US queer coming-of-age film Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe will make its Sydney premiere at the Mardi Gras Film Festival in a few weeks.
Queer Screen’s 31st Mardi Gras Film Festival comes to Sydney cinemas from February 15 to 29 during festival season. National audiences can also stream films at home from March 1 to 11.
On the MQFF lineup is the queer teen flick Aristotle and Dante, one for the Heartstopper fans. The story of friendship and self-discovery has scored glowing reviews from both critics and fans of the young adult novel on which its based, by gay author Benjamin Alire Saenz.
The boy-meets-boy tale follows two Mexican-American teenagers in El Paso, Texas in 1987. Aristotle and Dante cross paths at a public swimming pool one summer. The pair form an instant bond that changes troubled Ari’s isolated life.
The free-spirited Dante introduces Ari to “music, poetry, and lessons about the sky.” Ari lets his guard down and “explores a new, unusual friendship and the difficult road to self-discovery,” the synopsis states.
Aristotle and Dante screenwriter and director Aitch Alberto said she read the novel in one sitting almost ten years ago.
Crafting the film adaptation spanned a seven-year period that encompassed the trans filmmaker’s own gender transition journey.
“[The book] unlocked something in me that I won’t ever be able to explain. After reading the novel I was determined to tell this story at all costs,” she explained in a chat with GLAAD.
“I hope audiences are inspired to believe that magic is possible and lead with more empathy and compassion. But more importantly, to accept and love ourselves just as we are.
“This allows us to notice the love around us, and accept that love. It makes us capable of anything.”
Over 100 films at the 2024 Mardi Gras Film Festival
Queer Screen recently unveiled the 31st Mardi Gras Film Festival’s entire 2024 lineup of over 100 queer movies and shorts.
Check out all the films and book tickets at queerscreen.org.au.
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