Queer Screen Film Fest reveals 2019 program

QSFF19 BenjaminThis September, the 7th Queer Screen Film Fest will set your world ablaze with a diverse range of LGBTIQ stories across narrative features, documentaries, and shorts. Boasting 29 films from 12 countries, including 22 Sydney Premieres and a focus on romantic films set to light your fire.

“With our theme of Light Your Fire we are asking the audience to engage their hearts and minds and join us in witnessing passion on screen in a variety of circumstances,” says Festival Director, Lisa Rose. “From sexy and intense romances, to passionate causes, strength in adversity, fanatical obsessions with camp classics and the incredible desire to create a family. Use the festival to embrace your passion for film and our community and ignite some passions of your own.”

Kicking things off is the newest queer masterpiece, a slow burn 18th century lesbian romance, Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Winning Best Screenplay and the Queer Palm at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, it’s been acclaimed by critics and audiences alike.

Another Cannes hit in the progam, Pain and Glory, comes from queer film favourite Pedro Almodóvar, and stars Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz in a wistful, vibrant meditation on sexuality, mortality, and the bond between mother and son.

Fresh from their Australian Premieres at the Melbourne International Film Festival, are the witty and sharply observed Benjamin from comedian Simon Amstell which closes out the festival, the very sensual and intriguing End of the Century, and the tender and profund documentary Seahorse which charts a gay transmans journey to birth his own child.

We are super excited about what is sure to be a highlight of the festival, a camp double feature with You Don’t Nomi that celebrates the trash masterpiece that is Showgirls. Revelling in all its hilarious flaws, this doco is a must for fans of this all-time camp classic. To be followed by the 1995 film itself in a stunning 4K digital restoration! Don your finest “Versayce” for a night you won’t forget!

Three Australian Premieres not to miss include Sidra Smith’s episodic A Luv Tale: The Series – a sexy love letter to queer women of colour, and a stylish celebration of modern day Harlem: its history, art, culture, and music.

Festival guest Laurie Lynd’s thought-provoking documentary Killing Patient Zero is a powerful cinematic exoneration of Gaëtan Dugas, the Canadian man falsely accused of introducing AIDS to North America.

Same But Different: A True New Zealand Love Story brings the love and laughs for an attractive Kiwi odd couple in this funny, moving, cross-cultural romantic comedy based on the real life romance of writer director Nikki Si’ulepa and producer Rachel Aneta Wills, who will be guests of the festival.

Thanks to the City of Sydney, a free outdoor 30 year anniversary screening of the animated classic The Little Mermaid at Sydney Park, St Peters on Sunday 15 September.

Continuing Queer Screen’s ongoing commitment in supporting emerging filmmakers making diverse LGBTIQ screen stories, sees the return of the second Queer Screen Pitch Off. Six filmmakers will spruik their film proposal to a panel of expert assessors, competing for a chance to win $10,000 to produce their short film.

The 2019 Queer Screen Film Fest runs 18 – 22 September. For more information and full program, visit: www.queerscreen.org.au for details.

Image: Benjamin (supplied)