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Sydney's Mardi Gras Film Festival Has Announced Its Hefty In-Cinema and Online 2022 Lineup

Both on the big screen in Sydney and to audiences watching from home around the country, the festival will screen 119 films from 37 countries.
By Sarah Ward
January 19, 2022
By Sarah Ward
January 19, 2022

The Sydney Mardi Gras is almost upon us and, along with it, a feast of new queer cinema is about to descend upon the city. For 29 years now, the Mardi Gras Film Festival has added the latest LGBTQIA+ movies to Sydney's big celebration, and it's doing the same again in 2022 — but, as happened in 2021, it's going hybrid with both physical and online screenings.

Accordingly, if you're a Sydneysider who's keen to get your big-screen queer film fix between Thursday, February 17–Thursday, March 3, you can, with the fest showing at Event Cinemas George Street, and holding one one-off sessions at Hayden Orpheum, Cremorne and Event Cinemas in Parramatta and Hurstville. But if you feel more comfortable watching from home during the current Omicron outbreak or you're a fan of LGBTQIA+ movies located elsewhere in Australia, you'll also be able to enjoy MGFF digitally as well.

The fest's 2022 lineup spans 119 films from 37 different countries, covering 32 narrative features, 15 documentaries, four episodic screenings, a retrospective and nine programs of shorts — so yes, there's more than a bit to watch. That said, different flicks will play in cinemas and on-demand, as happens with hybrid fests, but more than half of the program will be available for those playing along at home and interstate.

Opening the fest on the big screen is Wildhood, which is set in Canada's Atlantic Provinces and hails from MGFF's focus on First Nations filmmaking for 2022. In-cinemas only, it's joined by high-profile international film festival circuit highlights such as Great Freedom, an immensely moving drama about a man's experiences being imprisoned under Germany's former law criminalising homosexuality; and Benedetta, which follows a 17th-century nun who shocks her convent with visions, wild power plays and lesbian affairs, and happens to be the latest feature by Basic Instinct, Showgirls and Elle director Paul Verhoeven.

Or, there's the Carrie Brownstein and St Vincent-starring mockumentary The Nowhere Inn, which has them both play versions of themselves, and The Novice, about a queer student on a university rowing team. Other standouts include Mexican magical realist drama Finlandia; documentaries about queer comic creators, lesbians in post-punk 80s London and American artist Keith Haring; and closing night's B-Boy Blues, which is based on the celebrated novel o the same name.

Online, LGBTIQ+ cinema fans can also check out horror film The Retreat, which combines a cabin-in-the-woods setup with planning a queer wedding; Cannes-selected Taiwanese drama Moneyboys; the relationship-focused Ma Belle, My Beauty, about a long-term couple living in a scenic villa in the south of France; and Estonia's Firebird, which charts a romance against the backdrop of the Cold War. There's also documentary Coming to You, following two mothers fighting for LGBTQ+ rights in Korea; and As We Like It, an all-female version of Shakespeare's comedy As You Like It.

Mardi Gras Film Festival 2022 runs from Thursday, February 17–Thursday, March 3 at Event Cinemas George Street, plus one-off sessions at Hayden Orpheum, Cremorne and Event Cinemas in Parramatta and Hurstville — and online nationally. For more information, visit the festival's website.

Published on January 19, 2022 by Sarah Ward

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