Melbourne Queer Film Fest takes a historic lens to queerness

This year's MQFF launches on 9 November with the Australian premiere of I Love You, Beksman.

This year’s Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) has announced its focus for its 33rd outing as Rewind to Fast Forward. Organisers say the program, which launches on 9 October, will showcase ‘the indisputable existence of LGBTQIA+ peoples throughout history. Captured through film’s immortalising lens, MQFF loudly and proudly highlights how queer people have always been an integral part of humanity and always will.’

Still Frame From The Film Solo. Félix Maritaud Tenderly Leans In To Théodore Pellerin As They Dance Together.

 Solo. Image: MQFF.

Running from 9–19 November, the 2023 festival includes 50 feature films and 17 documentaries, 11 short film packages, three world premieres, 26 Australian premieres and 19 Victorian premieres.

‘We cannot wait to share this spectacular array of films with queer Victorians and those who love us,’ said MQFF CEO David Martin Harris. ‘We’ve scoured the planet for 12 months to find the most incredible new LGBTQIA+ stories – there’s something for everyone: hysterical comedy, campy horror, we’re serving drama, new Australian work, famous faces, the shorts packages are just brilliant! This MQFF is all about solidarity, connection, and joy.’

MQFF will launch at at The Astor in St Kilda 9 November with the Opening Night screening of the Australian premiere of I Love You, Beksman (2022, Philippines), a coming-out story that gets a Filipinx makeover in director Perci M. Intalan’s hilarious, high-camp and heartfelt inverted rom-com.

The Festival’s Centrepiece Presentation, meanwhile, is the Victorian premiere of Marinette (2023, France), a biopic that tells the story of Marinette Pichon, one of the world’s most influential women’s soccer players and a French lesbian icon.

The Festival closes on 19 November with the Australian premiere of Solo (2023, Canada), a drag-drama about skilled make-up artist, Simon (Théodore Pellerin) who is a mainstay by night of Montreal’s exuberant drag scene.

‘It’s an honour and privilege to assume the mantle,’ said new MQFF Program Director, Cerise Howard. ‘I’m beside myself with glee anticipating that anyone taking even the most cursory scan of the program will find not one, not two, but umpteen films from every which where and when that they simply have to attend.’

Visit the MQFF website for more information.

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites