paulo.


Trans and Gender Diverse Shorts

Transgender men, women and people outside the gender binary take centre stage in this assemblage of funny and powerful short films.

Gem

Happy New Year, Ms. Luna

How Not to Date While Trans

Monsieur Le Butch

Piercing

Privilegiada

Queer Parivaar


Trans Women Trailblazers

Two docos about trailblazing Australian trans women: the first to run for parliament, and the founder of Sydney institution Trans Glamoré.

Unidentified Objects

Unidentified Objects takes us to the heart of what it means to truly be ourselves, in this quirky science-fiction odyssey.

Uýra: The Rising Forest

A breathtaking meditative journey through the Amazon with Uýra, an indigenous non-binary artist treated as an outsider on their own land.

Vegas in Space

A celebratory screening of 1991 lo-fi cult classic Vegas in Space, a loving homage to science fiction B-movies starring an all-drag cast.

Wandering Heart

The powerful and erotically charged story of Santiago, a middle-aged gay man who loses his way during an eventful summer in South America.

Wet Sand

A young lesbian unexpectedly bonds with her late-grandfather’s secret gay lover in this mysterious, beautifully affecting Georgian drama.

Where Butterflies Don't Fly

This well-made claustrophobic thriller is both a gripping tale and an absorbing character drama – a real stand-out in the festival line-up.


Women Loving Women Shorts

Romance, flirting and sexual tension are in the air, in this short film package that’s all about women who love women, regardless of label.

Encore Martha

Me & Her(pes)

The Beginning & the Middle

Tuullik

Woman Meets Girl


You Can Live Forever

Where one must choose between love and duty, identity and faith, You Can Live Forever asks the question: what do we sacrifice for paradise?


Youth Shorts

This fun and affirming package of short films about LGBTIQ+ youths is perfect for younger viewers – and those who remain young at heart.

Beast

Breathe

Homebird

Lucky Fish

Luv, Me

Make Me a King

The Birth of a Beautiful Butch

Who I Am


Youtopia

Comedian Scout Durwood creates her own perfect world in this camp-tastic escapade – a hilariously savvy musical for the TikTok generation!