The annual Sydney Mardi Gras Film Festival returns once again. Featuring countless Australian premieres, masterclasses, cash competitions and international guests, this year is set to be the biggest yet in the festival’s history.

Running from 18 February to 3 March, the Festival will feature 75 screenings at Event Cinemas in George Street and new-to-festival venues the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace Cremorne, the Golden Age Cinema and Bar in Surry Hills and The Harbour (screening In Bed With Madonna!). From mid-March to early April the Festival will travel to the Riverside Theatre in Parramatta and for the first time, the Carrington Hotel in the Blue Mountains.

We take a look at just some of the many highlights.

Ecco Homo

This fascinating Australian documentary asks a range of famous and not so famous people including Bono, the impossible question of who was Troy Davies? Artist and performer, provocateur and chameleon, Davies charmed his way through a lifetime of fame, art, secrets, HIV, abuse and gender fluidity.


Harking back to New Queer Cinema, this is a superb Australian feature from 2013 My Queer Perspective winner Grant Scicluna, and featuring actors Reef Ireland, Kerry Fox and Tom Green, Downriver is a mysterious story that follows protagonist as he is released on parole for the murder of a child as a young boy and turns the idea of coming of age on its head. The cast and crew will participate in a Q&A after the screening.


A fascinating and honest insight into the lives of modern gay men in the UK who engage in weekend-long, drug fueled orgies, a.k.a ‘chemsex’ or ‘wired fun’. Participants hold nothing back and the documentary offers untouched, gritty and sometimes confronting points of view from a variety of lives within the London chemsex scene. The screening will be following by a panel discussion.


A visual delight set in the peaceful French countryside where Elliot is on holiday with his mum and is awakened to previously unknown desires. With a surprisingly honest portrayal of family, young love and self-discovery, this film will haunt you in the best possible way. Filmmaker Andrew Steggall will be at the Festival and participating in a Q&A after the screening.

The Lady In The Van

Alex Jennings stars as playwright Alan Bennett, and Maggie Smith is the elderly vagrant who moves her van into his driveway and refuses to leave in this quirky, charming British comedy, fresh from The Toronto Film Festival.

Remembering the Man

A moving documentary about the life of Timothy Conigrave, whose battle with AIDS inspired his book ‘Holding the Man,’ and the big screen film of the same title in 2015.

Girls Lost

An emotionally raw Swedish urban fantasy film where three teenage girls are given the bodies of cisgender men for the night. When they realise how different they are treated as men they gain a new confidence as women while one realises he may have been a boy all along.

The Girl King

Mika Kaurismäki’s film tells the story of the real life Queen Kristina of Sweden, a brilliant 17th century monarch who fought the conservative forces of her court to modernise Sweden. Shocking the court with her refusal to marry, Kristina fell for her lady-in-waiting and names her as the Queen’s bed companion. This is the first film to delve deeper into the Queen’s sexuality and won the Best Actress award at the Montréal World Film Festival.

For the full program, visit the Queer Screen website.


Tickets for all films are on sale now including flexi passes to 5 or 10 films. Please visit or the Mardi Gras Film Festival app to book, or call (02) 9332 4938.


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