Queer Screen’s 28th Mardi Gras Film Festival has announced its full lineup of queer treats that will debut both in cinemas in Sydney and online on-demand across Australia from February 18th to March 4th 2021. MGFF will screen 94 films including narrative features, docs, shorts, and episodics, with 70% of those available on-demand. The program includes three World premieres, 60 Australian premieres and 15 Sydney premieres showcasing LGBTQ+ storytelling from 30 different countries.
The Opening Night slot belongs to David Freyne’s coming of age comedy Dating Amber that will have its Sydney debut under the stars at the Moonlight Cinema in Centennial Park. It’s the semi-autobiographical tale of two closeted teenagers in 1990s rural Ireland who decide to fake a relationship together in order to get them through the end of high school, with fantastic central performances by Fionn O’Shea and Lola Petticrew, and great supporting turns by Sharon Horgan and Barry Ward.
Starring, written, and produced by members of New Zealand’s queer, Māori, and gender-diverse communities, the festival’s Closing Night film Rūrangi tells the story of a trans activist, Caz (Elz Carrad), who returns home to his remote, politically divided dairy community to reconnect with his estranged father. Rūrangi won the Audience Award at the 2020 Frameline Film Festival.
Among the World Premieres is writer-director Stelios Kammitsis’ The Man With The Answers, which follows Victor (Vasilis Magouliotis) a twenty-something ex-diving champion who takes a long road trip to Germany and along the way meets a handsome, homeward-bound German Matthias (Anton Weil). Together they cross Italy and begin to find common ground as their trip takes unexpected turns.
Written and directed by Thomas Wilson-White, the magic realist The Greenhouse, which also world premieres at Mardi Gras, focuses on Beth (Jane Watt) a young woman bereft when one of her mothers passes away. Unlike her three siblings, she languishes at the family home with her surviving mother, Ruth (Camilla Ah Kin). On the eve of Ruth’s sixtieth birthday, Beth follows a vision into the garden and discovers a greenhouse that sends her into the past, where her mother is alive and Beth is taking her first steps in trying to deal with or ignore her own burgeoning sexuality.
Australian premieres include: The World To Come (starring Casey Katherine Waterston and Vanessa Kirby), Bruce LaBruce’s Saint Narcisse, and Forgotten Roads (La Nave Del Olvido) that shows you’re never too old to “come of age”. Digital Australian premieres include Milkwater (starring Younger’s Molly Bernard), Eytan Fox’s Sublet, Anna Kerrigan’s Cowboys, the documentaries Cured and The Dilemma of Desire. While Australian online audiences will also get a chance to enjoy Michael Seligman and Jennifer Tiexiera‘s exquisite P.S. Burn This Letter Please. Other screenings taking place in cinemas during the festival include Aisling Chin-Yee and Chase Joynt’s No Ordinary Man, Ali LeRoi’s The Obituary of Tunde Johnson, Filippo Meneghetti’s The Two of Us (Deux), and the Sydney Premiere of Ebs Burnough’s The Capote Tapes.
Head to the official Queer Screen website to see the full lineup and purchase tickets and passes. Get social with #MGFF21.