BRISBANE QUEER FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 22ND ANNUAL 2021 PROGRAM
Taking place at New Farm Cinemas, the festival program is made up of 14 features, 3 shorts sessions, 6 documentaries, with 17 Queensland premieres, and 3 Australian premieres, and special presentations of the auteur of Taiwanese Second Wave cinema, Tsai Ming-Liang’s Days (Rizi), in partnership with Queensland Film Festival; 25th anniversary screening of Bloodsisters in partnership with Sissy Screens and Institute of Modern Art.
BQFF Co-Director Shanon King said the program aims to embrace the gamut of queer cinema, spanning LGBTIQ+, gender diverse and intersectional films, with special selections for the niche and allies of Brisbane’s queer community.
“We want to show audiences the future of queer storytelling. The calibre, diversity and inclusiveness in the line-up of films is always something we strive to excel at. Centering and elevating our queer voices, elders and community.” King said.
“The reality of coming back out to the cinema together was a daunting reality to face in the current climate of COVID-19. But we are fortunate enough to be able to in Queensland, present to our audiences on the big screen. Being ‘visible’ and ‘holding space’ suddenly has a whole alternate meaning”. King said.
Highlights include the tender and playful UK documentary, Posy Dixon’s Keyboard Fantasies, the story of Beverly Glenn-Copeland a trans* elder and musician rediscovered by the youth in the experimental contemporary music scene. The latest and ‘biggest budget’ Bruce LaBruce feature Saint-Narcisse in all its twinning glory, ultimately is a film about the bond of family. Australian filmmakers Thomas Wilson-White & Lizzie Cater’s new feature The Greenhouse – a magic-realist film asking what would you do, if you could go back in time, will make its Queensland premiere, and the Teddy award winning feature from Faraz Shariat, German/Iranian story No Hard Feelings. Along with two Australian Premieres from the voices of future trans*/non-binary/queer storytelling, Lia Hietala & Hannah Reinikainen’s Always Amber and Olivia Peace’s Tahara, evoking the unique confines of contemporary youth by shooting in a tight 1:1 aspect ratio (Instagram).
The Festival opens with the Queensland Premiere of Heidi Ewing’s USA/Mexico feature, I Carry You With Me. A film about the resilience of character, the 2020 Sundance Film Festival award winning film traces the decades-spanning, border-crossing romance between two Mexican men.
Part of the festival’s independence is in its recognition as a member of the Asia Pacific Queer Film Festival Alliance, making BQFF a peer of international queer film festival leaders such as Taiwan Queer Film Festival, Shanghai PRIDE film festival, Tokyo International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and Seoul PRIDE Film Festival, and locals Sydney Mardi Gras Film Festival and Melbourne Queer Film Festival, with a commitment to programming content from the Asia Pacific. This year the Festival is screening the Australian Premiere of Taiwanese feature, Wrath of Desire from Zero Chou.
In 2021, BQFF is proud to continue with funding support from Screen Queensland. With the festival returning to New Farm Cinemas, which has established itself as Brisbane’s premiere venue for the moving image, from film festivals, independent, cult and arthouse screenings to popular blockbusters.
Tickets for all films are on sale now. Full line up of films are listed below.
Session times, trailers and tickets are available at www.bqff.com.au
What: Brisbane Queer Film Festival
When: 11-21 March 2021
Where: New Farm Cinemas, 701 Brunswick St, New Farm QLD 4005
About Brisbane Queer Film Festival
Brisbane Queer Film Festival is a highlight of the Brisbane queer community calendar. Since becoming independent in 2017, under the direction of Shanon King and Justin Marshman, the festival returns in 2020 to present, indulge and empower LGBTIQA and gender diverse film, filmmakers and screen content. This marks the festival’s twenty-first year.
Returning to New Farm Cinema, which, since its reopening has quickly established itself as Brisbane’s premiere location for all things cinema, from festivals, independent, cult and non-mainstream work to blockbuster cinema. There is no better place to create this connection for the Brisbane queer community than New Farm Cinema who has a special history to queer culture with the original site, the heritage listed Village Twin, cited as a gay beat in 70s/80s Brisbane.
I Carry You With Me
THU 11 MAR 7pm
111min | Unclassified 18+ | USA/Mexico | Spanish with English subtitles | Drama
Directed by Heidi Ewing
Opening Night Brisbane Queer Film Festival
Following a tender romance spanning decades, starting in provincial Mexico and continuing as first Iván, then Gerardo, journey towards sharing a life together in New York City. I Carry You With Me is an intimate love story, as well as a soulful rumination on family, sacrifice, regret, and ultimately, hope.
FRI 12 MAR 7pm
86min | Unclassified 18+ | UK | English | Drama/Thriller
Directed by Claire Oakley
When Ruth moves in with her boyfriend in a remote holiday park, tensions rise as she makes an unsettling discovery that lures her into a spiral of obsession.
