Many people are unfamiliar with the Queer Film Festival, because of its specificities and uniqueness, and it is not as famous as some other international film festival. In fact, the latest estimate is that around 8000 film festival is currently active worldwide and Queer film festival plays an important role (Dawson,2018). As for Melbourne, the Melbourne Queer Film Festival are held in every March, which is regarded as the largest queer film event in the southern hemisphere.
The MQFF has a long history that began in February 1991 opening with ‘Longtime Companion’ at the Dendy Brighton Cinema. And in 2003, it was changed the name to Melbourne Queer Film Festival. The development of this film festival helps the spread of access to queer cinema throughout Australia.
The number of film festivals has been increasing, resulting in one for just about every city and community. There are different purposes for every film festival, but what they have in common is that all film festival all want to provide a platform to exchange the experience of art, politics, and culture (JAMIE,2003).
Mokkil (2018) states that there is no written definition for the Queer Film Festival. As the Pittsburgh festival, it is using the following definition: any film/video by and about lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgendered people either in fiction or film. The Boulder festival had a broader definition which includes ‘works that help place our idea about gender, love and sexuality with a cultural and historical center’. The Long Island festival states that they defined it to be ‘ a film that is, by, about, or of interest to the GLBT community’. The Melbourne Queer Film Festival challenges and entertains by delivering a curated festival of queer film content and encourages discussion of LGBTIQ issues through panels and special events. It promotes emerging filmmakers and access to screen storytelling through industry programs and community workshops
Many challenges still remain for the Queer Film festival. Dawson (2018) proposed that the dominant tendency in journalistic writings on queer film festivals prefer to regard it as another public form of LGBT politics and activism. To a certain degree, the cinema has the capacity to complicate the field of visibility and it always enlarges the gap between cultural practices and the consolidation of identities.
The Queer film festivals can provide an important cultural and social outlet to these communities. By participating in ongoing dialogue with each other, the Queer film festivals can strengthen social solidarity. It also can enhance the deeper understanding of this group. It is the mirror of social progress.
Binnie, J, & Klesse, C 2018, ‘Comparative queer methodologies and queer film festival research’, Studies In European Cinema, 15, 1, pp. 55-71
Dawson, L, & Loist, S 2018, ‘Queer/ing film festivals: history, theory, impact’, Studies In European Cinema, 15, 1, pp. 1-24
Mokkil, N 2018, ‘Queer encounters: film festivals and the sensual circuits of European cinema in India’, Studies In European Cinema, 15, 1, pp. 85-100
Lindner, K 2015, ‘Review of Queer Film Culture: Queer Cinema & Queer Film Festivals International Conference’, Transnational Cinemas, 6, 1, pp. 97-103