Mardi Gras Film Festival 2023 Review: Trans Glamoré ★★★

Two mid-length documentaries about Australian trans women will receive their world premieres at Queer Screen’s 30th Mardi Gras Film Festival under the banner of Trans Women Champions: Trans Glamoré and The Accidental Archivist.

Filmmaker Lachlan Bradbury’s Trans Glamoré (a recipient of the Queer Screen Completion Fund), is a look at Sydney’s eponymous trans cabaret night. Founded by DJ Victoria Anthony, Trans Glamoré has established itself as the premiere night of exclusively trans entertainment. In the film, performers Skye Paez and Kaly Finbar discuss the show’s place in Sydney’s LGBTQIA+ ecosystem and its importance to the community, while Lauren Hersey, a young trans woman, shares what it means to her. “It’s a whole night celebrating trans performers, friends and family. It’s so important in terms of visibility.” Hersey continues, “It’s a safe and welcoming space for a lot of trans people which is really important because a lot of trans people don’t have that.”

Broader context is given by Peta Friend, founder of Trans Pride Australia, whose work promoting diversity, understanding acceptance has been key in helping events like Trans Glamoré find their place. As Victoria Anthony says, “There was nowhere I could go and be celebrated for being trans, so that’s why I started it.”

Like many LGBTQIA+ events and venues, the Covid-19 pandemic had a massive impact on Trans Glamoré. It’s a testament to the resilience of these performers that they not only brought Trans Glamoré, back, but did so in a new venue, with the night now bigger and better than ever.

While Trans Glamoré might start out a little dry, but it quickly comes to life as it delves into the backstories of the performers, showing their hard work and drive. It’s important to see these moments of Australia’s LGBTQIA+ history captured on film and Trans Glamoré gives us a purely Australian slice of real life trans storytelling.

By Chad Armstrong

Trans Glamoré receives its world premiere along with The Accidental Archivist at Queer Screen’s 30th Mardi Gras Film Festival on Monday, February 20th, 2023. There will also be a special panel discussion with subjects of the films, Victoria Anthony and Julie Peters, followed by an after party. Film-only tickets are also available. Click here for tickets and more information.

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