SAT 13 MAR 12:30pm
93min | Unclassified 18+ | USA | English | Drama
Directed by Matthew Fifer
After a string of unsuccessful and awkward encounters with women, Ben goes “back on the dick.” Cicada follows Ben, a young bisexual man, as he comes out to the world and develops an intense relationship with Sam, a man of color struggling with deep wounds of his own. As the summer progresses and their intimacy grows, Ben’s past crawls to the surface.
Queer Shorts One: Couples Goals
SAT 13 MAR 6pm
90min | Unclassified 15+ | English & English subtitles
Couples Goals brings together a collection of shorts focusing on queer couples – their relationship and the barriers to achieving the ultimate couples goals. See film page for full list of shorts in this program. bqff.com.au/Queer-Shorts-1
SAT 13 MAR 8pm
101min | Unclassified 18+ | Canada | Drama
Directed by Bruce LaBruce
Canada, 1972. The power of destiny brings the two handsome, identical brothers back together. After being reunited with their mother, they are soon entangled in a strange web of sex, revenge and redemption.
SUN 14 MAR 3:30pm
74min | Unclassified 15+ | Sweden | Swedish with English subtitles | Documentary
Directed by Lia Hietala and Hannah Reinikainen
Amber is a 17-year-old teen. Together with best friend Sebastian, the two queer youngsters share a world far away from the judging eyes of society. When they are together, anything feels possible. We get to hang out with Amber and Sebastian during this identity building period, when they share everything from dreams and parties to new friendships. But when Amber falls in love with Charlie, something starts to challenge their utopian world. Trust issues begin to emerge, and in the midst of it all Amber has to face going through their transition alone. In Always Amber, we get a unique insight into a new generation.
SUN 14 MAR 5pm
63min | Unclassified 15+ | UK | English | Documentary
Directed by Posy Dixon
Beverly Glenn-Copeland wrote and self-released Keyboard Fantasies in Huntsville, Ontario back in 1986. Recorded in an Atari-powered home studio, the cassette featured seven tracks of a curious folk-electronica hybrid, a sound realised far before its time. Keyboard Fantasies sees the protagonist commit his life and music to screen for the first time – an intimate coming of age story spinning pain and the suffering of prejudice into rhythm, hope and joy. Half aural-visual history, half DIY tour-video, the film provides a vehicle for our newly appointed queer trans elder to connect with youth across the globe. A timely lullaby to soothe those souls struggling to make sense of the world.
SUN 14 MAR 6:30pm
72min | Unclassified 15+ | Chile | Spanish with English subtitles | Drama
Directed by Nicol Ruiz Benavides
Claudina is a repressed woman from the countryside. After the passing of her husband, she meets Elsa, a married woman, who invites to Claudina to discover real love. Under the judgment of a little conservatory town in the south of Chile, obsessed with UFO sighting, she starts a tough journey to be free, that makes to Claudina brave to leave everything and to understand that freedom is individual and inalienable.
TUES 16 MAR 7pm
90min | Unclassified 15+ | Israel | English & Hebrew with English subtitles | Drama
Directed by Eytan Fox
Michael, a travel columnist for The New York Times, goes to Tel Aviv to write an article after suffering a tragedy. He is still grieving and the loss has caused problems between him and his husband. He just wants to do his research and go home. But when he sublets an apartment from Tomer, a young film student, he finds himself drawn into the life ofthe city. Superficially, the two men couldn’t be more different. An unlikely and intense bond forms, which transforms both their lives in unexpected ways.
No Ordinary Man
WED 17 MAR 7pm
84min | Unclassified 15+ | Canada | English | Documentary
Directed by Aisling Chin-Yee & Chase Joynt
For decades, the life of American Jazz musician Billy Tipton was framed as the story of an ambitious woman passing as a man in pursuit of a music career. In No Ordinary Man, Tipton’s story is re-imagined and performed by trans artists as they collectively paint a portrait of an unlikely hero. Together, the filmmakers join Tipton’s son Billy Jr. to reckon with a complicated and contested legacy: how do you tell the story of someone who was hiding in plain sight yet desperate to be seen?
The Strong Ones
WED 17 MAR 7:30pm
98min | Unclassified 18+ | Chile | Spanish with English subtitles | Drama
Directed by Omar Zúñiga
Lucas travels to visit his sister to a remote town in southern Chile. In front of the ocean and the fog, he meets Antonio, a boatswain in a local fishing boat. When an intense romance grows between them, their strength, their independence and their adulthood become immovable in front of the tide.
Wrath Of Desire
THURS 18 MAR 6:45pm
118mins | Unclassified 18+ | Taiwan | Mandarin with English subtitles | Drama
Directed by Zero Chou
Androgynous Phoenix Du, the illicit daughter of a presidential candidate, kills the thug who breaks into her apartment to silence her. She comes before prosecutor Jade Liu, guilt-ridden from the suicide of her brother and her strict Catholic upbringing. Before demanding Phoenix’s three-and-a-half years sentence for manslaughter, Jade has a night of passion with her that redirects both their lives.
