Trans Elder Colleen’s Powerful Story At 2019 Mardi Gras Film Festival

Becoming Colleen bqff
An 82-year-old transitions in 'Becoming Colleen'. Photo: Mardi Gras Film Festival

Queer Screen has announced the full lineup for this year’s Mardi Gras Film Festival 2019, featuring screenings of more than 100 shorts and feature films this Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras season.

Festival Director Lisa Rose said this year’s event is asking cinemagoers to “Embrace Your Story”.

“With this year’s program we are owning and exploring where we stand as individuals and as a community – both here and across the world,” she said.

“It’s so important for us to see our own story shared on screen and equally as important to explore and understand the stories of others.”

Powerful documentary Becoming Colleen honours transgender woman Colleen (pictured), who waited a lifetime to become who she was always meant to be.

At the age of 82, Colleen transitioned while living in an aged-care facility in Coffs Harbour and the film allows audiences to witness her journey.

A panel discussion on diversity in aged care will be held after the screening and will include transgender advocate and subject of multi award winning book The Trauma Cleaner Sandra Pankhurst.

The 2019 Mardi Gras Film Festival will open with the local premiere of Canadian feature film Giant Little Ones.

A coming-of-age film featuring Kyle MacLachlan and Maria Bello, it explores how 17-year-old Franky begins to question his sexuality after an incident at his birthday party.

Kenyan lesbian drama Rafiki will close the festival with its bold and powerful story about young lesbian love in a conservative society in Nairobi.

The film was the first Kenyan film selected for Cannes and was initially banned in its home country where homosexuality is still illegal.

Rose said twenty-two of the 2019 festival’s films show transgender, non binary or intersex characters and subjects, including in films like Zen In The Ice Rift, Sidney And Friends and Miss Rosewood.

“In this year’s LGBTIQ+ selection of films we are extremely excited to see the growing screen visibility of members of our community who are not always centre stage,” Rose said.

Likened to queer performance icons Divine and Leigh Bowery, Miss Rosewood beautifully captures the life and work of transgressive, transgender performance artist Rose Wood whose explicit work upends notions of the body, gender and ourselves.

The Mardi Gras Film Festival will screen in Sydney from February 13 to 28 before touring to Canberra, Parramatta, Lismore, Newcastle and the Blue Mountains in March and April. To find out more and book tickets, visit the website here.

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