Queer Film Festival

Partnering with Christchurch Heroes

Sunday 7 to Wednesday 10 March

We're delighted to partner with Christchurch Heroes to present our Queer Film Festival, which was cancelled last year due to Covid-19. 

Most of the screenings are unticketed and at Christchurch Art Gallery, our regular venue. We are also working with Alice Cinemas and Lumière Cinemas, who are hosting one screening each. Since they are smaller venues, tickets will have to be booked in advance for a $1.50 fee.

Otherwise, all six films are open to the public and free (koha), but please check the ratings guidelines before bringing under 13-year olds. 

See below for more information about each screening.


Sun 7 March 2pm

The Miseducation of Cameron Post 

Desiree Akhavan | 2018 | 90 mins | USA | M 

Christchurch Art Gallery

“Generously peppered with biting humour and warmed by a generous spirit that extends understanding, if not forgiveness, even to the religious zealot characters.”   Leslie Felperin, Hollywood Reporter


It’s 1993 in small town America and as Cameron (Chloë Grace Moretz) prepares for prom, Irma Thomas’ ‘Anyone Who Knows What Love Is’ plays over the proceedings. We can sense this is not going to end well. Before the night is over, she and her girlfriend Coley are caught getting hot and heavy in the back of a car by Cameron’s boyfriend. Just as quickly as passion flared, Cameron is whisked off to God’s Promise, a gay conversion camp in remote Montana.

Never resorting to shocking or confrontational scenes, director Desiree Akhavan keeps the darkness in her material always hovering just on the surface, blossoming with Julian Wass’ haunting music direction. While the leaders truly believe they are doing right by these young people, Cameron attempts to come to terms with her ‘sins’ before realising the truth of her situation… The Miseducation of Cameron Post is an ode to survival and finding your logical family.

Kailey Carruthers, NZIFF

View the trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toXBb638n2Y


Sun 7 March 8pm


Barry Jenkins | 2016 | 111 mins | USA | M  

Alice Cinemas, alice.co.nz

A coming-of-age story about a young man from a hardscrabble Miami neighbourhood, this kaleidoscopic gem focuses on three periods of its subject’s life, chaptered by the different names and identities he assumes, or is given – “Little”, “Chiron” and “Black”. Lending heartfelt voice to characters who have previously been silenced or side-lined, Moonlight is an astonishingly accomplished work – rich, sensuous and tactile, by turns heart-breaking and uplifting. The first time I saw it I swooned; the second time I cried like a baby. I can’t wait to see it again.

Mark Kermode, Observer


“Who is you, man?” Dramatic film has long been fascinated with issues of identity, but they’ve rarely been explored with the degree of eloquence and heart-breaking beauty as in Barry Jenkins’ masterful Moonlight, one of the essential American films of 2016. Moonlight is a film that is both lyrical and deeply grounded in its character work, a balancing act that’s breath-taking to behold. It is one of those rare pieces of filmmaking that stays completely focused on its characters while also feeling like it’s dealing with universal themes about identity, sexuality, family, and, most of all, masculinity. And yet it's never preachy or moralizing. It is a movie in which deep, complex themes are reflected through character first and foremost.

Brian Tallerico, Roger Ebert.com

View the trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NJj12tJzqc


Mon 8 March 7.30pm

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

John Cameron Mitchell | 2001 | 92 mins | USA | M   

Christchurch Art Gallery

“Naked exuberance is a sexy thing. Add music and it's irresistible.” Angus Wolfe Murray, Eye For Film


It tells the story of an East German boy named Hansel who grows up gay, falls in love with a U.S. master sergeant, and wants to go to America with him. The master sergeant explains that, as Hansel, that will be impossible, but if the lad undergoes a sex-change operation, they can get married and then the passport will be no problem ("To walk away, you gotta leave something behind"). Hansel becomes Hedwig (John Cameron Mitchell) in a botched operation that leaves a little too much behind (thus the title) and soon finds herself abandoned in a Kansas trailer park…


John Cameron Mitchell electrifies the movie, with a performance that isn't a satire of glam-rock performers so much as an authentic glam-rock performance. The movie may have had a limited budget, but the screen is usually filled with something sensational, including a trailer home that transforms itself in an instant into a stage…  Strange, how the movie seems to be loud, flashy and superficial, and yet gives a deeper dimension to its characters.

