Still from SPLIT

Every person views films through different personal experiences, perspectives, and reasons, leaving each with their reactions, feelings, and interpretations.

Film can be provocative, emotive, moving, funny, visceral, thrilling, devastating, uplifting, frustrating, joyous, and more.

This year’s festival theme revolves around conversation, focusing on films that spark debates, ignite conversations, and get tongues wagging. With over 161 films and events spread across 77 unique programs, there’s much to sink your teeth into.

Let’s talk about all things Lesbian at Queer Screen’s 31st Mardi Gras Film Festival.

The top 5 Lesbian films:

  1. Split
    When stuntwoman Anna meets the magnetic famous actress, Eve, she unlocks a part of her she’d always kept hidden. What starts as an innocent exchange of glances soon ignites a turbulent, sensual love affair. Directed by a French feminist author and filmed with an 80% female crew, Split explores the queer female gaze and its transformative impact. Shown in its entirety, the five-episode series is a daring, innovative and genre-bending unpacking of power and trauma through the feminist lens.
  2. Hilma

    Still from HILMA
    Still from HILMA

    At a time when female artists struggle to garner attention in a male-dominated art world, Hilma’s pioneering work comes to life with help from her circle of close female friends, who look to mysticism and nature for guidance. Also supported by the patronage of her artist girlfriend, she develops a style that will become a movement all of its own while battling her demons in a patriarchal society where she must fight for recognition.

  3. Polarized

    Still from POLARIZED
    Still from POLARIZED

    Lisa is an aspiring singer from a conservative Christian family, while Dalia is from a successful Palestinian Muslim family and is engaged to be married. After Lisa’s family loses their small farm, she begins working under Dalia at her family’s innovative “agri-farm”. While racial, religious and cultural tensions simmer, Lisa and Dalia become close. As the women learn more about each other, they form an attraction that prompts them to consider what might be worth sacrificing in the journey to be themselves.

  4. Housekeeping For Beginners 

    Though social worker Dita has no interest in being a mother, she nonetheless becomes the de facto matriarch of a household of queers with nowhere else to go – including Toni and his much younger boyfriend. But when circumstances leave her girlfriend unable to care for her two daughters, Dita has no choice but to raise them as her own. But how will Dita keep her brood of misfits safe in a society with very strict ideas of what a family should look like? Filled with Stolevski’s signature fast-paced, witty dialogue, this sensitive domestic drama finds joy in the chaos of found family.

  5. When Night is Falling

    When Night is Falling
    Still from ‘When Night is Falling

    Long considered a pivotal addition to the LGBTIQ+ canon, When Night is Falling tells the story of Camille (Pascale Bussières), a professor at a Protestant college in Toronto engaged to fellow professor Martin (Henry Czerny). As “career Christians” they’re urged to get married so that they can become co-chaplains of the New College of Faith, but when Camille meets Petra (Rachael Crawford), a flamboyant performer in a Felliniesque circus troupe, she is inexplicably drawn. Camille pursues this sensual woman, throwing her whole conservative life – not to mention her engagement – into disarray.


From 15th – 29th of February 2024 (In Cinema) and 1st – 11th March 2024 (On Demand) MGFF24 will host a kaleidoscope of LGBTIQ+ stories from across the globe, including World Premieres, Australian and Sydney Premieres.

Screenings will take place across many iconic Sydney venues, including The Sydney Opera House, Sydney Botanic Gardens (as part of Westpac OpenAir), The State Library of NSW, Event Cinemas George Street, Dendy Cinemas Newtown and the Ritz Cinemas Randwick.