I volunteer every year, which is something I recommend for anyone who is in to films, is in to queer films, or wants to support their queer community. It's a great festival, everyone is always really lovely and there's a great feeling around it.
Also, this year, there are vegan lollies available for sale! Which is pretty awesome, please feel free to thank your local vegan for the idea (me) and everyone at MQFF who let me suggest it and then just Did It. I love when people accomodate dietary requirements, I hope there's no gluten in the lollies hmm. And there's an app for iPhone and Android, and most of the movies screen at ACMI which as you know (Melbourne) is one of the best cinemas and spaces ever.
Here is my short list, in screening order:
When Hainan Meets Teochew (当海南遇上潮州) (Saturday 16 March, 16:00)
When Hainan Meets Teochew tells a unique story about love between a butch and a femme woman. The two meet in the most unusual circumstances (involving a falling bra), become enemies in the most unpredictable situation and become friends in the most unforgettable manner. Just as they gradually develop feelings for each other, Hainan’s ex-girlfriend appears and puts their relationship under the most challenging test. The ensuing love triangle results in much misunderstanding and hilarity. What will become of Hainan and Teochew’s romance, and who is the owner of the falling bra?
Oz Docs (Monday 18 March, 18:00)
This is a series of Australian documentaries, including 'The La La Road' on Chinese lesbians, and the Aquaporko Documentary, featuring a whole lot of awesome, fat, queer ladies of my acquaintance.
Cockpit (Thursday 21 March, 18:30)
Mrs. Doubtfire meets Tootsie, meets Some Like it Hot - 10,000m up, in this over-the-top comedy of mistaken identities from Sweden. After losing his job as an airline pilot when his company downsizes, Valle is thrown out by his materialistic wife, who takes the kids with her and immediately begins a new relationship with a wealthy elderly man. After countless knock backs by airlines, he hears that Silver airlines are looking for a female captain. In desperation, and with little in the way of a plan, Valle dons a pair of high heels, borrows his staunchly feminist and queer friendly sister’s identity and transforms himself into attractive Maria and wins himself a pilot’s job. The plan begins to unravel when his lesbian airline colleague Cecilia starts to fall for him/her, and a narrowly averted plane crash, lands Maria all over the news.
Queens! Destiny of Dance (Friday 22 March, 20:30)
Guru Amma presides over a community of hijras (male to female transgenders) inside a huge palace, with love and severity in equal measure. The apple of her eye is the talented Mukta who is the best dancer among them and also the potential next leader of the community. Mukta adores Guru Amma with all her heart, to the point of worshipping her. One day, a beautiful young girl turns up at their door without any explanation. Awed by her beauty, Amma takes the mysterious girl under her wings and names her Nandini.
Soon, Nandini becomes the centre of attraction for the other hijras and for Amma as well, thereby sidelining Mukta. Mukta’s jealousy soon turns to paranoia about Nandini, and Mukta leaves the community after threatening Amma. But Mukta soon realises that she will never be taken back into her house or the community. Determined to set things right, Mukta returns to Amma and the community, but behaves kindly towards Nandini this time around, until enough is enough and events unfold leading to a shocking climax.
True to the essence of Bollywood films, Queens! is chock full of colourful characters, and fantastic dance scenes.
Strange Frame: Love and Sax (Saturday 23 March, 14:00)
The first lesbian, science fiction, rock ‘n’ roll animated film is here! Hold on tight as we head off into the 29th Century.
200 years after the human race has left a decimated Earth behind, life on Ganymede, one of Saturn’s moons, is a world of space pirates, indentured slaves and genetic mutations. Parker, a saxophonist, meets a gutsy singer, Naia, who’s a ‘debt slave’, and the two quickly fall in love and form a band. Gaining cult notoriety, the band catches the eye of the authorities, and Naia is recaptured. As Parker begins a desperate search for her love, Naia is repackaged by ‘the man’ as a generic rock star and achieves immense fame. Will Naia be saved before her soul is forever destroyed?
(quotes are from the mqff programme)
I always keep my short list short, because I burn out fast during festivals, but others I wouldn't mind seeing eventually are:
My Best Day