To mark the milestone, the film-focused sidebar to Sydney's massive LGBTIQ celebration will screen 55 features and 69 short films across 71 sessions, including more than 60 Australian premieres and two world premieres. It's a lineup bookended with star power, opening with Paul Rudd and Steve Coogan playing a bickering couple in Ideal Home forced to take in their grandson, and closing with Freak Show's tale of a a precocious teen starting a new school, featuring The End of the F***ing World's Alex Lawther, Bette Midler, Laverne Cox and Abigail Breslin. From award winners to international standouts to revisiting old favourites, that's not all that's on the bill, however.
Running from February 15 to March 1 at Event Cinemas George Street and Golden Age Cinema, plus a selection of other venues in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory throughout March and April, MGFF's other highlights range the world premiere of Aussie documentary Black Divaz, about the inaugural Miss First Nation pageant; to Filipino transgender beauty queen drama Die Beautiful, an award-winner across Asia over the past year; to French AIDS-focused effort BPM, which won the Grand Prix at Cannes last year. Or, audiences can catch homegrown body-swap movie Pulse, intimate Sundance hit Beach Rats, biographical documentary McKellen: Playing the Part, 'punk chick flick' Team Hurricane and Hollywood coming-of-age film Love, Simon, which screens before it hits general cinemas.
In addition, the 2018 festival will host a session on the top 25 queer films of all time, speed dating evenings and filmmaking workshops at its festival bar at Event Cinemas, because every good fest is about more than just watching movies. And, because looking back is as much a part of a festival as looking forward, MGFF will rustle up a few current and old favourites courtesy of sessions of classics Desert Hearts and Young Soul Rebels, and more recent titles such as Zootopia and Call Me By Your Name.
Mardi Gras Film Festival 2017 runs from February 15 to March 1 at Event Cinemas George Street and Golden Age Cinema and Bar, before touring to other NSW and ACT venues throughout March and April. For more information, visit their website.