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Sydney’s Queer Screen Film Festival Program

LOTL’s picks of the latest LGBTIQ films



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Freeheld, starring Julianne Moore and Ellen page

The Queer Screen Film Fest is hitting George St Events Cinemas in Sydney this month with a number of fantastic films:

GRANDMA 

24th Sep, 7.00 pm (Presented by LOTL)

 

Freshly broken up with her girlfriend, and still reeling from the death of her long-time partner, Elle Reid is a bitter and short-tempered poet. When Elle’s granddaughter shows up at her door, asking for $400 to pay for an abortion, the two embark on a journey all over Los Angeles to get the money. As the two share knowledge about their experiences of womanhood, it becomes clear this is no conventional roadtrip movie.

Gay icon Lily Tomlin brings warmth, humour, and grace to the role of Elle. She is joined by a diverse and immensely talented cast, featuring Marcia Gay Harden, Laverne Cox, and Sam Elliott.

 

THE FOXY MERKINS

25th Sep, 6.30 pm

 

Margaret (Lisa Haas) is a down on her luck asthmatic lesbian hooker in training. Hanging out on the streets of New York and sleeping in a public bathroom, she meets Jo (Jackie Monahan) a beautiful heterosexual grifter, who unlike Margaret is an expert at picking up women. Working the streets together they encounter an array of bizarre characters from husky-voiced seductresses to mumbling erotic accessory salesmen and a plethora in between. A delightfully absurd buddy movie that premiered at Sundance and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, The Foxy Merkins pays homage and makes fun of iconic male hustler movies like My Own Private Idaho and Midnight Cowboy in an outrageous and hilariously subversive way.

 

MARGARITA, WITH A STRAW

26th Sep, 3.00 pm

 

Laila, a talented writer, is wheelchair bound with cerebral palsy, but although society and those around her may treat her differently, she never lets it get in her way as she strives to find love, success and a fulfilled life. Living with her close knit family and pining after the cute boy in a band she writes lyrics for, everything changes when she scores herself a scholarship to University in New York. Travelling with her mother, it is there that she meets Khanum, a blind out lesbian of Pakistani and Bangladeshi descent who Laila unexpectedly finds herself falling for.

Indian co-writer/director Shonali Bose was inspired by Malini, her super-achiever cousin with cerebral palsy, who when asked what she wanted for her 40th birthday, had simply said she wanted to have sex. From this Bose was determined to tell a story that didn’t short change the thoughts, desires and wants of a woman with cerebral palsy.

 

FREEHELD

27th Sep, 6.00 pm

 

Queer Screen is thrilled to present Freeheld, based on an inspiring true story that made headlines in 2007. Oscar winner Julianne Moore stars as New Jersey Police Detective Laurel Hester, whose world is shattered when she becomes terminally ill and government officials prevent her from assigning her pension to her loving partner, Stacie Andree (out actress and Oscar Nominee, Ellen Page). During her career, Laurel had kept her sexual orientation a secret, fearing discrimination. Outside of work she fell in love and built a life with Stacie. After being diagnosed, Laurel braved coming out of the closet to request that Stacie be granted the same rights as a heterosexual partner, whereby upon the death of a police officer, their spouse is eligible to receive the officer's pension. But the conservative county commissioners (known as Freeholders) refused her request, citing religious and budgetary reasons. In this heartrending and inspiring story, Laurel spends her last days fighting to overrule the decision as fellow police officers and larger-than-life, gay political activist Steven Goldstein (Steve Carell) rally to Laurel's cause.

 

To view the full program and buy tickets, visit Queer Screen’s website.

 

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