Sydney WorldPride is making a statement this year with its film program, which offers a perfect opportunity for movie-goers to unwind after a night of debauchery. The festival features the 30th edition of the Mardi Gras film festival and a variety of transgressive, riotous, and plain silly cinema that explores both gay histories and queer futures.
Here are our top picks from the program:
“Of An Age” by Goran Stolevski (February 15, Event Cinemas George Street)
Goran Stolevski, known for his debut feature “You Won’t Be Alone,” shifts gears in his follow-up film “Of An Age,” a 90s Melbourne-set will-they-won’t-they romance between two boys. This modern queer classic is a must-see for this year’s Mardi Gras film festival.
“Swarm – A Mini Film Festival” (February 23, Skyline Drive-In Blacktown)
This mini film festival curated by Sydney’s Garden Reflexxx features radical Black film-making and is a celebration of inflammatory, subversive cinema. On the lineup are works by Tracey Moffatt, western Sydney’s House of Slé, and Leilah Weinraub.
“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” by Laura Poitras (February 18, Event Cinemas George Street)
This documentary follows the life of seminal artist Nan Goldin, capturing her activism against the pharmaceutical corporation behind America’s opioid crisis. The film, up for an Oscar this year, showcases the beauty and depravity of queer life, as in Goldin’s own work.
“Joyland” by Saim Sadiq (February 23, Ritz Randwick)
“Joyland” is a twisty human story about a family man working as a backup dancer for a transgender nightclub performer. The first Pakistani film to premiere at Cannes and be shortlisted for the Oscars, this film breaks taboos and challenges conservative political contexts.
“The Winner Takes It All” by James Demitri (February 18, Event Cinemas George Street)
This proudly bad-taste caper stars Drag Race Down Under alumnus Maxi Shield and is a comedy of revenge. Described as the funniest and stupidest ride of your life, “The Winner Takes It All” is a must-see for fans of John Waters.
“Saving Face” by Alice Wu (February 26, UTS Alumni Green)
Alice Wu’s 2004 lesbian romcom debut “Saving Face” is a cult classic and a genuinely groundbreaking lesbian romance that was ahead of its time. The film is a must-see for those who love groundbreaking queer cinema.