Top Picks at the 2016 Mardi Gras Film Festival

MGFF DownriverCelebrating its 23rd year, the 2016 Mardi Gras Film Festival kicks off tonight featuring a jam-packed program offering LGBTIQ stories across the whole spectrum from fantastical feature films to raw documentaries, that promises to make audiences laugh, cry, think, be inspired and engaged. We take a look at 10 films worth checking out:

4th Man Out
Adam, a twentysomething mechanic, is a man’s man in every sense of the phrase. He loves nothing more than hanging with his mates watching hockey, drinking beer, playing pool and shooting the breeze. But Adam has a secret – he is also a man that likes other men. The winner of the Audience Award for Best Dramatic Feature at Outfest, 4th Man Out will close the 23rd Mardi Gras Film Festival.

Chemsex
A fascinating and honest insight into the lives of modern gay men in the UK who engage in weekend-long, drug fueled orgies, a.k.a ‘chemsex’ or ‘wired fun’. Participants hold nothing back and the documentary offers untouched, gritty and sometimes confronting point of view from a variety of lives within the London chemsex scene. The screening will be following by a panel discussion.

Departure
Andrew Steggall’s visual delight bringing us to the peaceful French countryside where Elliot on holiday with his mum is awakened to previously unknown desires. With a surprisingly honest portrayal of family, young love and self-discovery, this film will haunt you in the best possible way. Filmmaker Andrew Steggall will be at the Festival and participating in a Q&A after the screening.

Downriver
A mysterious story that follows protagonist James as he is released on parole for the murder of a child as a young boy and turns the idea of coming of age on its head. A superb Australian feature from 2013 My Queer Perspective winner Grant Scicluna, it features Reef Ireland, Kerry Fox and Tom Green.

Ecco Homo
A fascinating Australian documentary asks a range of famous and not so famous people including U2 and INXS, the impossible question who was Troy Davies? Artist and performer, provocateur and chameleon, Davies charmed his way through a lifetime of fame, art, secrets, HIV, abuse and gender fluidity.

Girls Lost
This visually stunning emotionally raw Swedish urban fantasy film, where three teenage girls are given the bodies of cisgender men for the night. When they realise how different they are treated as men then gain a new confidence as women while one realizes he may have been a boy all along.

My Queer Career
Australia’s largest LGBTIQ film prize has now been increased to a prize of $14,000 in cash and support and automatic nomination to the world-renowned Iris Prize competition. This year the eight finalists are: Kate Halpin (A Private Matter), Brian Fairbairn and Karl Eccleston (Don’t Cry Those Tears), Tim Marshall (Followers), Nathan Keene (Little Boy Blue), Stevie Cruz-Martin (Marrow), Joshua Longhurst (Oasis), Ben Southwell (On Stage), and Dannika Horvat (The Summer of ABC Burns).

Remembering the Man
Drawing from Conigrave’s memoirs, published just after his death, as well as interviews from friends, and family, Remembering the Man is a documentary by Nickolas Bird and Eleanor Sharpe is a no holds barred look at the grim reality of the AIDS crisis, and the pure love which was able to survive and flourish through it.

The Girl King
Tells the story of the real life Queen Kristina of Sweden a brilliant 17th century monarch who fought the conservative forces of her court to modernize Sweden. Shocking the court with her refusal to marry, Kristina fell for her lady-in-waiting and names her as the Queen’s bed companion. This is the first film to delve deeper into the Queen’s sexuality and won Best Actress award at the Montréal World Film Festival.

The Lady in the Van
Fresh from the Toronto Film Festival, this quirky, true story about Mary Shepard, a homeless elderly woman who moved her battered old van into Bennett’s driveway and refused to leave. Dame Maggie Smith and Alan Bennett give stellar performances in what is sure to be an audience favourite.

The 2016 Mardi Gras Film Festival runs 18 February – 3 March. For more information, or to view the full program, visit: www.queerscreen.org.au for details.

Image: Downriver

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