Tasmanian LGBTIQ+ film ‘Belonging’ honoured at Melbourne Queer Film Fest

A short film documenting the work of two of Tasmania’s leading LGBTIQ+ advocates has been honoured at this year’s Melbourne Queer Film Festival.

Directed by Matt Scholten, Belonging follows Tasmania’s journey to becoming one of the best places in the world for LGBTIQ+ rights, and the work of young activist Sam Watson and veteran advocate Rodney Croome (pictured).

Belonging picked up the Shaun Miller Lawyers Best Documentary Award at Melbourne Queer Film Fest 2020.

“Belonging is a stand out film on so many levels: the telling of the parallel stories of two generations of LGBTIQ activists in Tasmania, the history of LGBTIQ rights in Tasmania, and, above all, as a great shout-out for equality, inclusion and belonging,” award sponsor Shaun Miller Lawyers said.

“As Sam Watson exclaims at the end of the film: “Everyone has a right to belong”. In these troubled times, that applies now more than ever.”

Director Matt Scholten said he is humbled that his first film as a writer/director has been honoured with this award.

“It was such an honour to be able to tell the stories of Rodney Croome and Sam Watson and their family and friends and I am grateful to them for appearing in the film and telling their stories about the ongoing transformation of Tasmania.”

“My heartfelt thanks to the creative and producing team who collaborated with me with such kindness, talent and care and to Screen Australia and Channel Ten for funding the Out Here Initiative which also includes the beautiful work of filmmakers Luke Cornish on Alone Out Here and Cadance Bell on The Rainbow Passage.”

“At a time of such distress and darkness, this recognition for us all feels like the veritable pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and encourages and fortifies by resolve to make more work for the screen.”

The Best Australian documentary award includes a $1000 prize. Belonging was part of the Out Here initiative, a joint initiative by Screen Australia and Channel 10 showcasing the LGBTQI+ experience in rural and regional communities.

Belonging, Alone Out Here and The Rainbow Passage can be streamed now on 10Play.

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