18 May MGFF18 Feature Films Available to Stream
Marking Queer Screen’s 25th anniversary, here’s where you can watch some of the still-unmissable titles served up during the monumental 2018 Mardi Gras Film Festival.
With big name movies including Ideal Home, Call Me By Your Name, and Love, Simon jostling for attention beside hidden gems like the digital restoration of Desert Hearts, Beach Rats, In Between, and so much more, the festival program offered a bevy of choice that we’re lucky enough to be able to dip into again online. Here’s a list of what’s available to stream right now, and where.
Click here to see the short films.
Dir. Vicente Alves do Ó, 2017, 109min, Portugal, Portuguese with English subtitles, Gay Man, Drama
Set in 1975 following the overthrow of the long-established Portuguese dictatorship, Al Berto depicts the emotionally charged and erotic relationship between legendary Portuguese poet Al Berto and his lover, João Maria. The beautiful lovers, and their culturally progressive allies, confront the conservatism of their society as they party joyfully and express themselves freely within a village that is not yet ready to embrace liberation. Al Berto is a scintillating, dramatic and sensual exposé of a significant time in Portuguese socio-cultural history.
Dir. Eliza Hittman, 2016, 98min, USA, English, Gay Man, Coming of Age/Drama
Picking up a slew of awards on the festival circuit, Beach Rats is a film that is as pensive as it is hot-blooded. Teenager Frankie (Harris Dickinson) is torn between the hyper-masculine expectations of his friend group and new girlfriend, and the hidden homoeroticism of flirting with older men online. Dickinson shines as the conflicted Frankie, an intensely cool yet lonely young man. Writer-director Eliza Hittman deftly captures teenage wistfulness and the beauty of a Brooklyn summer that could give at any moment.
BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Dir. Robin Campillo, 2017, 140min, France, French with English subtitles, Gay Man/Lesbian, Drama
When Nathan joins ACT UP Paris in the 1990s he finds the passion of protest, and true love. Winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes and acclaimed by critics around the world, this powerful French drama is equal parts exhilarating and heartbreaking. Director Robin Campillo draws on his own experiences as a self-described “militant” gay activist to portray the anger and frustration of the AIDS epidemic, but also the strength and solidarity of those who fought for progress.
Call Me By Your Name
Dir. Luca Guadagnino, 2017, 132min, Italy/USA/France/Brazil, English and Italian, French, and German with English subtitles, Bisexual Man/Gay Man
Openly gay Italian director Luca Guadagnino has lovingly crafted a masterpiece celebrating young love and sexual awakening. Fiercely intelligent, 17 year old Ellio proclaims to know nothing about the ‘things that matter’, until he meets visiting academic assistant Oliver. Almost every frame of this film is a work of art pulsing with sexual tension amid the backdrop of a luscious Italian summer, daring you to succumb to its sensuous seduction.
The Carmilla Movie
Dir. Spencer Maybee, 2017, 94min, Canada, English, Lesbian/Queer, Drama
The movie sequel to the hit web series finds Laura and Carmilla five years after they vanquished the apocalypse and Carmilla became a bonafide mortal human. They have settled into a cozy apartment in downtown Toronto but their domestic bliss is suddenly ruptured when Carmilla begins to show signs of “re-vamping”, while Laura has started having bizarre, ghostly dreams. Enlisting their old friends from Silas University, the couple must now uncover the unknown supernatural threat that’s tied to Carmilla’s past.
Available to buy from VHX.tv
Dir. Donna Deitch, 1985, 96min, USA, English, Lesbian, Drama/Retrospective/Romance
It’s 1959 and Vivian Bell, a prim and proper professor from New York City, has arrived in the desert town of Reno, where one can get a divorce in about 6 weeks should one require it. Vivian holes up in a room on a rundown ranch with a few good books to help pass the time. Yet whenever she catches a glimpse of the owner’s reckless step-daughter, Cay Rivvers, she’s drawn a little further… out. As riveting, romantic and refreshing now as it was in 1985.
Available to stream on Kanopy
Dir. Juan Robles Lana, 2016, 120min, Philippines, English and Tagalog with English subtitles, Transgender Woman, Dramedy
Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Shakira, Julia Roberts and more star in Die Beautiful… or at least their likenesses do, as portrayed by fabulous Filipino superstar Paolo Ballesteros. Trisha Echevarria (Ballesteros) is a gorgeous transgender beauty queen whose dying wish is to be dressed up as a different celebrity for each day of her wake. This heartfelt film weaves together the conflicts the transgender community faces in the Philippines with a charming and vibrant universe to deliver a fun and colourful look at LGBTIQ life in the Philippines.
