Top Picks at the 2016 Melbourne Queer Film Festival

MQFF Boulevard Robyn WilliamsCelebrating its 26th year, the Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) is set to delight, excite, shock and surprise with the most cutting edge queer cinema has to offer from Australia and around the globe. We take a look at 10 films worth checking out:

Back on Board: Greg Louganis
Friday 1 April: ACMI Cinema 2
Sunday 10 April: ACMI Cinema 1
Acclaimed as the greatest diver ever, Greg Louganis’ life is one of remarkable courage and resilience. Back on Board follows Louganis over three years as he fights to regain financial security, find love, and re-enter the sport that had virtually ignored him after he came out as gay and HIV-positive in the 1990’s. Ultimately uplifting, Back on Board is an emotionally resonant portrait of an inspiring and trailblazing man.

Boulevard
Sunday 3 April: ACMI Cinema 2
In one of his last performances, Robin Williams stars as Nolan, a closeted married man who likes to seek the comfort of rent boys. When he starts to develop deeper feelings for one of the young men, things begin to unravel and his two worlds collide. Featuring stellar performances from Williams and co-star Kathy Baker, Boulevard is a compassionate and moving experience.

Fourth Man Out
Sunday 10 April: ACMI Cinemas 1 & 2 – Closing Night Fim
Twenty-something mechanic Adam enjoys hanging out with his buddies, drinking beer and talking hockey. Adam also likes guys, something he struggles to tell his mates about. However Adam’s straight mates are soon pitching in to help him navigate the dating scene!Fourth Man Out playfully explores the modern bromance with a lightness of touch and laugh-out-loud humour.

Girls Lost
Monday 4 April: ACMI Cinema 2
Friday 8 April: ACMI Cinema 1
Based on an acclaimed Swedish Young Adult novel, Girls Lost is an engrossing gender-swapping fantasy that follows the plight of three outcast teenage girls who happen upon a mysterious plant that can change their gender overnight. Whilst under its effect, the girls discover a whole new perspective on their high school life, while grappling with the personal awakenings and sexual confusion the transformation brings about.

Grandma
Saturday 2 April: ACMI Cinema 2
In her Golden Globe nominated performance, Lily Tomlin stars as a tough talking lesbian who hits the road with her troubled granddaughter who needs to get an abortion. Part road movie, part breezy comedy, this heartfelt film makes some honest and painful observations about mothers and daughters.

Mala Mala
Wednesday 6 April: Kino Cinemas
A popular hit with audiences worldwide who have embraced its look at the lives of 9 trans-identifying people in Puerto Rico. Covering a wide spectrum of age and experience in its subjects, Mala Mala explores the highs and lows of identifying as trans in a country where a macho, Latino culture holds sway.

Naz & Maalik
Saturday 2 April: ACMI Cinema 2
Set over one fateful summer’s day in Brooklyn, Muslim teen, Naz is caught in a lie when he tries to hide the true nature of his relationship with best friend Maalik. Recalling the urban hipness of Spike Lee, Naz & Maalik is a fresh and freewheeling look at a side of New York we rarely get to see.

Remembering the Man
Thursday 7 April: ACMI Cinemas 1 & 2 – Centrepiece
Based on Timothy Conigrave’s acclaimed and much loved memoir Holding the Man,Remembering the Man is a moving documentary that chronicles the relationship between Conigrave and his long term partner John Caleo. Featuring intimate and little seen archival footage of the two men, the film is a tender tribute to their relationship while offering a chronicle of the emergence and devastating effect of the AIDS virus in Australia.

Tab Hunter Confidential
Saturday 2 April: ACMI Cinema 2
In 1950s Hollywood, Tab Hunter was the embodiment of youthful American masculinity and a bankable star for Warner Brothers. His song Young Love knocked Elvis Presley off the top of the charts and his films were incredibly popular. Tab Hunter, however, lived two lives. He was both the studio-constructed heart throb and intensely private about his sexuality.

That’s Not Us
Thursday 31 March: ACMI Cinemas 1 & 2 – Opening Night Film
Six friends, all couples – gay, straight and lesbian – head to the beach for a weekend of fun, sun and sex. But as they spend time together and the whiskey comes out, secrets are revealed and things get messy. Featuring a wonderful ensemble cast, this funny and heartfelt take on contemporary relationships is a modern-day The Big Chill for the queer set.

The 2016 Melbourne Queer Film Festival runs 31 March – 11 April. For more information and complete program, visit: www.mqff.com.au for details.

Image: The late Robin Williams stars in Boulevard (supplied)

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