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2013 Melbourne Queer Film Festival Set to Open
Melbourne Queer Film Festival full program announced, with 169 films and events on offer
WHEN: 14/03/2013 to 25/03/2013
WHERE: ACMI, Federation Sq, Hoyts Melbourne Central and Loop Bar and cinema
Melbourne Queer Film Festival Artistic Director Lisa Daniel announced the full program of 169 films and events on offer at the 2013 festival at the official program launch last night.
MQFF runs for 11 days from 14 March and is one of the largest queer film festivals in the world.
The program celebrates and explores queer in all its forms; with challenging and entertaining queer-themed films, international hits of the festival circuit, Hollywood stars and a strong program of Australian films screening at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Hoyts Melbourne Central and LOOP Bar.
Opening the Festival and kicking off the party is Gayby, an hilarious and sexy look at two best mates who stretch the boundaries of their friendship. This debut feature by Jonathan Lisecki – who also stars in the film and steals every scene he’s in – has won over 16 Festival awards and is based on the short film of the same name which screened at MQFF in 2011.
Closing the Festival is the seductive Melbourne film Submerge, a quintessential ‘Gen Y’ story by local director Sophie O’Connor. Submerge explores the underlying sense of entitlement of a generation that pushes young adults to believe they can have it all, despite a plethora of competing demands from social media, family, and peers. University student Jordan has a chance meeting with an intriguing nightclub owner, and is propelled into a subculture of fetish and anonymous sex.
In between the two book-ends sits 169 titles, comprising 88 sessions.
Centrepiece Presentations this year include; French Canadian film Beyond the Walls a touching story about the lengths that people will go to for those they love; and the Australian premiere of Zenne Dancer. Based on true events, Zenne Dancer is a powerful and emotionally charged Turkish drama, winner of numerous awards worldwide. Ahmet is a student in Istanbul, supported by his archly conservative parents who live in the countryside, unaware of his homosexuality.
The MQFF will also host a number of special events and discussions around queer and filmmaking topics. Crowd Funding for Dummies will nut out the art of raising cash to make films. With new and accessible digital technologies, film fund-raising is no longer restricted to applying to competitive funding bodies or begging from rich relatives, but utilises new technologies to reach potential audiences and funders. Join an experienced panel including Rick Chen from crowd funding organisation Pozible, award-winning filmmaker Louise Wadley, film producer Kat Holmes and independent film producer Christina Radburn as they discuss their experiences of both running a crowd -funding campaign, as well as going down the crowd funding path (Sat 23 March, 4pm).
Other events include The Queer History Slideshow (Sun 17 March, 2pm) - presented by Daniel Marshall from the Gay and Lesbian Archive and based on the Queer Youth Education Project, come and see an interactive slideshow featuring images and stories of queer young people from Australia’s past. After the success of ACMI’s Queering the Small Screen session of Live in the Studio in 2012, the MQFF is joining forces with ACMI and heading back into the Studio to take a deeper look at the evolving face of queers on small screens (Sat 23 March, 12pm).
Diving back into the film program, there are a wealth of films straight from the international film festival circuit; About Cherry starring Dev Patel, James Franco and Heather Graham; multi award-winning Facing Mirrors
offers a glimpse into the lives of transgender people in the Middle-East; Keep the Lights On chronicles the emotionally and sexually charged journey through the love, addiction, and friendship of two men; A genuinely unique and tender story about young love, Mosquita y Mari heralds the arrival of an exceptionally talented young Spanish filmmaker, Aurora Guerrero; and Yossi – ten years after Yossi and Jagger, the tragic love story of two Israel Defence Force officers serving in Lebanon, director Eytan Fox returns to tell us what has happened with Yossi.
Other Festival highlights include; Struck by Lightning written by Glee’s Chris Colfer and staring Australian Rebel Wilson; speculative biopic Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean explores the possibility of James Dean’s homosexuality; and Being Brendo,presented by the Victorian AIDS Council/Gay Men’s Health Centre is directed by Colin Batrouney, Shannon Murphy and Neil Armfield it stars Geoffrey Rush and Jane Menelaus.
The documentary program houses twelve stand-out films – from Call me Kuchu about a small band of local activists In Uganda who defy persecution as they work tirelessly to stop Parliament making homosexuality punishable by death; and The Invisible Men, an intimate documentary which distills the emotional and psychological impact the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has upon their gay citizens; to Peaches Does Herself, an electro rock opera stage show that tells a mythical history of the gender-queer musician Peaches; and Seventh Gay Adventists, in which three gay Seventh-Day Adventists are forced to make a choice between two parts of their identity that feel as ingrained as their own name. The filmmakers will be in attendance for his session.
As ever there are a wealth of short films in neatly packaged programs – go and see Transformations a fabulous package of great trans docs; Oz Docs and Oz Shorts as a tribute to our own talented local filmmakers; then there’s Short & Girly and Short & Burly; Boobtube is a collection of lesbian short films from around the globe; Cocktales – the latest and greatest collection of gay shorts; Femme Fatalities, a collection of quirky lesbian shorts; Sex Drives & Videotapes, an eclectic package which explores the gay male sex drive; Trans Phats – a selection of trans shorts; and Mixtape – a diverse package from gay teen bullying to an animated therapy session.
Plus this year there are three programs of Queeries shorts which explores gender and sexuality issues relevant to younger audiences and of course the much anticipated Celluliod Casserole will take place at LOOP again – a tasty menu of new Australian shorts (Wed 20 March, 7.30pm).
TICKETS NOW ON SALE
MQFF Festival Lounge takes over the heart of Melbourne's Federation Square at Beer DeLuxe. For 10 days only it will be the queerest place to ear and meet. Festival Lounge Opening Hours - Monday to Friday 5pm until late, Weekends 11am until late. Check mqff.com.au/festivallounge for the full event listing and more information.
For more information visit mqff.com.au
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WHAT: 23rd Melbourne Queer Film Festival WHEN: Thursday 14 – Monday 25 March 2013 WHERE: ACMI, Federation Sq, Hoyts Melbourne Central and Loop Bar and cinema. MORE INFO: www.mqff.com.au