Mardi Gras Film Festival 2020

In its 27th year, the annual film festival will screen 57 features and 75 shorts — and open with an Australian film for the first time.
Sarah Ward
Published on January 09, 2020


For nearly three decades, Sydney's annual Mardi Gras Film Festival has given the city something that's not always available elsewhere: a wealth of vibrant, eclectic, heartfelt and important queer cinema from around the world. That's a crucial task, but the 27-year-old fest still has room to blaze new trails. Indeed, in 2020, it's opening with an Australian flick for the first time in the event's history.

That'd be lesbian love story Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt), which was shot in Sydney and features Marta Dusseldorp (Janet King) and Rachel House (Hunt for the Wilderpeople). It's also one of MGFF's six world premieres in 2020 — and 57 feature-length films and 75 short films on the jam-packed bill overall, too.

Taking over Event Cinemas George Street, Dendy Newtown and Hayden Orpheum from Thursday, February 13–Thursday, February 27, other big-screen highlights include Georgian drama And Then We Danced, which is set in a dance school; Aniara, a Scandinavian sci-fi thriller; and tightly-wound Aussie effort Sequin in a Blue Room, another Sydney-shot effort. Or, keep an eye out for Monsoon with Crazy Rich Asians' Henry Golding, page-to-screen adaptation Tell It To the Bees starring Anna Paquin and Matt Bomer as a lonely TV weatherman in Papi Chulo. Plus, if you like true crime tales reframed with a feminist gaze, make a beeline to Lizzie — it revisits the infamous story of Lizzie Borden, starring Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart.

This year, MGFF will also be focusing on queer horror — such as transgender and lesbian vampire flick Bit, which plays like a 90s throwback, as well as documentary Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm St, about the movie that's been dubbed 'the gayest horror film ever made'.

On the factual front, check out films about queer-focused performance collectives, the folks behind West Hollywood's best-known adult bookstore and Israeli adult film star Jonathan Agassi, as well as docos on the American HIV epidemic during the 80s, the use of crystal meth in New York's queer community and the representation of queer women on-screen.


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