A screenshot from Becks a film showing at the Queer Screen Film Fest. | Photo: Supplied
One of the world’s leading LGBTI festivals will have a majority of female directors in its latest lineup.
Sydney’s Queer Screen Film Fest is back for its sixth year and is celebrating the unique achievement. Running from 18-23 September, women direct or co-direct 55% of the 29 films on offer this year.
‘I’m incredibly proud that Queer Screen continues to champion the work of female filmmakers,’ said festival director, Lisa Rose.
‘The fact that we have increased our screenings again this year, up from 20 films last year, but have also managed to increase the percentage of female filmmakers is quite exciting.’
Having a majority of female directors is a massive achievement for the festival at a time when there is global spotlight on gender disparity in the film industry.
Earlier this year, the prestigious Cannes Film Festival came under fire for only having three female directors in its lineup. Queer Screen’s achievement is not lost on Rose.
‘Having a film festival with over half the filmmakers identifying as female is rare. It shouldn’t be, but it is and I am honoured that Queer Screen can be seen as doing it’s part to address this in balance,’ she said.
Queer Screen showcases LGBTI stories across short films, feature films and documentaries. It is also the biggest festival in the festival’s history, with 29 films from 12 countries and includes 15 Australian premieres.
A new edition to the 6th Queer Screen Film Fest is the new filmmaker initiative, Queer Screen Pitch Off. Australian LGBTIQ filmmakers will battle it out in a public pitch off event for $10,000 in short film production funding.
‘Queer Screen is thrilled to have a real hand in adding to representation of LGBTIQ films and filmmakers. In the current climate of arts funding cuts, it is so vital for us to offer an opportunity to filmmakers that will see queer films made… [it] will help not only queer filmmakers but it’s also a chance for a queer audience to see themselves represented on screen.’ said Queer Screen President, Cheryl Kavanagh.
Stand out films in this year’s lineup include the Sydney Premiere of George Michael Freedom: The Director’s Cut. A cute documentary, called Life in the Doghouse will also have its Australian premiere. It’s a moving documentarty about a gay couple who have turned their entire house over to rescue pooches.