Roger Ebert

View the trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4p9mPhGo1j0


Tue 9 March 4pm

Entertaining Mr Sloane

Douglas Hickox | 1970 | 94 mins | UK | M   

Lumière Cinemas, lumierecinemas.co.nz

Between the first showing of Joe Orton's seminal play and the release of Douglas Hickox's film in 1970, the world changed dramatically - and not just in theatre. Sex between men over 21 was legalised in England and Wales (it would take another 13 years for Scotland to catch up) and the country had begun to talk about homosexuality and countenance it as part of life - it was still widely disdained but the old conspiracy of silence was broken. The fear which had controlled many LGBT people's lives was beginning to break down.


At its heart, the tale is a simple one and quite traditional in its mores: a young man does a bad thing and gets his comeuppance. That young man is the titular Mr Sloane, though we never know all the details of what he's done or, indeed, anything about his past before that. Stumbled upon in a graveyard by the primly lascivious Kath, he takes up residence as her lodger, only to discover that her short-sighted father may have witnessed him committing his crime. To complicate things further, he catches the eye of her brother Ed, who soon finds himself in a position to blackmail him. The balance of power shifts around between the three as the farce develops.


Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

View the trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0C7jgJnJfk


Wed 10 March 6.30pm

Leitis in Waiting

Hamer, Wilson, Wong-Kalu | 2018 | 72 mins | Tonga/USA | M   

Christchurch Art Gallery

Leitis In Waiting provides insight into the leiti community, Tongan society, the spread of American-funded missionary fundamentalism and the politics of resistance.

It has always been difficult to be different in a small community. Imagine, then, what it's like to be on the sharp end of prejudice in Tonga, which has a total population of just over 100,000 people. Go back a few hundred years, or even just a few decades, and Joey Mataele and her friends wouldn't have been seen as outsiders. Traditionally, trans women like them were accepted and had their own distinct role in Tongan society, but the arrival of evangelical Christianity has changed that, importing hostile attitudes and the violence that goes with them. This documentary, dedicated to a leiti who lost her life to that violence, looks at Joey's efforts to change people's thinking and to take care of other leitis in the meantime.


The film follows her as she arranges to hold a beauty pageant to give her fellow leitis more self-confidence and the chance to have some fun…   We spend a lot of time with a young leiti whom Joey has been looking after since she was rejected by her family, and her simple ambitions and gradual progress into independence as an adult provide emotional context for the rest. The beauty queen contestants may not fit the skinny, hi-glam norms of Western pageants but the sheer joy with which they prepare for the events makes them many times more charming. But will it go ahead in the face of religious opposition? This uncertainty provides tension to keep the narrative moving.


Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

View the trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiYTwx95L-c


Wed 10 March 8pm


Yann Gonzalez | 2018 | 102 mins | France/Mexico/Switzerland | R18    

Christchurch Art Gallery

“A giallo take on Phantom of the Paradise… This magical, erotic, disco-tinged horror-thriller is like cinematic candy.” Katie Walsh, LA Times


A third-rate porn producer’s most ambitious film yet may also be her most costly in this murderously kitschy homage to giallo, Grand Guignol and old school slasher movies.

Opening with an arresting murder scene in a Parisian gay bar, and from then on rarely letting up, this beautifully skeezy ode to the pre-AIDS lifestyle is a glorious evocation of pulpy whodunnits. Vanessa Paradis plays Anne, a boozy bisexual auteur of gay porn who has recently snapped ties with her editor and lover, Lois. In a bravura move only a fool in love would attempt, Anne decides to mount a project so enticing that Lois has no option other than to swallow her pride and return.


Knife+Heart exhibits a refreshingly playful and affectionate approach towards all its characters, no matter how slimy they come across. Meanwhile, as production on Anne’s magnum opus nears its climax, the performers start getting killed off, one by one. “Yesterday, we came. Tomorrow, we die,” espouses one prospective murder victim. Truer words were never spoken.

Ant Timpson, NZIFF

View the trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_CgQnqtxRQ