The sexually charged, dynamic and fun full program for the 2017 edition of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival has recently been announced. This diverse cocktail of loud and proud cinema guarantees to be eye-opening and represents the pinnacle of queer voices in contemporary cinema. See the official announcement below.
Now in its 27th year, the Melbourne Queer Film Festival launched its massive 2017 program tonight encompassing 135 films from 30 countries, including 47 features and 15 documentaries.
“With this year’s Festival we wanted to showcase the films that have won top honours for the biggest queer film awards around the world, including Tomcat, the Berlin Teddy Award winner, and the Cannes Queer Palm winner, The Lives of Thérèse,” said MQFF Program Manager Spiro Economopoulos.
The Festival will open with the Australian premiere of I Am Michael starring James Franco and Zachary Quinto. Based on the fascinating and controversial true-life story of Michael Glatze (Franco), a celebrated queer theorist and gay activist who became an anti-gay Christian pastor. Anchored by a nuanced performance by Franco, I Am Michael is a compelling and powerful film that explores love, denial and redemption. MQFF is thrilled to welcome the film’s writer/director Justin Kelly as a festival guest.
MQFF will also screen Justin Kelly’s provocative new film King Cobra. Dubbed the Boogie Nights of gay porn, the film charts the early rise of gay porn headliner Sean Lockhart a.k.a. Brent Corrigan (Garrett Clayton), before his falling out with the producer who made him famous. King Cobra also stars Christian Slater, Alicia Silverstone, Molly Ringwald and yes, James Franco.
The bold independently funded Australian fantasy Pulse marks the halfway point premiere of the festival. Mixing sexuality and teen angst with an undercurrent of sci-fi, Pulse follows a gay disabled teen who undergoes a mysterious procedure that gives him the body of a young able-bodied woman in order to pursue his love object. Writer and lead actor Daniel Monks and director Stevie Cruz-Martin are festival guests.
The Festival will go out with a bang on Closing Night when it screens Women Who Kill a dark comedic psychological thriller written and directed by Ingrid Jungermann (who also stars). Commitment phobic Morgan and her ex-girlfriend Jean, Brooklyn true crime podcasters, suspect Morgan's new love interest is a murderer. Winner of the Jury Prize for Best Screenplay at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, Women Who Kill challenges modern relationship fears of intimacy and commitment.
International Features program highlights include Sundance Special Jury Prize winner As You Are starring Charlie Heaton (Jonathan from Stranger Things); a moody teen mystery drama about the friendship that develops between two male teenage loners and their female friend through their shared love of Kurt Cobain, skipping school and smoking pot. Arianna is a gentle and introspective look at intersexuality and emotional isolation from Italy, the story of a young woman who, as she becomes more aware of her body and sexuality, also becomes more aware that something may be amiss. In The Pass, rising British star Russell Tovey (Being Human) impresses as a closeted soccer player in this film adapted by John Donnelly from his own acclaimed stage play. In Suicide Kale, written by actor Brittani Nichols (Transparent) and directed by Carly Usdin, a simple lunch with friends goes awry when Jasmine (Nichols) and Penny, a new couple still getting to know one another, find an anonymous suicide note at the home of the happiest couples they know with hilarious consequences.
Actor Clea DuVall (Argo) makes her feature directing debut with The Intervention, an ensemble comedy which stars Natasha Lyonne and a top-notch indie cast portraying a group of friends whose reunion getaway goes awry when it is revealed that the trip was orchestrated as an intervention for one troubled marriage. In Chile film You’ll Never Be Alone when his cross-dressing teenage son suffers a brutally violent attack, a mild factory manager desperately seeks help and, when none can be found, is forced to take matters into his own hands.
Highlights of MQFF’s Documentaries program include Freedom To Marry, a tense documentary charting the fight for marriage equality in the US, Real Boy, a moving and breathtakingly honest, coming-of-age documentary features Bennett Wallace, a 19 year old trans musician searching for the acceptance of his family. While in Check It, fed up with being abused and harassed on the brutal Washington D.C. neighbourhood, a group of gay and trans teens form a gang to fight back. This raw and intimate portrait follows four Check It members as they struggle to find a way out of gang life through an unlikely avenue: fashion.
Check the website for further details on the many special events taking place during the festival. Tickets and passes are now on sale. The Festival will take place 16 March – 27 March 2017.