TV & Movies

The Films You Need To Catch At The Melbourne Queer Film Festival

By Stephen A Russell - 05 Mar 2019

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Back bigger and better than ever for its 29th outing, Australia’s longest-serving LGBTIQ+ showcase, the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, has welcomed South Yarra’s Village Jam Factory into the fold, joining regular haunts ACMI and Cinema Nova.

Spread over 12 days from March 14-25, a bulging program north of 120 movies kicks off with LA love story Papi Chulo and sashays through comedian Drew Droege’s Broadway smash Bright Colors and Bold Patterns before closing with the Kristen Stewart/Laura Dern dream team in Jeremiah Terminator Leroy.

An outstanding line-up, here are our top tips to get you started. 

Rafiki

In a brilliant strike against governmental homophobia in Kenya, writer/director Wanuri Kahiu refused to hack out the hopeful message flourishing in her super-cute, Nairobi-set lesbian romance. Funnily enough, when it got selected for the Cannes Film Festival, suddenly politicians were pushing it as their Oscar hopeful. See what all the fuss was about and feel your heart beam.

For more info, click here.

Scotty And The Secret History Of Hollywood

Everyone loves a good goss session and this doco delivers in golden age Hollywood spades. Marine-turned-pimp Scotty Bowers smartly realised some of tinsel town’s major stars were in need of discreet queer fun and made it his mission to hook them up. With clients allegedly including Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Rock Hudson, prepare for juice!

For more info, click here.

Transmillitary

While we’re on a hot doco kick, this powerful insight into the lives of four trans people in the US military follows their incredibly brave decision to come out, pushing then President Obama to overturn the ban on them serving that persisted even after 2010’s repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’. It also looks at how that successful mission has been derailed by the election of Donald Trump.

For more info, click here.

My Big Gay Italian Wedding

A real crowd-pleaser, this big-hearted rom-com kicks off in Berlin with cutey Antonio (Cristiano Caccamo) proposing to his beefy bear boyfriend Paolo (Salvatore Esposito) just in time for Easter. So far, so lovey-dovey, but life gets a bit more completed when the Italian lads return home for the break. With one family oblivious and the other estranged, a comedy of errors ensues, but will they make it down the aisle?  

For more info, click here.

The Heiresses

Scooping up awards worldwide, this powerful debut from Paraguayan writer/director Marcelo Martinessi features an incandescent performance by newcomer Ana Brun as Chela. Once well-to-do, she’s reduced to selling off the family heirlooms and driving rich old ladies around the hood, cash-in-hand, thanks to the imprisonment for fraud of her bossy partner Chiquita (Margarita Irun). But hard times might just mean a bright new start.

For more info, click here.

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

One for the musical fans, this weapons grade blast of unadulterated joy was filmed live at London’s Apollo Theatre. Based on a true story, John McCrea stars as the Jamie in question, a 16-year-old proud gay lad living with his single mum in a council flat. Loving high heels, he wants to wear a dress to his school prom. With backup from bestie Pritti (Lucie Shorthouse), watch out world.

For more info, click here.

Night Comes On

The Deuce star Dominique Fishback continues to impress as 18-year-old Angel, fresh out of juvie, in writer/director Jordana Spiro’s hard-hitting debut co-written with Angelica Nwandu. Planning to move in with her girlfriend and re-connect with her younger sister, the scars she has endured make for an impossible choice between forging a new start and seeking out vengeance.

For more info, click here.

Mario

Swiss soccer player Mario (Max Hubacher), captain of an under-21s team, is focused on one thing in life: getting promoted to the professional squad. That unflinching drive is distracted by the arrival of German striker Leon (Aaron Altaras). Becoming fast friends and flirty flatmates, pretty soon their falling for each other. But at what cost in a game still overhung by career-killing homophobia?

For more info, click here.

Man Made

Author and filmmaker T Cooper follows four bodybuilding trans men as they prepare to compete on the mats in Atlanta competition Trans FitCon. A fascinating insight into what it takes to succeed, the real heavy lifting is going on in their personal relationships in this affecting doco as they navigate transition with lovers, family and friends. 

For more info, click here.

Marilyn

Based on a true story about farm life in rural Argentina, smart, sweet-natured Marcos (Walter Rodríguez) has big ideas that don’t involve working the land in Martín Rodríguez Redondo’s feature debut. Those dreams are cruelly dashed when his father dies unexpectedly. His mother Olga (Catalina Saavedra) and brother Carlitos (Ignacio Giménez) have other plans. Can he find some sort of escape through his love of dressmaking, and in the arms of the handsome farmer’s son next door?

For more info, click here.

The Details

What: Melbourne Queer Film Festival
When: 14 March to 25 March
Where: Venues around Melbourne
For more info head to mqff.com.au.

The French Film Festival kicks off in Melbourne on 6 March, check out what's good here.

Image credit: supplied

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