The Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) is back from March 16 – 27, with the best and latest in LGBTIQ cinema from around the globe. Today MQFF Program Manager Spiro Economopoulos announced the first 8 films in this year’s program. Touching on themes of love, loss, persecution, equality and transformative power, this might be one of the most important festival line-ups of the year, especially with the tide of conservative politics that has swept across the globe in the last year.
The MQFF 2017 Centrepiece is the Melbourne premiere of PULSE the independently funded debut feature from Australian writer/actor Daniel Monks & director Stevie Cruz-Martin (Marrow, MQFF2016). Mixing sexuality and teen angst with an undercurrent of sci-fi, PULSE is said to be a “bold fantasy that follows a gay disabled teen who undergoes a mysterious procedure that gives him the body of a young able-bodied woman in order to pursue his love object. This continues the Festival’s long-standing commitment to championing Australian film.”
TOMCAT emerges from last year’s Berlin International Film Festival where it took out the prestigious Teddy Award for Best Film. In what MQFF are claiming could be one of the most talked-about films of the festival, it follows the Viennese pair Andreas and Stefan in their a happy life, with good jobs at the orchestra, great friends, a beautiful house and their cherished cat Moses. Their sex life is blissful. So what could go wrong?
Other highlights from the line-up announced today include the Melbourne premieres of Ireland’s A DATE FOR MAD MARY, Tim Kirkman’s sensual LA-based love story LAZY EYE, and a restored version of the 1996 New Queer Cinema classic THE WATERMELON WOMAN. Documentary OUT RUN follows Bemz Benedito in her dream of being the first transgender woman in the Philippine Congress, while SOUTHWEST OF SALEM: THE STORY OF THE SAN ANTONIO FOUR examines the fight against homophobia and prosecutorial fervor of four Latina lesbians wrongfully convicted of gang-raping two young girls during the Satanic Panic witch-hunt era of the 80s and 90s.
Rounding out the announcement is TRANSformations, a collection of trans* shorts that celebrate the transformative power of living an authentic life, from the poetic portrait of a trans opera singer, a racy drama about hormones and desire starring gender-fluid model Madison Paige, and a trans woman’s first night out as her true self.
Hit up the website at mqff.com.au for more program details or to buy tickets. The full program is available on 16 February.