Available to rent or buy on iTunes
Dir. Sridhar Rangayan, 2018, 120min, India, Hindi with English subtitles, Gay Man, Drama
Evening Shadows is a stirring and realistic look into the life of LGBT people in India. Hindered by custom, tradition and law, Kartik (Devansh Doshi) is unsure whether he will ever belong in his family. Despite this, he has an unbreakable bond with his mother Vasudha (Mona Ambegaonkar). “Whatever is in one’s Fate, no-one can change it,” she tells him, and Kartik’s fierce affection and admiration shine through in Doshi’s impassioned performance as a son who, more than anything, craves acceptance from those he loves.
Available to stream on Netflix
Dir. Trudie Styler, 2017, 95min, USA, English, Gay Man/Queer, Coming of Age/Dramedy
Billy Bloom is the queer hero for our time – think Hedwig meets Gaga with a hint of Oscar Wilde. “I didn’t choose to be fabulous. Fabulous chose me,” he quotes. And we agree! However, when his mother (Bette Midler, in a brilliant cameo) leaves him in the care of his aloof father William (Larry Pine), he has to start a new school where normcore is king, something he’s absolutely not! This biting coming-of- age tale directed by Trudie Styler celebrates being yourself no matter the consequences.
Available to stream on SBS On Demand
Dir. Andrew Fleming, 2017, 90min, USA, English, Gay Man, Dramedy
When his grandson shows up at a high class dinner party one evening, Erasmus Dickie Brumble (Steve Coogan) and his filmmaking partner (Paul Rudd with added scruff) reluctantly take him in. The bickering couple face many challenges as they try to adapt to this new addition in their extravagant home. The boy won’t cooperate, he will only eat Taco Bell and they don’t even know his name! With hilarious cameos from Allison Pill and Kate Walsh, this dramedy is a charming tale that explores what makes a family.
Dir. Maysaloun Hamoud, 2016, 103min, France/Israel, Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles, Lesbian, Drama
Come and immerse yourself in the controversial and critically acclaimed drama, In Between. Courageously written and directed by Maysaloun Hamoud, the film portrays three strong Palestinian women, Laila, Nour, and Salma, as they share an apartment in Tel Aviv. Battling to find themselves, and the freedom and joy that they yearn for, they must also do battle with the implications of living amidst conservative religious and cultural pressures. Each woman must overcome her own struggles; together the journey to freedom is made easier.
Dir. Greg Berlanti, 2018, 110min, USA, English, Gay Man, Coming of Age/Dramedy
Everyone deserves a great love story. But for seventeen-year old Simon Spier it’s a little more complicated: he’s yet to tell his family or friends he’s gay and he doesn’t actually know the identity of the anonymous classmate he’s fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing. Directed by Greg Berlanti (Dawson’s Creek, Brothers & Sisters), written by Isaac Aptaker & Elizabeth Berger (This is Us), and based on Becky Albertalli’s acclaimed novel, Love, Simon is a funny and heartfelt coming-of-age story about the thrilling ride of finding yourself and falling in love.
A Moment in the Reeds
Dir. Mikko Makela, 2017, 108min, Finland/UK, English and Finnish with English subtitles, Gay Man, Drama/Romance
In A Moment in the Reeds, Leevi returns home to Finland to help his estranged father renovate their summer cottage. To assist them with the work, his father hires Tareq, a Syrian asylum seeker. When the two are left alone for a few days they get to know each other intimately. From first time director Mikko Makela, this summer romance is a feat of Finnish cinema and promises to be one of the most sexually charged films of the festival.
Dir. Julia Solomonoff, 2017, 102min, Argentina/Brazil/Colombia/USA, English and Spanish with English subtitles, Gay Man, Drama
Nico’s dream of making it big in New York has hit a speed bump. After abandoning a successful career as a soap opera actor in Buenos Aires, the film he came for has been put on hold. Now he’s broke and lonely, and spends his days bartending, babysitting, and shoplifting. Returning to Argentina would solve all his problems but that would mean also returning to his domineering, older lover. Winner of the Best Actor prize at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.
Available to stream on Prime Video
Dir. Erlingur Thoroddsen, 2017, 111min, Iceland, Icelandic with English subtitles, Gay Man, Drama/Horror/Mystery
Rift is an eerie supernatural thriller set in the remote and breathtaking Iceland. Prompted by a strange phone call from his on again, off again ex-boyfriend, Einar, Gunnar drives to the secluded cabin where Einar is holed up. As the two come to terms with their broken relationship, strange forces seem to be lurking outside the cabin. As the two rediscover their broken bonds, the mysterious figures make their presence insistently known, growing in intensity, threatening to shatter the delicate peace Einer and Gunnar bring each other. This atmospheric and intriguing film heralds a new era in Icelandic filmmaking.
The Ring Thing
Dir. William Sullivan, 2017, 105min, USA, English, Gay Man/Lesbian, Drama
From the team who brought us That’s Not Us (screened at Mardi Gras Film Festival 2016), comes this clever, poignant, honest drama. Sarah, played by Sarah Wharton (who also produced the film), is on a quest to make sense of her aversion to marrying her partner, Kristen, played by Nicole Pursell. Including interviews with real couples, the improv style will have you hooked from start to finish as Sarah and Kristen navigate their way through commitment and what it means for them.
