Tickets go on sale for ten teaser films. Documentaries about transgender porn stars, biopics of famous lesbian poets, evocative coming-of-age dramas and witty indie teen comedies, are just some of the queer-tinged viewing treats that audiences can expect when the 21st Mardi Gras Film Festival hits Sydney next February. Tickets for ten teaser films went on sale today as event organisers promised one of the most diverse program lineups in the Festival’s 21-year history. Running from Thursday 13th February to Sunday 23rd February 2014 at Event Cinemas George Street, the Festival will offer up an eclectic selection of classic and contemporary LGBTIQ films from across Australia and around the world – showcasing multiple world and Australian premieres, critically-acclaimed international titles and some of the most groundbreaking queer flicks of all time.
“Turning 21 is a huge achievement for an event that has come from such humble beginnings. To celebrate this milestone, we wanted to deliver a program that truly captures the many facets and realities of LGBTIQ communities – both today and throughout history,” says Mardi Gras Film Festival Director, Paul Struthers. “From the funny, spirited and fabulous to the poignant, confronting and sometimes heartbreaking – we’ll be bringing audiences a very real and rounded snapshot of LGBTIQ themes, stories and films from across the globe. Get ready to experience a massive celebration of pride, creativity and culture under one roof next February.”
The Festival will kick off on opening night with the Australian premiere of REACHING FOR THE MOON, a biographical drama directed by Oscar-nominated Brazilian filmmaker Bruno Barreto. Set in Petrópolis during the Fifties and starring Australian actress Miranda Otto in a career-best performance, the film chronicles the love affair between acclaimed American poet Elizabeth Bishop and famed Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares. Friday 14th February will see audiences treated to another Australian premiere when evocative drama FIVE DANCES hits the silver screen. Directed in collaboration with groundbreaking choreographer Jonah Bokaer and co-starring Australian dancer Reed Luplau (formerly of Sydney Dance Company), the film tells the story of Chip, a gifted teen dancer who embarks on a journey of self-discovery and first-love when he joins a contemporary dance company in New York. Exploring notions of sexual-discovery later on in life is the critically-acclaimed feature CONCUSSION, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival and went on to snag a Teddy Award at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival. Screening on Friday February 14, the film is a powerfully erotic tale about a fourty-something housewife who opts to shake off her everyday boredom by becoming a high-end sex worker. Sure to bring the laughs on Saturday 15th December is G.B.F, a hilarious gay teen comedy about being “outed” from JAWBREAKER director Darren Stein. With a cast including Rebecca Gayheart, Natasha Lyonne and Will and Grace’s Megan Mullally as an over eager mother, the film takes a campy and quirky look at what it means to be a ‘gay best friend’ in the treacherous world of high school. Aside from features, there will be plenty of documentaries on offer to keep discerning film-buffs well satisfied.
Self-proclaimed “Man with a Pussy”, transgender activist and porn pioneer, Buck Angel, is the subject of MR. ANGEL – an uplifting and empowering documentary that chronicles the childhood, modeling career and extraordinary journey of one of the world’s most unlikely political heroes. Angel will be a special guest of the Festival, introducing the film on Sunday 16th February and participating in an interactive Q&A session following the screening. Also placing a lens on the real world is the award-winning documentary CAMP BEAVERTON: MEET THE BEAVERS, which provides a fascinating insight into the only all-women, trans-inclusive community camp at Burning Man arts festival. Documentaries from Australian filmmakers will also go under the spotlight when Martin Fox’s FRIENDS OF DOROTHY world premieres on Wednesday February 19. In his second film in as many years, prolific photographer William Yang shares his personal tales, traversing the history of queer Sydney – from the gay underground of the late 60s and the 80s AIDS crisis, through to the 90s party scene and beyond. Another highlight of the Festival program will be Shirley Clarke’s seminal classic PORTRAIT OF JASON, a 1966 avant-garde documentary that invites audiences into the world of Jason Holiday, a gay African American hustler who challenged notions of sexuality and race in the Sixties. Once recognised as “the most extraordinary film I’ve seen in my life” by internationally-acclaimed director Ingmar Bergman, PORTRAIT OF JASON sees Holiday narrate his troubled life story to the camera, sharing his wild experiences and divulging his darkest feelings to create a viewing experience that is both captivating and thought-provoking.
Presented by Queer Screen, the Mardi Gras Film Festival is Australia’s leading selection of LGBTIQ films, offering audiences a carefully curated program of queer-tinged features, documentaries, short films and retrospectives over eleven days and nights. 2014 will also mark a new partnership between Mardi Gras Film Festival and the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board. Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board have come on board as a major sponsor to promote both LA and Outfest, the world’s longest running Queer film festival.
Stay tuned when the full program for the 2014 Mardi Gras Film Festival is revealed on 15t January 2014.
Tickets for the Mardi Gras Film Festival teaser films can be purchased at www.queerscreen.org.au