‘Belonging’ is a moving Australian LGBTIQ rights doco

belonging documentary rodney croome sam watson network 10 screen australia
Photo: Supplied

A moving short film about two Tasmanian LGBTIQ advocates has won Best Documentary at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.

Belonging tells a “parallel story between two generations of LGBTIQ activism” in Tasmania. In the film, 19-year-old activist Sam Watson (pictured left) takes a road trip across the island state.

Along the way he explores the legacy of veteran LGBTIQ campaigner Rodney Croome (pictured right) through the lens of his modern-day life as a gay man.

Watson hopes the documentary will speak to the LGBTQI+ community, particularly those in regional areas.

“It’s called Belonging for a reason,” he said.

“Even if you are on the North West Coast of Tasmania, don’t have any role models and have limited support networks, you still belong.

“There are still people who will love you no matter what.”

Croome said Belonging “tells an important story about society changing for the better and the immense benefits of that change”.

Belonging wins at Melbourne Queer Film Festival

The documentary was funded by Network 10 and Screen Australia and released during Mardi Gras season this year.

And on Thursday, the Melbourne Queer Film Festival named it the festival’s Best Documentary for 2020.

Writer/director Matt Scholten said he was “humbled and delighted” by the honour.

“It was such an honour to tell the stories of Rodney Croome and Sam Watson and their family and friends,” he said.

“I’m grateful to them for appearing in the film and telling their stories about the ongoing transformation of Tasmania.

“At a time of such distress and darkness, this recognition for us all feels like the veritable pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”

Belonging was one of three films featuring regional LGBTIQ people funded by Network 10 and Screen Australia for Mardi Gras 2020.

You can stream the documentary on Network 10’s 10play here.

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