5 Films to See at Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival

Housekeeping for Beginners
Viktor Irvin Ivanov

Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival is returning to Australia.

The 31st edition of the beloved festival will take place in Sydney from February 15th-29th, before the program films will be available to stream nationwide from March 1st-11th.

According to Festival Director Lisa Rose, this year’s Mardi Gras Film Festival is all about starting conversations.

“People will be keen to discuss and dissect them as soon as the credits start to roll,” Rose says. “There’s so much to sink your teeth into, including several that will inspire lively debate.”

There’s certainly a lot of films to spark audience conversations: a massive 161 films and events spread across 77 unique programs are coming to the festival, being shown at some of Sydney’s best venues, including Ritz Cinemas Randwick and Dendy Cinemas Newtown.

Tickets are on sale now via the official website. Check out a selection of program highlights below:


Opening the festival is the Sydney premiere of “Femme”, a neo-noir thriller from Britain about a drag star given the opportunity for revenge following a homophobic attack.

“Housekeeping for Beginners”

The new film by Australian director Goran Stolevski (“Of an Age”) will close this year’s festival, a sensitive exploration of found family featuring fast-paced and witty dialogue.

“In the Room Where He Waits”

One of the projects chosen for ‘Queer Screen Goes to Cannes’, the debut feature from rising director Timothy Desphina Marshall is a chilling psychological thriller set in the hotel room of a theatre actor who returns home for his father’s funeral.


Set in Western Sydney, “Sahela” follows Vir, a second-generation Indian-Australian who has to balance his parents’ dreams for him alongside his own deep desires.

Music From Queer Film

For the very first time, the festival heads to Sydney Opera House for a night of iconic hits from queer films. Inside the Playhouse Theatre, the Sydney Cello Quartet will bring to life music from “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”, “Moonlight”, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”, and more.

“All of Us Strangers”

One of the best films of 2023, and one of the best cinematic encapsulations of loneliness ever, “All of Us Strangers” comes to the Westpac OpenAir Cinema for a special screening at the festival. Expect a big crowd drawn by Andrew Haigh’s personal directing and Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott’s impressive chemistry.

Mardi Gras Film Festival is put on by Queer Screen, a non-profit charity based in Sydney that is dedicated to showcasing LGBTIQ+ stories on screen. Mardi Gras Film Festival provides a platform for diverse and thought-provoking LGBTIQ+ stories to reach a wider audience. Find out more information here.