The 22nd Mardi Gras Film Festival wrapped on 5 March. Presented by Queer Screen, the 15 day festival offered love triangles, role-switching and some amazing Australian talent on the silver screen. With over 15,000 in attendance and 20 sell-out screenings, 2015 marked the festival’s most successful year for quite some time.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City of Sydney was proud to encourage the festival’s growth and this year gave Queer Screen $15,000 in cash and support. “I’m pleased to see the festival grow in popularity and the City is proud to be a supporter,” the Lord Mayor said. “The festival is a wonderful opportunity for our city to showcase the diversity of the GLBTI community from countries as far apart as the Philippines and the Netherlands. “It also features a number of Australian-made movies that prove our local filmmakers are some of the world’s best.”
Mardi Gras Film Festival Director Paul Struthers said: “Audience demand led to a phenomenal amount of sell-out screenings this year. We are thrilled to announce that audience numbers have increased by 30 per cent since last year, with a 100 per cent increase on 2013, we can’t wait to see what 2016 will bring!”
This year the festival sparkled with the best of young Aussie talent. Shot in and around Newtown, Skin Deep made its Australian premiere at the Mardi Gras Film Festival on February 21. Both All About E, about sexy Sydney DJ E, and Drown, which explored the world of Aussie beach culture, enjoyed sell-out cinemas for their world premieres and sold out encore screenings this week.
Queer Screen were pleased to present the winner of the 2015 Mardi Gras Film Festival Audience Award for Best Narrative Film to Eric Schaeffer for Boy Meets Girl, a great film about gender starring trans actress Michelle Hendley. Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature Film went to Mary Dore’s She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, a moving doco that chronicles the early days of the women’s liberation movement in America.
Another festival highlight was My Queer Career, an awards night which celebrated queer short films and filmmakers working in Australia today, judged by Daniel Ribeiro, director of The Way He Looks, Lisa Daniel the Melbourne Queer Film Festival Director, and David Jowsey producer of Mystery Road. Best Film was awarded to Tony Radevski for his latest short Hole. Tony also collected the prize for Event Cinemas Best Original Screenplay. The Spectrum Film Audience Award went to Nineteen, directed by Madeline Kelly, and Liz Cooper picked up the Metro Screen NSW Filmmaker Award for Like Breathing.
We return to Parramatta’s Riverside Theatre from 27–29 March with the best films of Mardi Gras Film Festival screened as part of Western City Pride. The selected films included the year’s stand out crime documentary Out in the Night, and Tiger Orange with gay pornstar-turned-actor Frankie Valenti (aka Johnny Hazzard).
Queer Screen are offering audiences the chance to catch up on some of the best films of the festival with a host of encore screenings. The selected films include BFFs, arguably the funniest film of the festival featuring our own Sigrid Thornton; Four Moons, which tells four compelling stories of love, desire and self-acceptance; and Lilting, which received an audience rating of over 4.5 and stars Skyfall’s Ben Whishaw.
For more information and bookings visit: http://queerscreen.org.au/mgff/program/?film_category=encores&orderby=date