Melbourne Queer Film Festival Opens With Special Events This Week
LGBT Film Festival welcomes local and international guests
All About E
The 2015 Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) gets started on Thursday 19 March with 11 days of celebrating all things queer cinema with its program of over 180 films, a series of special events and an impressive line–up of Festival guests in celebration of its 25th year.
All four Australian Feature directors will be guests of the Festival:
Dean Francis, the director of Drown, will be here for the Melbourne Premiere of this hard-hitting Australian drama set against the iconic backdrop of Sydney’s beaches. Based on the acclaimed play, the film explores very personal issues for Francis, as it uses the lifesaving community to explore themes of bullying and confront the inherent conflicts between gay and straight identities within Australia. Previous directorial credit for the independent Australian director includes highway horror film Road Train (2010).
Sydney-based director Louise Wadley will be at the Festival for the Melbourne Premiere screening on Sunday 29 March of her film All About E. As the creative force behind the film, Wadley will also be a panellist on Queer Camera Action! Film Industry Day, a free event that will take place on Saturday 28 March. This industry day will be where aspiring film professionals can learn new skills and explore the journey from the page to the screen. The panel will use All About E as the case study, and the Q&A will explore in depth the key aspects of making All About E – from writing the script, raising the money, the legal contracting involved, producing the film and distributing and marketing the film.
Known for his expensive work as a theatre director and producer, working with some of the best theatre companies in the world, Melbourne-based director, Robert Chuter will be a guest of the Festival for the World Premiere of his feature film The Dream Children. Born in Carlton, Chuter directs this Melbourne-made film feature film about a couple who go on a journey together to become parents to add some stability to their lives; However, they discover that it will be more challenging than they originally expected. Cast and crew will be in attendance for a Q&A after the screening and are also available for interviews.
Jonnie Leahy, the first time feature director of Skin Deep will be a Festival guest. Jonnie developed a passion for the creative process of filmmaking and the arts from a young age, spending many years in various camera department roles before completing a Bachelor of Film (Hons) at VCA. Leahy’s film at MQFF, Skin Deep, is a film about hope and the strength of female friendship that will stay with you long after you have left the cinema.
In an attempt to coax people out of the house and away from their smart phones, MQFF have a number of special presentations and events taking place at this year’s Festival that will inspire, educate and connect people, including:
From Script to Screen: a one-day free event workshop presented by the Victorian College of the Arts offers participants hands-on experience of the practical side of filmmaking, from preparing for a shoot to running a film set. To make sure you don’t miss out on this event, as well as the other free event at the Festival Queer Camera Action! Film Industry Day, go to mqff.com.au to register your seat.
Love in Full Colour: a moving, timely and important documentary about surviving school and discovering the transformative power of community and love, will be presented with a Q&A panel discussion. This will include several of the films participants and will be hosted by Natasha Mitchell, the multi-award winning science & health journalist.
A highly anticipated session on lesbians in horror which will be presented with a screening of lesbian horror film Lyle, starring Gaby Hoffman (Girls, Transparent) in her Best Actress performance in a US Feature Film at Outfest 2014.
The screening of documentary Gaming in Colour, a documentary about the queer gaming community, gaymer culture and events and the rise of contemporary games which will be presented with a panel discussion.
A number of industry professionals form part of special presentation panel discussions at this year’s Festival: Dan Golding, a panellist for the Gaming in Colour discussion. Dan is a critic, academic and the director of the Freeplay Independent Games Festival; Shaun Miller, principle of Shaun Miller Lawyers which specialises in film and entertainment law, Shaun will be the moderator for the discussion on Night Out and Queer, Camera, Action! Film Industry Day.
Other local and international guests here for MQFF include:
Lawrence Johnston: the internationally award-winning Director/Writer/Producer of Night Out. Through his extensive work and experience in the film and television industry working in both drama and documentary, Johnston is known for being an important voice in the development and growth of queer cinema in Australia. On the 25th anniversary of the critically acclaimed Night Out, MQFF will screen the film followed by a Q&A with panellists (which will include Johnston) to discuss the making of the film, the reason why it was so ground-breaking 25 years ago and wider issues of queer cinema in the lead up to the making of the film and how it has evolved since.
Kirk Marcolina: the Sydney based producer of US documentary, Limited Partnership will be here for the Festival. Working in television and documentary filmmaking for over 15 years, Kirk began his production career by creating HIV and AIDS prevention videos for the Centres of Disease Control and Prevention. Kirk produced and directed the award-winning feature documentary, Camp Out and will be at MQFF as a producer for Limited Partnership, a film that at a time where marriage equality is at the forefront of the political consciousness, delves into the moving story of Australian Tony Sullivan and his husband, Filipino-American Richard Adams.
Visakesa Chandrasekaram: the director of Frangipani is also a guest of MQFF. Frangipani is a heartwarming drama involving a love triangle and an exploration of sexuality in contemporary Sri Lanka. Visakesa will take part in a Q&A after the session.
Members of the cast and crew from Australian Documentary Zara’s World will be in attendance for the film screening. The film reveals the delights and challenges of parenting in the public eye. Zara’s World is one of four outstanding documentaries that form part of the Oz Docs section of the program, which is designed to showcase the talents of our local documentary filmmakers.
This year’s Oz Shorts package, presented in partnership with the City of Melbourne, brings a spotlight to the works of some of most talented local short filmmakers.
Melbourne based directors with films in the Oz Shorts section of the program that will be at the Festival include:
- Eddie Diamandi, director, Rigor Mortis – a film about a man named Chris who’s family unit is threatened with the arrival of an unhinged loved at his workplace
- Kate Lefoe, director, Plunge – a film where a relaxing day trip turns into something far more mysterious
- Anna Helme, director, Mymy – in a mythic cyberfeminist universe, a frustrated young man yearns for affinity and connection in this experimental hybrid of documentary, fiction and performance.
Festival goers will be able to kick back and relax in the Festival Lounge located at Optic Kitchen + Bar at ACMI Entry Level. Open Monday – Friday 8.30am – late and Saturday and Sunday 9.30am – late it’s the perfect place to unwind and relax, chat to friends and soak up the Festival atmosphere.
The 25th Melbourne Queer Film Festival
WHEN: Thursday 19 – Monday 30 March 2015
WHERE: ACMI Federation Square, Kino Cinemas, NGV Australia Theatre at The Ian Potter Centre at Federation Square and Loop Bar
To buy tickets and view the full Festival program, visit www.mqff.com.au.