Surviving the Silence
SURVIVING THE SILENCE explores the extraordinary story behind the historic discharge of war hero, Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer, who admitted she was a lesbian in the midst of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military era and changed the course of US military policy. 

Available on more screens than ever, the 8th Queer Screen Film Fest will be online and on-demand and it can be accessed from anywhere in Australia. 

The full program comprises over 40 feature films, documentaries and shorts – 90 percent of which can be accessed by LGBTIQ+ communities and allies around the country for 11 days from Thursday 17 September to Thursday 27 September. 

Festival Director Lisa Rose says the program includes 29 Australian premieres and is the perfect antidote to coronavirus restrictions. “This festival, we get to queer up screens and devices around the nation. Join us from the comfort and safety of your own home and escape to another queer time, another queer place. A whole world of queer stories awaits.” 

Curve Highlights: 

COCOON follows 14-year-old Nora as she traipses through Berlin after her big sister during the long and languid summer holidays, watching and wondering why she doesn’t fit in – until she meets Romy. The film premiered at Berlinale this year and is screening for the first time in Australia with Queer Screen. 

Cool off with MOONLIT WINTER, an exquisite slow-burn film set in snowy Hokkaido in Japan. South Korean teenager Sae-bom intercepts a letter to her mother that hints at a yearning secret love. She plans a holiday for her mother and surreptitiously arranges a reunion. MOONLIT WINTER closed the prestigious Busan International Film Festival last year and is also having its Australian premiere during QSFF20. 

MOONLIT WINTER_main trailer_Eng sub_MP4 from Finecut on Vimeo.

SAME BUT DIFFERENT: A TRUE NEW ZEALAND LOVE STORY. 

SECOND STAR ON THE RIGHT introduces Emilia, a bisexual millennial with an outdated vocabulary of 90s pop-culture references, who lives with her mother, parties most nights and struggles as an aspiring actor. Her close group of female friends are already married with children and wonder when, if ever, Emilia will just grow up!  

AHEAD OF THE CURVE documents the birth of the iconic lesbian magazine, Curve, through the personal story of the magazine’s founder, Franco Stevens. Bold and unashemedly lesbian, the magazine had an undeniable impact on lesbian culture in the past and present. The documentary asks, what of the future? 

SURVIVING THE SILENCE explores the extraordinary story behind the historic discharge of war hero, Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer, who admitted she was a lesbian in the midst of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military era and changed the course of US military policy. 

As a way of saying thank you to our loyal audience and ‘We miss you’ to those in lockdown and/or on the other side of closed borders, QSFF20 is offering three packages – GAY SHORTS, LESBIAN SHORTS and TRANS & GENDER DIVERSE SHORTS – for anyone and everyone to enjoy, on-demand and free of charge. Each package contains the best new short films from around the world and comes with closed captioning. 

Queer Screen is committment to accessibility and QSFF20 sees our biggest investment yet in closed captioning. Together with the free SHORTS packages, several English-language films are also receiving closed-captions, including BREAKING FAST, GOSSAMER FOLDS, and SAME BUT DIFFERENT: A TRUE NEW ZEALAND LOVE STORY as will many Q&As and interviews with filmmakers. 

Our annual Queer Screen Pitch Off, which is also going online, will be close-captioned. This year a maximum of six eligible filmmakers will be invited to spruik their film proposal to a panel of expert assessors on 27 September. Up for grabs is $10,000 of funding towards the production of a queer short film. 

Rounding off the online program are three hugely popular titles from the Mardi Gras Film Festival in February – SAME BUT DIFFERENT: A TRUE NEW ZEALAND LOVE STORY, SONG LANG and TU ME MANQUES – which are screening as encores. 

Two very special, socially-distanced events are being held for Sydneysiders – a drag double feature at the Skyline Drive-In (STAGE MOTHER and THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT) on Saturday 26 September and two screenings of the powerful documentary, WELCOME TO CHECHNYA on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September at Palace’s Chauvel Cinema, in partnership with Antenna Documentary Film Festival. 

“Queer Screen acknowledges that these are difficult times and although we can’t come together in our usual festival setting we are excited to be bringing the festival to our communities across the nation and fulfilling our remit to showcase diversity, support queer filmmakers and celebrate LGBTIQ+ stories,” Rose said. 

Online Passes and tickets are on sale now. Please visit queerscreen.org.au or download the Queer Screen app, or call (02) 9280 1533 to book. 


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