Mardi Gras Film Festival 2024

Sydney's LGBTQIA+-focused late-summer and early-autumn film festival is back for 2024 with 161 movies and events.
Sarah Ward
January 10, 2024


When the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras arrives each year, it fills the Harbour City with LGBTQIA+ celebrations, including in the New South Wales capital's cinemas. Queer Screen's Mardi Gras Film Festival doesn't just confine its movie love to the big screen, however. And, when it hits streaming as well, it isn't solely about Sydney audiences. That's the case again in 2024, with 161 titles showing both in picture palaces and via nationwide small-screen sessions.

In its 31st year, MGFF is running in two parts: as a physical fest from Thursday, February 15–Thursday, February 29 at venues around Sydney, then online across the country from Friday, March 1–Monday, March 11. The IRL component has a date with Event Cinemas George Street and Hurstville, Ritz Cinemas Randwick, Dendy Newtown, the Bearded Tit, Hayden Orpheum Cremorne, the Sydney Opera House, the State Library of NSW and Westpac OpenAir Cinema. The at-home section is headed to your couch, of course.

Attendees venturing out of the house can kick off MGFF with opening night's Femme, which stars Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Culprits) and George MacKay (1917) in a British neo-noir thriller about a drag performer seeking revenge after an attack. Then, after launching in 2023 with Australian director Goran Stolevski's coming-of-age film Of an Age, the fest will close in 2024 with the filmmaker's Housekeeping for Beginners.

Other in-person highlights include All of Us Strangers, as led by the internet's boyfriends Paul Mescal (Foe) and Andrew Scott (Fleabag), which screens at Westpac OpenAir Cinema; a night at the Sydney Opera House dedicated to music from queer flicks, spanning tunes from Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Moonlight and Portrait of a Lady on Fire; and the Billy Porter- (Big Mouth) and Luke Evans (Good Grief)-starring Our Son, about a long-term marriage disintegrating.

Documentary A Portrait of Love, focusing on Archibald award-winning artist Craig Ruddy and directed by My Name Is Gulpilil's Molly Reynolds, will enjoy its world premiere at the fest. So will Australian feature In the Room Where He Waits and Argentina's Blue Lights, the first about a theatre actor in hotel isolation for seven days upon returning Down Under for his dad's funeral, and the second exploring friends and family members who get together for a 70th birthday party.

From the retro titles, John Waters' 1974 classic Female Trouble gets a 50th-anniversary spin, 1984's Another Country with Rupert Everett (Napoleon) and Colin Firth (Empire of Light) will mark its 40th birthday, and 1995's When Night Is Falling scores a 4K restoration. The Ritz will be alive with The Sound of Music, too, via a sing-along session with the Order of Perpetual Indulgence and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir.

Elsewhere at the fest, other standouts range from the Australian premiere of Filipino animation The Missing and Gena Marvin-focused doco Queendom to France's Along Came Love and Noёl Coward exploration Mad About the Boy: The Noёl Coward Story. Or, there's Melbourne-set Aussie coming-of-age film Sunflower, Hacks star Meg Stalter in Cora Bora, Japan's I Am What I Am about the expectations placed upon an asexual woman, Hilma af Klint biopic Hilma from director Lasse Hallström (The Nutcracker and the Four Realms), another Sydney stint after SXSW for The People's Joker and Sundance-winning documentary Kokomo City.


Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x