The annual Melbourne Queer Film Festival is just about to come back big time. Since 1991 the Fest has been bringing the very best and latest of world LGBTQ+ culture to Melbourne while also nurturing the development of new Australian voices
Meanwhile, we have combed the whole schedule to come up with our list of MUST-SEE FILMS at the FEST.
Are We Lost Forever : the demise of a relationship, Swedish Filmmaker David Färdmar‘s debut feature film, an excellent queer romance, is an adaption of his short film No More We’. Using the same two very talented lead actors, Färdmar expands the story of how this love affair turned sour. Adrian (Björn Elgerd) and Hampus (Jonathan Andersson) have been living together for three years and are engaged to be married, but now that the passion has subsided they have decided to separate. Well, Hampus has made the decision to leave, but Adrian, although unhappy in their relationship, it is shocked that they are going to break up.
(P.S. you may also like to check out Queerguru’s interview with the Director https://www.queerguru.com/david-fardmar-talks-about-are-we-lost-forever/
Being Bebe : Newbie filmmaker EMILY BRANHAM took a shine to BeBe aka MARSHALL NGWA back in 2006 before the world came to know about him. Then the tall good-looking man from Cameron in West Africa was living in Minneapolis Minnesota and doing amateur drag in a local gay bar. Even then he stood out as his costumes and performances were heavily immersed and inspired by his African Culture. After Bebe was the first-ever winner of Ru Paul’s Drag Race she had a roller coaster life of rags to riches and back again which she shares with disarming honesty that makes this doc so compelling and such a sheer joy to watch
(P.S. you may also like to check out Queerguru’s interview with the Star, the Director and the Producer https://www.queerguru.com/talking-about-being-bebe/ )
BEYTO: Talented swimmer, motivated apprentice, cool buddy: Beyto is in the midst of life. But when the only son of a Turkish migrant family falls in love with his coach Mike, an ideal world falls to pieces. His parents only see one way out: They lure him to their home village and plan his wedding with Seher, his childhood friend. Suddenly, Beyto finds himself in a disruptive love triangle. This multicultural story about love and emancipation by Gitta Gsell is a rare LGBTQ film from Switzerland
Can You Bring It : Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters. This compelling powerful documentary tells the story behind the most celebrated and performed work by the iconic queer choreographer Bill T Jones. He created ‘D-Man In The Waters’ in 1989 one year after losing his life partner the dancer/choreographer Arnie Zane to AIDS. It was the height of the pandemic that was decimating the queer community robbing us not just of lovers and friends but also some of the great cultural figures of that generation.
FIREBIRD is an enormously satisfying and complete film, and it has been playing at every single queer film fest we have covered this year. It tells a full tale of life, and love, and loss from its beginning right up to an end that could never need or want a sequel. PEETER REBANE‘s story of two Soviet military recruits, a pilot officer and a private, falling in love on a military base during the 70s cold war, is based on a true story. Skeptical as we are about stories ‘based on’ truth, people’s ages and weights on dating profiles might make that same claim, there is an undeniably human element to this story that grips the heart and mind with a sense of both individuality and history
(P.S. you may also like to check out Queerguru’s interview with the Writer/ Director and his Co-Writer/Star https://www.queerguru.com/peteer-rebane-tom-prior-talk-about-their-estonian-queer-romance-firebird/ )
FLEE : is the timely and harrowing true story of Amin, an Afghanistan refugee who by various means of human trafficking makes his way from Kabul to Denmark. Winner of multi awards including Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize this queer animated film is a rude awakening of the reality of being queer in that region of the world.
LUZ : can a queer prison romance last? Portland-based filmmaker Jon Garcia has followed up his highly successful Falls Trilogy of movies with yet another exceptional queer love story. This time however he has moved on from Mormons to Mexican Mafia. It’s the story of Ruben (Ernesto Reyes)has a job driving for his Mafiosa cousin Julio (Rega Lupo) taking his girls back and forth to ‘work’. However, Ruben falls for one of them and gets so drunk with her that he crashes the car killing her outright. It lands him in Correction Center and reluctantly having to share a cell with a very threatening Carlos (Jesse Tayeh). Being the new kid on the block Ruben is given a rough time by all the other inmates, but slowly Carlos lightens up and becomes his prison mentor. Not long after that their new friendship develops and they actually end up as lovers.
No Straight Lines: VIVIAN KLEIMAN’S intriguing doc looks at the impact of queer comics in the evolution of the LGBTQ community by examining the lives and work of 5 of its most well-known practitioners. They include AILSON BECHDEL whose graphic novel FUN HOME was turned into a Tony Award-Winning Musical, and RUPERT KINNARD who created the first ongoing gay/lesbian-identified African-American comic-strip characters. Although slightly patchy at times, Kleiman’s film does however play tribute to this oft underappreciated art that makes for compelling viewing.
POTATO DREAMS OF AMERICA ; This excellent autobiographical tale of his journey from Russia as a young gay immigrant is the perfect choice for the opening night gala. Maybe a tad patchy in parts but it’s a joyous wee film with some wonderful surprises like an adorable Jonathan Bennett as Jesus and an almost unrecognizable Lea Delaria giving a scene-stealing performance.
(P.S. You may also like to check out our interview with the filmmaker https://www.queerguru.com/wes-hurley-talks-potato-dreams-of-america/ )
The exceptionally talented queer artist DAVID WOJANAROWICZ’S name may not easily trip off one’s tongue but at least now thanks to CHRIS MCKIM’S incisive documentary his place in the echelons of queer culture will finally be totally undisputed. Wojanarowicz died of AIDS in 1992 just 37 years old, but this new film makes us all totally aware that the impact of his work is still so powerfully relevant today.
For the full program and how to book tickets check https://mqff.com.au/
For the full reviews of these films and over 1250 other queer movies check out https://www.queerguru.com and whilst you are there be sure to subscribe to get all the latest raves and rants on queer cinema….. even better IT’s FREE