Queer Screen sends five films to Cannes

Australian LGBTQIA+ film festival Queer Screen has been chosen to take part in the 76th Cannes Film Festival.

Queer Screen has announced its participation in the prestigious Marché du Film at the 76th Cannes Film Festival.

This means that the Australian LGBTQIA+ film festival will showcase five original work-in-progress feature titles to sales agents, distributors, and festival programmers during the event.

Each year the Marché du Film offers renowned festivals the chance to showcase their selection of original work-in-progress feature titles to sales agents, distributors and festival programmers during the prestigious Cannes season. 2023 thus marks the first-ever year an LGBTQIA+ and Australian festival has been selected for the ‘Goes to Cannes’ program.

Read: Queer Screen funds three Aussie films

Queer Screen’s Festival Director, Lisa Rose, expressed her excitement about being selected for the invitation-only event. ‘We are thrilled about being chosen,’ she said. ‘To be the first ever Australian and the first ever LGBTQIA+ film festival involved is something we are very proud of and I can’t wait to champion these films.’

Rose has hand-picked four Australian and one international production to showcase at the event. The selected productions include Sunflower, a gay coming-of-age drama from Melbourne filmmaker Gabriel Carrubba; Closing Night, a queer psychological horror from filmmaker Timother Despina Marshall; dark comedy-drama Triple Oh! featuring Brooke Satchwell; One Person Protest, a documentary about Australian activist Peter Tatchell from director Christopher Amos; and The Queen of My Dreams, an international project from writer/director Fawzia Mirza about a Pakistani Muslim woman and her Canadian-born daughter coming of age in two different eras.

The selected films will be shown on May 20, 2023, at Palais K, where filmmakers will pitch their projects in person or via recorded video. Marché du Film attendees can view an extract from the films and see pitches from the filmmakers, both in-person and online.

Read: Sydney Film Festival at 70: full 2023 program revealed

The films headed for Cannes are:


A 17-year-old boy struggles to understand and embrace his sexuality as he comes of age in the working class suburbs on Melbourne’s edge.

  • Director: Gabriele Carrubba
  • Producers: Gabriel Carrubba, Zane Borg
  • Production Company: Pancake Originals
  • Country: Australia

Closing Night

When his life falls apart, a young queer theatre actor, poised to play the lead in The Glass Menagerie, must reckon with his demons and fight for survival while trapped in a hotel room with a sinister presence.

  • Director: Timothy Despina Marshall
  • Producers: Bec Dakin, Timothy Despina Marshall
  • Production Companies: B&T Films, Orange Entertainment Co.
  • Country: Australia

Triple Oh!

A dark comedy-drama following the lives of two ambulance paramedics, as they save lives in absurd medical emergencies. Their personalities clash and are tested when street-smart Tayls introduces by-the-book Cate to her unconventional policy of having sex when a patient dies.

  • Director: Poppy Stockell
  • Writer: Erica Harrison
  • Producers: Poppy Stockell, Alexandra Galloway, Tamasin Simpkin
  • Production Company: Sirius Pictures
  • Country: Australia

One Person Protest

One Person Protest is an observational undercover documentary following 73-year-old human rights activist Peter Tatchell’s daring mission to protest at the 2018 FIFA World Cup to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ injustice in Russia and Chechnya.

  • Director: Christopher Amos
  • Producer: Christopher Amos
  • Production Company: Chrysaor
  • Countries: Australia, UK, Russia

The Queen of My Dreams

Azra, a queer Pakistani woman living in Toronto, is at odds with her conservative Muslim mother. The sudden death of her father in Pakistan sends Azra on a Bollywood-inspired journey through memories real and imagined, from her mother’s youth in Karachi to her own coming-of-age in rural Canada.

  • Director/Writer: Fawzia Mirza
  • Producers: Andria Wilson Mirza, Fawzia Mirza, Jason Levangie, Marc Tetreault
  • Production Companies: Baby Daal Productions & Shut Up & Colour Pictures
  • Countries: Canada, Pakistan

The 76th Cannes Film Festival takes place in France from 17-27 May 2023. For more information on the films, head to the Queer Screen website.

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