Queer Screen Film Festival

Film, Film festivals
Photograph: supplied Queer Screen is mostly online this year, but a Priscilla drive-inis an exception

Time Out says

The LGBTIQ+ movie showcase goes national, streaming online for all Australians to enjoy

For the first time in its short but spectacularly fabulous lifetime, the Queer Screen Film Festival, the mid-year spin-off of big sister the Mardi Gras Film Festival, will light up screens all over Australia. Some that most of them will be considerably smaller than usual, but hey, size doesn’t matter. It’s what you do with it that counts.

Embracing the new normal, most of the fest will go online for you to stream on your telly, laptop, iPad or phone from September 17-27. It opens up the queer movie magic to folks all over the country, and there are also a couple of options for Sydneysiders to come together to celebrate LGTBIQ+ cinema with the community.

On Saturday, September 26, the Skyline Drive-In will host to a camp double bill of drag classic The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert alongside the Australian premiere of Stage Mothers. The latter stars HRH Jacki Weaver as a conservative Texan who unexpectedly inherits a drag bar in San Francisco after the death of her estranged son. Gradually falling in with her son's best firend and his bereaved partner – played by Charlie's Angels star Lucy Liu and Devil Wears Prada's Adrian Grenier respectively – all of a sudden she finds her choir leading skills find new purpose as old prejudices fall away. Bring tissues.

And Paddington’s gorgeous Chauvel Cinema will present two appropriately socially distanced screenings of breath-takingly powerful documentary Welcome to Chechnya on September 19 and 20. Directed by Oscar-nominated David France (How to Survive a Plague, The Life and Death of Marsha P. Johnson), it takes a devastating look at the violent persecution of LGBTIQ+ people in the semi-autonomous Russian republic. A challenging but rewarding must-see.

Elsewhere in the program, you can stream one of our favourite queer films of late, Tu Me Manque. Originating as a play, writer/director Rodrigo Bellott’s beautiful, witty and weepy feature is incredible. It follows the emotional voyage of a homophobic Bolivian father reconnecting with the memory of his late, estranged son (a running theme this year) through his friends' circle in New York City. It sparked a push for equality in the South American country.

Other dramatic features include Cocoon, a German coming-of-ager about a 14-year-old girl embracing who she really is during a steamy Berlin summer. African-American trans woman Alexandra Grey, who also appears in the musical Transparent finale, stars in ‘80s-set Gossamer Folds, about friendship overcoming stigma.

Breaking Fast follows a young West Hollywood gay Muslim man looking for love, without resorting to tired tropes about family strife or struggling to reconcile religion and sexuality. And Lim Dae-hyung’s Moonlit Winter, set in South Korea and a snow-filled Japan, promises heartfelt drama as four women face the aftermath of secrets unveiled.

Fascinating docos include Ahead of the Curve, about the founding of Sydney-based lesbian magazine Curve, and Steelers: The World’s First Gay Rugby Club. And in even better news for accessibility, the triple bill of Trans and Gender Diverse Shorts, Lesbian Shorts and Gay Shorts will be made available totally free for all to see.

Single tickets are $12, or $10 for Queer Screen members, or you can grab a bunch of multi-passes. The in-person events are a teeny bit more. Full details can be found here.

Want more digital movies? Check out the Sydney Underground Film Festival.

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