Available to stream on TubiTV
Dir. Melissa Finell, 2016, 87min, USA, English, Lesbian, Comedy
No one empties a room quite like Dr Serena Wolfe. Her acidic wit strikes terror into the hearts of her fellow scientists and her boundless negativity sends people scurrying in her wake. But when Serena’s venomous wit allegedly brings about the death of a colleague, she is forced to endure sensitivity training with the impossibly bubbly and optimistic Caroline. A blossoming friendship leads to a “will they, won’t they?”, in this hilarious comedy about friendship and bacteria.
Jade of Death
Dir. Erin Good, 2017, 60min, Australia, English, Lesbian, Drama/Fantasy/Thriller
Dark, funny and sexy as hell, this supernatural thriller was awarded Best Drama Series by the International Academy of Web Television. Jade has a powerful ability. She can hear when and how people are going to die. She ran away from her hometown and gets by working at a seedy freak show carnival as the “Fortune-Teller of Death”, but now people are after her. There’s more to her past than she lets on, and more to her abilities than she knows.
Available to stream on YouTube
Dir. Paul Oremland, 2017, 94min, New Zealand, English, Gay Man, Documentary Profile
Can you remember every sexual partner you’ve ever had? Over a lifetime, Paul Oremland compiled a list of 100 sexual partners. From losing his virginity when homosexuality was still a crime through to his legally recognised partnership, this deeply confessional film has Paul tracing a personal journey via the global LGBT rights evolution. Counting down from 100, Oremland tracks down some of these men and in a series of moving, funny and surprising interviews, paints a sex-positive portrait of the legacy of intimacy.
Available to stream on Prime Video
The Gospel According to André
Dir. Kate Novack, 2017, 94min, USA, English, Gay Man, Documentary Profile
“I don’t live for fashion; I live for beauty and style. Fashion is fleeting, style remains.” So says André Leon Talley. A master of the bon mot, ALT is a firm fixture in the world of glamour, known for his trademark capes and kaftans. This doco looks at his life – from growing up in South Carolina, and then hitting the New York Scene with aplomb – mixing with everyone from Andy Warhol to a young Karl Lagerfeld, before ending up at Vogue. For any fans of couture, this is a must.
The Last Goldfish
Dir. Su Goldfish, 2017, 80min, Australia, English, Lesbian, Documentary History/Documentary Profile
“My father tells me stories, but not always the truth.” Sydney filmmaker Su Goldfish’s autobiographical documentary The Last Goldfish weaves together home movies, interviews, and archival footage to tell an emotional story of loss, identity, and belonging. As an immigrant teenager in 1970s Australia, Goldfish just wanted to blend in. As an adult, she created a new family for herself in Sydney’s vibrant queer community. However, the sense that her father, Manfred, was keeping secrets never quite left her.
McKellen: Playing the Part
Dir. Joe Stephenson, 2017, 96min, UK, English, Gay Man, Documentary Profile
Sir Ian McKellen reveals that he always “felt different”, in this insightful biographical documentary about the mastery of his acting craft, and his evolution into a vocal champion for gay rights. Directed by Joe Stephenson and based on a 14 hour interview filmed with this celebrated actor, McKellen: Playing the Part, is as much an homage to McKellen’s fascinating life, as it is a compendium of wisdom proffered by one of our world’s most celebrated gay elders.
Susanne Bartsch: On Top
Dir. Anthony Caronna & Alexander Smith, 2017, 84min, USA, English, Queer, Documentary Profile
Picking up where Warhol left off, Susanne Bartsch: On Top tells the story behind the enduring icon of the New York alt-art party scene. Since 1981 Bartsch has been “queen of the night”, throwing legendary parties the likes of which NYC hadn’t seen before. Featuring a who’s who of the New York underground scene, including drag superstar RuPaul and nightlife fixture Amanda Lepore, this is a celebration of all things unique, queer and fabulous.
The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin
Dir. Jennifer M. Kroot, 2017, 90min, USA, English, Gay Man, Documentary Profile
Discover the story behind one of the most enduring queer tales of our time, Tales of the City. From gay bathhouses and supermarket cruising, to roller skating nuns and affairs with Hollywood celebrities, Maupin paints a vivid picture of queer life in San Francisco during the 70s and 80s. Joined by his many friends – including Sir Ian McKellen and Barbary Lane favourites, Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney – this hilarious and moving documentary sheds new light on Maupin’s work, and on the warmth and generosity of the author himself.
Available to stream on Netflix
All information was correct at the time of publication. For the most up-to-date information about where you can watch a particular film we recommend using Just Watch.