Sydney Queer Filmmaker Meet-up, News

Sydney Queer Filmmaker Meet-up

When and Where: 26 September, 11am – 1pm, Albion Place Hotel, Sydney FREE

Sydney Queer Filmmaker Meet-up is returning to the Queer Screen Film Fest, offering local and emerging creatives a chance to network and exchange ideas. Screen NSW caught up with festival programer James Woolley to find out what's in store for this year's meet-up. 

Can you tell us about the Filmmaker event, who is welcome, who comes, where is it held and what is the format for the day

Everyone is welcome. It does not matter whether you identify as LGBTIQ or not, or whether you are just getting started in the industry or an experienced veteran. We are hosting it in the middle of Queer Screen Film Fest, on Saturday 26 September at 11am in the Albion Hotel in the CBD. It is a great place to catch-up with lots of local filmmakers and hopefully get some projects off the ground.

Queer Screen will be launching entries for our My Queer Career competition at the event (final deadline is November 16, 2015). We award over $10,000 in cash and support to the winners of this comp, Australia’s largest for LGBTIQ films. We will also be launching entries to our film completion fund, a scheme to help filmmakers finish their film projects. Funding is hard to come by these days so we expect the response to be huge.

The event is about meeting like-minded filmmakers, so come along and find your next collaborator.


How did last years event go – any opportunities that came out of it?

Last year’s event was a great success. We had over 50 people in attendance and we welcomed director Daniel Ribeiro, whose film The Way He Looks had just won big at the Berlin Film Festival. It was nice to see many of the audience pull Daniel aside and ask for advice about all sorts of things, from production to sales agents. Some attendees were mid-way through big projects, like feature films or web series, and meeting other skilled people was really helpful for them.


How did the event start, how long has it been running and is it getting bigger?

While Queer Screen has held filmmaker events for 22 years, this is the second year we have used the more informal pub catch-up style, which we think really lets people relax and open up to each other. We hope to see the attendance increase and keep doing filmmaker events because we want more Aussie films to get made.

Over the last two years Queer Screen have really increased our level of investment into the local industry. Our short film competition keeps getting bigger and bigger, as does the prize money. We have opened a film completion fund, and we are screening more and more Australian films to very large and enthusiastic audiences.


What do you hope will come out of the event? 

I would love these filmmakers to pair up, enter our short film competition, or to get access to our film completion funds, and to use it as a stepping stone to big things.


Who is speaking at this year’s event and what are they speaking on?

I look forward to hearing Craig Boreham discuss his recently completed feature film Teenage Kicks, especially as his short film Drown was a winner at Mardi Gras Film Festival a few years beforehand. He is an amazing example of a local filmmaker who Queer Screen has been lucky to watch succeed over the years. I hope people corner him and ask him his secrets. 

Poppy Stockell, whose documentary Scrum is opening the Iris Prize in Wales and screened recently in Sheffield Doc/Fest, will be there to discuss how she made her film on Sydney’s gay rugby champions, The Convicts. When we screened this film in June it was a fantastic full house, and she will have the opportunity to answer more questions on the film’s creation.

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