Five Queer Screen films head to Cannes

Queer Screen is taking five local and international film projects to market at the Cannes Film Festival this month.
Queer Screen film Strange Creatures.

Australia’s leading queer screen culture organisation, Queer Screen, is going to Cannes for a second year, with three Australian LGBTQIA+ films in tow.

Queer Screen will take five films in total to represent at the acclaimed Marché du Film, occurring in conjunction with the 77th Cannes Film Festival on the French Riviera this month.

Seven festivals from across the globe were invited by the Marché du Film to showcase their selection of five original feature titles looking for sales agents, distributors, and festival programmers during the prestigious Cannes season.

This year sees Queer Screen, producers of Sydney’s Mardi Gras Film Festival and Queer Screen Film Fest, returning to the invitation-only line-up for a second year as the ‘Goes to Cannes’ program’s only LGBTQIA+ partner.

Read: Australian film projects and filmmakers head to market at Cannes

Queer Screen’s festival director, Lisa Rose, said the return invitation is an enormous honor and a testament to the organization’s international standing.

‘We are thrilled about being invited back,’ Rose said. ‘Last year’s participation significantly bolstered the presence of Queer Screen and Mardi Gras Film Festival on the global stage, but more importantly, as the only LGBTQIA+ film festival involved, it provided invaluable opportunities for filmmakers championing queer content.’

This year’s selection showcases narratives spanning the spectrum of gay, lesbian, pansexual, bisexual, and transgender experiences and includes three Australian and two international projects. Further details are available on each film below.

Queer Screen’s selections will be shown on Saturday, 18 May 2024, at 4pm at Palais K in Cannes, with filmmakers pitching in person. The film extracts and pitches will also be available online for Marché du Film attendees to view the following day.

One of the five films, Henry Boffin’s Strange Creatures, has also been picked up for ANZ distribution by Bonsai Films and has sold its home country free-to-air rights with the Nine Network Australia.

Described as being ‘in the vein of Nebraska and Little Miss Sunshine,’ the road trip dramedy stars Riley Nottingham and Johnny Carr as Nate and Ged Taylor, two brothers who haven’t spoken in four years following a falling out.

Nottingham produced the film with Rachel Forbes, having worked together, with Henry Boffin, on the sitcom Metro Sexual.

Producer Rachel Forbes said: ‘Strange Creatures was made by a very talented and supporting local cast and crew, so to see the film be invited to Cannes Marche du Film is a testament to everyone involved. We’re excited for international audiences to get a taste of the Australian outback seen through the windscreen of a hearse! And connect to our two leading men in all their dysfunctional glory.’

Queer Screen films going to the Cannes marketplace in 2024

Arms of a Man (Sabar Bonda, India/UK/France)

  • Director: Rohan Parashuram Kanawade
  • Producers: Neeraj Churi
  • Production Companies: Lotus Visual Productions

A thirty-year-old city-dweller compelled to spend ten-day mourning of his father in the rugged countryside of Western India tenderly bonds with a local farmer struggling to stay 1 of 3unmarried. As the mourning ends, forcing his return, he must decide the fate of his relationship born under duress.

From All Sides (Australia)

  • Director: Bina Bhattacharya
  • Producers: Bina Bhattacharya and Alexander McGhee
  • Production Companies: Gemme de la Femme Pictures Pty Ltd

A multiracial bisexual married couple and their teenage children find themselves beset from all sides as they navigate work, school, sex, friendships, romances, and their colorful neighbors in the outer suburbs of Sydney.

Heart of the Man (Australia)

  • Director: David Cook
  • Producer: Blake Northfield
  • Production Company: Bronte Pictures

A young boxing prodigy coming to terms with his sexuality must battle between fulfilling his father’s dream and becoming his own man.

Strange Creatures (Australia)

  • Director: Henry Boffin
  • Producers: Rachel Forbes & Riley Nottingham
  • Production Company: Strange Creatures Pty Ltd, Humdrum Comedy Pty Ltd, Sweetshop & Green

Two estranged brothers are forced back into each other’s lives when they’re tasked with scattering the ashes of their recently deceased mother in the country town where she grew up.

Under the Influencer (USA)

  • Director: Bryn Woznicki (Director); Lauren Neal (Technical Director)
  • Producers: Jill Bennett, Katie Hall
  • Production Company: Lion & Lamb Studio, Team Stillwell, Fair Play Films

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Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports