The 25th Annual Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) kicked off Thursday with The Way He Looks. The film has been a standout on the queer film festival circuit, winning numerous audience awards across the globe. This charming film is Daniel Ribeiro’s first feature-length work and is based on his previous short I Don’t Want To Go Back Alone (MQFF 2011). The film is undeniably sweet, and it was extremely well received on opening night.
The afterparty rocked on into the night in true MQFF style with the dance floor starting instantly. The champagne was flowing, and colourful characters abounded to celebrate the largest festival of its kind in the world.
Here are my top five picks for the festival:
“It’s summer in Germany, and Jonas has invited his former roommate, Philip, on a journey into the countryside for a photography project. Philip’s gay, although this is not an issue for straight Jonas but when they pick up Polish hitchhiker, Boris, you realise why the term ‘three’s a crowd’ so often rears its head.”
“One evening in a gay-friendly suburb of New York City, four young African-American lesbians are violently and sexually threatened by a man in the street. As the women defend themselves, the situation escalates into a fight. Police sweep in and arrest the women. Dubbed by the media as a “gang of killer lesbians”, the women are charged with the serious crime of gang-related assault rather than self-defense. This incredibly powerful documentary interweaves interviews with the women, their families, attorneys and police officers creating a complex portrait that examines how race, class, sexual orientation and gender expression collide with the American justice system.”
“Lilting is a beautiful meditation on the path to connection between two human souls and reveals that what separates us can also bind us together. Not to be missed!”
“This Hitchcockian style, psychosexual thriller takes place in 1944 Nazi-occupied Poland at the end of WWII. Janka is a young cellist living with her widowed photographer father. In Hiding isn’t your average wartime drama. Instead, it’s an edgy, claustrophobic thriller that will leave you breathless.”
“The intense friendship between an unmotivated lesbian musician and a straight, focused environmental lawyer in their late 20s is tested when a third person enters the picture in this hilarious and touching debut by Susanna Fogel. Fogel’s film is an honest and witty portrait of the growing pains of lifelong female friendship.”
Brenton Spink is a social Melburnian who loves a good feed, drink, dance, and other related shenanigans. Find him on Twitter at @SoSpinky.
The Melbourne Queer Film Festival runs 19-30 March 2015.