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Rewind to Fast Forward at Melbourne Queer Film Festival

The 33rd annual Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) opens Thursday 9 November with the provocation Rewind to Fast Forward. The boundary-pushing, joy-filled program will launch on 9 October and showcases the indisputable existence of LGBTQIA+ peoples throughout history. Captured through film’s immortalising lens, MQFF loudly and proudly highlights how queer people have always been an integral part of humanity and always will.

Running from 9 – 19 November 2023, MQFF audiences can expect a prime selection of local and international drama, comedy, documentary, and everything in between. The program features 50 feature films and 17 documentaries, 11 short film packages, 3 world premieres, 26 Australian premieres and 19 Victorian premieres.

David Martin Harris, MQFF CEO said: “We cannot wait to share this spectacular array of films with queer Victorians and those who love us – we’ve scoured the planet for 12 months to find the most incredible new LGBTQIA+ stories – there’s something for everyone: hysterical comedy, campy horror, we’re serving drama, new Australian work, famous faces, the shorts packages are just brilliant! And, after popular demand, we’re bringing back the Festival Lounge at ACMI right throughout the festival – it’s going to be a space to connect with community, enjoy fascinating public programs, DJs, great food. This MQFF is all about solidarity, connection, and joy.

MQFF will launch with a hyper-camp bang at ACMI on 9 November, with the Opening Night screening of the Australian premiere of I Love You, Beksman, (2022, Philippines). This coming-out story gets a fabulous Filipinx makeover in director Perci M. Intalan’s hilarious, high-camp and heartfelt inverted rom-com.

The Festival’s Centrepiece Presentation is the Victorian premiere of Marinette (2023, France), which tells the story of Marinette Pichon, one of the world’s most influential women’s soccer players and a French lesbian icon. In this compelling rags-to-riches biopic, we follow her stop-start rise to prominence as one of the greatest players ever to grace a soccer pitch. The screening takes place on 16 November at Village Cinemas Jam Factory and will be followed by celebrations at Roc’s Bar & Kitchen.

The Festival closes on 19 November, with the Australian premiere of Solo (2023, Canada), a drag-drama about skilled make-up artist, Simon (rising star Théodore Pellerin) who is a mainstay by night of Montreal’s exuberant drag scene. He hooks up with the charismatic Olivier (Félix Maritaud), a French drag artiste who becomes his partner on and off stage. Featuring spectacular on-screen drag performances that inform the closing night ex-drag-avanza-themed party.

This year, MQFF is thrilled to welcome new Program Director, Cerise Howard. Cerise said: “It’s an honour and privilege to assume the mantle of MQFF Program Director, and I’m beside myself with glee anticipating that anyone taking even the most cursory scan of the program will find not one, not two, but umpteen films from every which where and when that they simply have to attend, with current and future friends, lovers and chosen family alike. And how!

MQFF venue partners include ACMI, Village Cinemas Jam Factory, Cinema Nova, and the Victorian Pride Centre Rooftop, where MQFF will be holding an outdoor cinema.

Sally Capp, Lord Mayor of Melbourne said: “Diversity is our strength at the City of Melbourne, and we are proud to support the vibrant mix of people, and stories celebrated throughout the Melbourne Queer Film Festival. As the biggest and oldest queer film festival in Australia, MQFF is always a highlight in Melbourne’s lively events calendar.

The full MQFF program is available from 9 October at and includes an Early Bird Discount available for all concession card holders. Opening and Closing Night tickets have been dropped to a standard ticket price to make the festival more accessible during the current cost-of-living crisis. MQFF Memberships are available here.

The Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) is the biggest and longest-running queer film festival in Australia, screening the best Australian/International queer films. MQFF aims to engage the community with the best LGBTQIA+ content in order to educate, entertain and celebrate diversity. MQFF is proudly supported by government partners: The City of Melbourne, The City of Stonnington, Department of Families Fairness and Housing, and VicScreen; as well as major partner: ME Bank.

Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF)
Program launch: 9 October
Festival dates: 9 – 19 November 2023

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