FRI 19 MAR 7pm
88min | Unclassified 15+ | Australia | English | Drama
Directed by Thomas Wilson-White
What would you do, if you could go back in time? The magic-realist The Greenhouse answers that very question. Beth is a young woman bereft when one of her mothers passes away. Unlike her three siblings, she languishes at the family home with her surviving mother, Ruth. On the eve of Ruth’s sixtieth birthday, Beth follows a vision into the garden and discovers a greenhouse that sends her into the past, where her mother is alive and Beth is taking her first steps in trying to deal with or ignore her own burgeoning sexuality. As her siblings and a past love return home and tempers flare, Beth’s escapes to the greenhouse are discovered and send the whole family searching for what they’ve lost and finding far more than they bargained for.
No Hard Feelings
FRI 19 MAR 7:30pm
89min | Unclassified 18+ | Germany | German & Farsi with English subtitles | Drama
Directed by Faraz Shariat
Parvis, the son of exiled Iranians, copes with life in his small hometown by indulging himself with pop culture, Grindr dates, and raves. After being caught shoplifting, he is sentenced to community service at a refugee shelter where he meets siblings Banafshe and Amon, who have fled Iran. As a romantic attraction between Parvis and Amon grows, the fragile relationship between the three is put to a test. They find and lose each other throughout a summer of fleeting youth, an intense first love, an attempt at a joint future, as well as the stark realisation that, in Germany, they are not equal.
Ahead Of The Curve
SAT 20 MAR 1pm
97min | Unclassified 15+ | USA | English | Documentary
Directed by Jen Rainin
With a lucky run at the track and chutzpah for days, Franco Stevens launched Curve i n 1990, the best-selling lesbian magazine ever published. When Franco learns that Curve is failing in 2019, she turns to today’s queer activists to help determine the path forward. Decades later, as her legacy faces extinction and she reassesses her life after a disabling injury, she sets out to understand visibility work being led by an intersection of queer women today.
SAT 20 MAR 3pm
95min | Unclassified 15+ | Brazil | Portuguese with English subtitles | Drama
Directed by Cássio Pereira dos Santos
Valentina, a 17-year-old girl, moves to the countryside of Brazil with her mother Márcia to start afresh. To avoid being bullied in her new school, Valentina tries to enroll with her chosen name and keep the fact that she is trans a secret. However, both mother and daughter quickly face dilemmas when the local high school needs a second parental signature for enrollment. Trans youtube star, actress Thiessa Woinbackk’s debut, Valentina is a reflection of the real life hardships that society forces a strong young woman to endure and embrace who she is.
Queer Shorts Two: Longing / Belonging
SAT 20 MAR 5pm
80min | Unclassified 18+ | English & English subtitles
This collection of shorts oscillate between the sense of longing and/or belonging. See film page for full list of shorts in this program. bqff.com.au/Queer-Shorts-2
SAT 20 MAR 6:45pm
76min | Unclassified 15+ | USA | English | Drama
Directed by Olivia Peace
Carrie Lowstein and Hannah Rosen have been inseparable for as long as they can remember. When their former Hebrew school classmate, Samantha Goldstein, commits suicide, the two girls go to her funeral as well as the “Teen Talk- back” session designed to be an opportunity for them to understand grief through their faith. But, after an innocent kissing exercise turns Carrie’s world inside out, the best friends find themselves distracted by the teenage complications of lust, social status, and wavering faith.
SAT 20 MAR 8:30pm
90min | Unclassified 18+ | Brazil | Portuguese with English subtitles | Drama
Directed by Daniel Nolasco
In July, the dry wind and low humidity dry the skin of a small city residents. Sandro divides his days between the city club, work, soccer with friends and city parties. He has a relationship with Ricardo, his co-worker. But his routine begins to change with the arrival of Maicon, a boy who pikes up his interest and of which everyone knows very little.
SUN 21 MAR 2:30pm
127min | Unclassified 18+ | Taiwan | no dialogue | Documentary
Directed by Tsai Ming-Liang
Under the pain of illness and treatment, Kang finds himself living the life of a drifter. He meets Non in a foreign land. They find consolation in each other before parting ways and carrying on with their days.
Queer Shorts Three: Approaching Bodies
SUN 21 MAR 5pm
72min | Unclassified 15+ | English & English subtitles
Binary thinking dominates the world. This collection of shorts approaches bodies with a queer lens – mapping a new world order, beyond the binaries. See film page for full list of shorts in this program. bqff.com.au/Queer-Shorts-3
The World To Come
SUN 21 MAR 6:30pm
98min | Unclassified 15+ | USA | English | Drama
Directed by Mona Fastvold
In this frontier romance framed by the four seasons and set against the backdrop of rugged terrain, Abigail, a farmer’s wife, and her new neighbor Tallie find themselves powerfully, irrevocably drawn to each other. As grieving Abigail tends to the needs of her taciturn husband Dyer and Tallie bristles at the jealous control of her husband Finney, both women are illuminated and liberated by their intense bond, filling a void in their lives they never knew existed.