A long-term champion of Asian Pacific queer cinema, Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival turns the spotlight on Asia this year by hosting delegates from the Asia Pacific Queer Film Festival Alliance (APQFFA) and screening a range of contemporary and classic feature films, documentaries and short films produced in the Pan Asia region.

Formed in 2015, the APQFFA is made up of members from 17 Asian Pacific queer film festivals and aims to enhance the visibility of LGBTIQ people and cinema in the region. Co-founder Jay Lin explains: “For years as a director and programmer for the Taiwan International Queer Film Festival, I have looked often by default to mostly non-Asian films to fill the line-up, but the reality is that there are many stories originating from the Asia-Pacific that are worthy of sharing with each other.”

“I founded the APQFFA, along with other members, to start sharing more resources with each other to find these films, and encouraging mutual communication that will hopefully result in further fruitful endeavours including co-productions, festival exchanges, joint promotions and many wonderful things that can happen when people dream beyond borders, languages, and restrictions”.

The Spotlight on Asia includes:

The APQFF Forum: Delegates from the Alliance will hold an open forum at the University of Sydney to discuss queer cinema and their experiences in presenting queer film festivals in their countries. This exciting conversation will be moderated by guest Kiki Fung, Head Programmer for Australia’s Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival.

It will be a free event with time for audience questions at the end; a great opportunity to become part of this important conversation. Attending festivals are noted below. Presented with the University of Sydney, SBS, Incredible India, Out & About Travel, Taipei Economic & Cultural Office, Screen NSW, and ACON.

Focus on Asia film strand: Screening across the Festival at Event Cinemas George St and introduced by APQFFA delegates from their countries are: Angry Indian Goddesses,Our Love Story, Out Run, The Wedding Banquet, and the double bill of Irrawaddy Mon Amour, The Priestess Walks Alone andthe Australian Premiere of South Korean trilogy, One Night and Two Days.

The APQFF Short Film Screening: A free screening of the best in new, Asian shorts as nominated by the Alliance members and curated by Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival. Introduced by Alliance delegates at Event Cinemas on George Street, Sydney.

Festival Director Paul Struthers said “We are thrilled to host our colleagues from the Alliance festivals and to hear about their experiences screening LGBTIQ cinema, often in countries that are not as welcoming and inclusive as Australia. We know our audience will be as excited as us to see these quality films.”

The 24th Mardi Gras Film Festival runs 15 February – 2 March 2017. Tickets for all films are on sale. For more information, visit: www.queerscreen.org.au for details.

Image: The Threshold presented as part of the APQFF Short Film Screening