Macau to Host Its First International Queer Film Festival in February

To be held from February 3 to 12 at the Emperor Cinemas in Lisboeta Macau, the inaugural Macao International Queer Film Festival will screen 17 international and local films

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1:54 PM HKT, Thu January 19, 2023 1 mins read

Another film festival to look out for this year: The inaugural Macao International Queer Film Festival (MIQFF) will be held from February 3 to 12 at the Emperor Cinemas in Lisboeta Macau.

Themed ‘Let’s Get Beautiful Together Queen!’, which shares the acronym LGBTQ, the film festival will feature 17 films from around the globe.

The event will open with Pakistani filmmaker Saim Sadiq’s Joyland, a transgender love story that won the Queer Palm and Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.

The other films being screened during the festival are: Girl Picture, Little Girl, Sublet, The Blue Caftan, Will-o’-the-Wisp, 24, Have A Good Night, Moneyboys, Great Freedom, ​The Rocky Horror Picture Show, ​My Own Private Idaho, ​A Story About Two Volleyballs Falling in Love, Next Door, I’m Here, and Where the Luck Goes.

macao international queer film festival

Still from My Own Private Idaho

Among others, My Own Private Idaho (1991) is a cult classic written and directed by Gus Van Sant and starring River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves. It is regarded as a landmark film of New Queer Cinema, a 1990s movement in queer-themed independent filmmaking.

Loosely based on Shakespeare’s works, the film has won multiple awards, including Best Actor at the 1991 Venice Film Festival, Best Male Lead from the Independent Spirit Awards, and Best Actor from the National Society of Film Critics (all bestowed upon Phoenix, who tragically died two years after the film’s release).

MIQFF will also present a surprise film that organizers won’t reveal until a prescreening on January 20. The film will be screened again during the festival on February 8. According to the festival’s social media, the movie is a 2022 award-winning Chinese short film revolving around a queer person and their mother.

Speaking of the intention behind MIQFF, the organizers wrote on the event’s website that the festival aims to help connect society with film and end discrimination by creating greater understanding amongst the public.

“Queers have stories to tell, different ones. It [sic] needs to be told and heard. Stories help us to understand each other, and cinema visualizes stories,” reads the festival’s introduction.

The festival’s organizers express the same message through their visuals. Designed by local artist Jimi Vong, the event’s promo poster uses eye-catching colors to represent queer beauty.

Besides the film screenings, the folks behind MIQFF have also launched a podcast to discuss queer culture in-depth.

Tickets are available for sale here.

All images via Macao International Queer Film Festival

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