It’s the tenth Queer Screen Film Fest (QSFF), coming in hot this winter with almost 40 of the best and freshest queer films straight from major international festivals.
The huge 30th Mardi Gras Film Festival, which took place in the midst of Sydney WorldPride, is certainly a hard act to follow – but Queer Screen has managed to lock in the highest quality programme in the mini-festival’s ten-year history.
There are ten narrative features, three documentary features, four retrospective encores, two episodic, and nineteen shorts from eleven different countries.
“Queer Screen is celebrating not only its 30th year of existence, but also the 10th edition of our mini festival,” Festival Director Lisa Rose says. “It’s an incredibly exciting year and I’m thrilled to be bringing such an outstanding selection of films to Sydney to continue the celebrations.”
“Ten years ago when the first Queer Screen Film Fest began we only screened seven films and the whole thing was run by volunteers. This world-class programme is a very fitting tribute to how much we have grown and to how LGBTIQ+ stories have found their place, front and centre, on the international stage.”
Queer Screen 2023 opens with ‘Blue Jean’, set in Thatcher-era England when the Section 28 legislation forbidding the promotion of homosexuality in schools cast a dark shadow. PE teacher Jean leads a double life, and when a student spots her at a lesbian bar, things begin to crumble.
At the other end, tongue-in-cheek rockumentary ‘Theatre Camp’ closes the 2023 proceedings. After its founder falls into a coma, the eccentric staff and students of a scrappy, summer theatre camp band together to stage an original music, just to keep things afloat.
In the realm of documentaries, Jeffrey Schwarz explores the impact the AIDS epidemic had on Hollywood and Los Angeles in ‘Commitment To Life’. ‘Equal The Contest’ explores the barrier faced by women and gender-diverse people in sport, from non-binary filmmaker Mitch Nivalis. GRAMMY Award-winniung acoustic folk-rock band the Indigo Girls gifted queer fans with songs to live by, and in the long-overdue documentary ‘It’s Only Life After All’, intimate details of the friendship, musicianship and dedication to activism within the group are revealed.
There’s a shorts programme as part of the Queer Screen Film Fest in 2023 too. There’s the Gay Shorts, Sapphic Shorts and Trans & Gender Diverse Shorts packages.
Two home-grown comedy series ‘Triple Oh!’ and ‘Fanny Scat Investigates’ get big-screen debuts in a special double bill. Plus, the festival marks Wear It Purple Day with a special free youth screening of ‘Egghead & Twinkie’, and they’ll present the sixth edition of Queer Screen Pitch Off, where six filmmakers will spruce their film proposal to a panel of expert assessors.
The online component of QSFF includes ‘Drifter’, ‘Equal The Contest’, ‘Commitment To Life’ and the shorts packages, as well as four exclusive reprises of past festival favourites ‘Anchor & Hope’, ‘Nina’s Heavenly Delights’, ‘Center Of My World’ and ‘The Strong Ones’.
Tickets are on sale now.
Queer Screen Film Fest is on from 23-27 August.
This story originally appeared on our queer sister site, FROOTY.