Geelong Pride Film Festival: The annual award-winning celebration of LGBTQIA+ cinema returns

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Geelong Pride Film Festival: The annual award-winning celebration of LGBTQIA+ cinema returns

Back bigger, better and prouder than ever, one of Australia's largest regional LGBTQIA+ film festivals, the Geelong Pride Film Festival, is returning to cinemas to showcase its largest program of LGBTQIA+ programming to date.  

Spread over two weeks from 20 – 30 April, the festival will present a series of cinema screenings at the Pivotonian Cinema, Village Cinemas Geelong and Platform Arts. The expansive program boasts over 50 short films and 10 feature films from around the globe, including a number of Australian premiere screenings. 

With an aim to bring more diversity to the region’s screens following a recent win at the Victorian Pride Awards (taking out Most Outstanding Contribution to the Arts) the Geelong Pride Film Festival has curated an impressively broad program this year, spotlighting several fantastic queer-proud movies that are confidently pushing their way out of genre-niche territory and commanding worldwide attention.

Stay up to date with what’s happening within the region’s art scene here

“We are celebrating diversity with this year’s program with the very best films from around the world and  Australian films that are winning acclaim internationally,” festival president, Stephen Ryan said. 

The program is jam-packed and presents a diverse range of stories, genres and LGBTQIA+ experiences.  

Here’s what you need to see at the Geelong Pride Film Festival: 

Best In Show (PG)

Fri 21 April, 8pm

Village Cinemas Geelong

Hailed by Rolling Stone as the greatest comedy of the 21st century, the GPFF brings Christopher Guest’s (Spinal Tap) 2000 cult classic mockumentary back to the cinema. Starring Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy (Schitt’s Creek), Jane Lynch, Parker Posey and a classic performance from Jennifer Coolidge, (White Lotus, Legally Blonde) Best In Show introduces the unforgettable and hilarious camp characters of the competitive and cut-throat world of dog shows. 

Esther Newton Made Me Gay (15+)

Sat 22 April, 5:30pm

Village Cinemas Geelong 

Directed by Jean Carlomusto, Esther Newton Made Me Gay explores the life and times of ground-breaking scholar and cultural anthropologist Esther Newton. Agility, persistence and passionate inquiry have driven Esther Newton’s survival as a butch lesbian, octogenarian athlete, and pioneering scholar whose life’s work has influenced generations of LGBTQ activists and researchers. This documentary tells her story of awakening to gay life in the 1950s, the women’s liberation movement and lesbian feminism, drag culture and forging a butch identity which for her is now in conversation with trans-masculinity.

Manscaping (15+)

Sun 23 April, 3pm

The Pivotonian Cinema 

Manscaping is an extraordinary documentary that provides an intimate glimpse into the lives and work of three queer men who are reimagining the traditional barbershop as a more inclusive space, styling new conceptions of masculinity along the way. From filmmaker Broderick Fox, the stories, artistry and activism of Black American visual artist Devan Shimoyama, Australian fetish barber/porn producer Richard Savvy, and transgender Canadian barber Jessie Anderson model ways we can cut through the toxicity of male fragility in favor of social inclusion and personal freedom.

In Her Words: 20th Century Lesbian Fiction (15+)

Fri 28 April, 8:30pm 

The Pivotonian Cinema 

In Her Words: 20th Century Lesbian Fiction documents the history and impact of lesbian fiction from the 1920s through the 1990s. Narrator Lillian Faderman recounts the impact key world events had on LGBTQ history throughout the decades. With remarkable archival footage and a host of interviews from numerous trailblazing lesbian authors, including Ann Bannon, Rita Mae Brown, Jewel Gomez and Sarah Waters, we learn how these world events helped shape their stories and their place in the world.

Will-o’-the-Wisp (18+)

Sun 30 April, 2pm 

The Pivotonian Cinema 

Described by attendees at Cannes as ‘berserk, irreverent and darkly humorous’, the surreal Portuguese musical comedy Will-o’-the-Wisp is a must-see at the festival. On his deathbed, his royal highness Alfredo, king without a crown, is taken back to distant youth memories and the time he dreamt of becoming a fireman. The encounter with instructor Afonso from the fire brigade, who teaches all there is to know, from holding a hose to mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, opens a new chapter in the life of the two young men immersed in love and desire, and the will to change the status quo.

This year GPFF is bookending the festival with its signature collections of Rainbow Shorts from around the world on opening night and finale of Happy Endings, featuring comedy short films and films with positive and uplifting outcomes for characters. 

Ran by a group of brilliant volunteers, the Geelong Pride Film Festival aims to contribute to the development of a thriving and vibrant community in Geelong for those who identify as LGBTQIA+. It’s also perfect for film lovers who are yearning to see a movie on a big screen in a room filled with fellow cinephiles, bringing people together to witness the latest and greatest in LGBTQIA+ in our local cinemas.

View the full program and purchase tickets at