Curate your own festival with Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival

Queer Screen’s 28th Mardi Gras Film Festival is mixing things up in 2021, offering both online and in-cinema options to maximise everyone’s experience.

Running nationally on-demand, and from Feb 18th to Mar 4th in Sydney, the festival will bring the best of international and local LGBTQIA+ cinema to audiences around Australia.

“The current on-going challenges of the pandemic has helped us evolve our Festival model to deliver a world class film Festival to the widest audience and in the safest ways possible”, explains Queer Screen Festival Director Lisa Rose.

“After successfully delivering Queer Screen Film Fest mostly online in September 2020, we have expanded on that with a truly hybrid model to provide the collective in-cinema community experience that we all love, alongside a strong on-demand offering.

“With more than half of the program available online Australia-wide, and over 60 cinema screenings in Sydney, there are so many ways to experience the Festival this year.”

Featuring 94 films, with 70% available on-demand for national audiences, the full program includes three world premieres, 60 Australian premieres with LGBTQIA+ stories from 30 different countries.

Queer Screen Co-Chair Cheryl Kavanagh says supporting Australian LGBTIQ+ filmmakers is a key priority for the organisation.

“We’re not just focused on sharing stories with our community but also helping filmmakers produce those stories through financial support,” Kavanagh said.

We know the Queer Screen completion fund is an important asset for local filmmakers and we will continue to help create stories that reflect our community.”

The festival opens with Ireland’s Dating Amber, a 90s-set high school drama which follows a deep friendship between a gay man and a lesbian who pretend to date to protect themselves from bullies. The celebration wraps with the Aussie premiere of New Zealand dramedy RURANGI, starring written and produced by queer, Maori and gender diverse communities.

Other highlights from the 2021 program include sex-positive documentary The Dilemma of Desire, a unique analysis of the influence of Black, Latinx and queer culture on 80s house music in Bring Down The Walls, Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang’s stirring observational work Days (Rizi) and the iconic Bruce LaBruce’s latest work Saint-Narcisse.

Queer Screen Mardi Gras Film Festival runs from 18th February til 4th March. For more information head to

OIP Staff

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