Queer cinema was brought into the mainstream this year when Blue is the Warmest Colour – a beautiful indie film which tells the tale of a lesbian relationship – unanimously won the Palme d’Or and audience hearts (along with their social media feeds). There’s so much to see in GLBTI film and the Mardi Gras Film Festival’s huge program of true stories, critically acclaimed dramas and premieres of locally produced gems, shows us why.

This little festival, presented every year during Mardi Gras by Queer Screen, is celebrating its 21st birthday.

Here are our picks of the 41 feature films:

1. Valentine Road

In 2008 in Oxnard, California, an eight-grade student shot his classmate Larry King twice in the back of the head for giving him a Valentine’s Day card. This poignant documentary asks whether the murder was a hate crime against a gay child, or if there is more to the story of two abused, troubled boys searching for belonging.

2. Quick Change

Quick Change is a high-calibre film, which is about to play at Berlin International Film Festival. It is a drama from the Philippines about a trans-gender woman who injects collagen into beauty queens participating in pageants.

3. Gerontophilia

Gerontophilia is a tender inter-generational comedy about a young man, who after resuscitating an elderly gentleman, discovers his attraction to the older generation. The event leads to a desire to get a job at a nursing home where he meets his next lover. The screening will be a matinee, followed by an afternoon tea.

4. Croc-A-Dyke Dundee, The Legend of Dawn O’Donnell

Screening on the closing night of the festival is the world premiere of a quintessentially Sydney film about the birth of the Rainbow Mile, Oxford Street – the heart of the Mardi Gras. The film is about Dawn O’Donnell, whose life is now obscured in legend, an ice-skater turn gay bar owner who gave many a ‘place to come out’.

5. Muriel’s Wedding and Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert

You’re terrible…enough said.


Catch the Mardi Gras Film Festival at Event Cinemas on George Street from 13-23 February.

Head to queerscreen.org.au/mgff for the full program. 

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