Perth Queer Film Festival finally comes to fruition

Mark Reid has organised the Perth Queer Film Festival to screen at the Backlot cinema next month. Picture: Andrew Ritchie. d457992
Mark Reid has organised the Perth Queer Film Festival to screen at the Backlot cinema next month. Picture: Andrew Ritchie. d457992

THE first Perth International Queer Film Festival is going to side-step cliché.

You won’t find queer classics Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Rocky Horror Picture Show or Philadelphia on the program, which runs from September 9 to 15.

Festival director Mark Reid wanted it to be a chance for audiences to be able to discover new queer themed classics. “What we’ve had historically is another showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show or one new film and a whole lot of other films everyone has already seen, so it was really important to me to get seven films never seen here.”

“We’ve got a film from the Netherlands, Germany, South Africa and a couple from the USA, all telling different stories so you get a range of perspectives. There’s experimental and controversial Like Cattle Towards Glow.

“I didn’t want to just be safe either; I didn’t want to just put films in the festival that were warm, glowy and happy ever after films.

“It needed to be gritty, it needed to show the depth of filmmaking that’s still happening out there.”

MORE: Perth film Setting Them Straight screens as part of international queer film festival

Mr Reid said the festival’s opening night film, Jonathan, had only been screened for an audience once before.

“It only finished in production in July and it’s only screened at the Berlin Film Festival,” he said. “Four of the films have never been screened in Australia before; that’s really exciting.”

He said it was long overdue for Perth to have its own queer film festival.

“It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for the last six or seven years; it’s something that we’ve needed,” he said.“They’ve even got one (a queer film festival) in Bendigo for goodness sake. They happen all over the world; I know we’re isolated from the world in so many ways but we just need to take a step and do it.”

What: Perth International Queer Film Festival

When: September 9-15

Where: The Backlot, 21 Simpson Street, West Perth

Info, sessions, tickets: www.waaids.com