Director: SUE THOMSON
Producers: ADAM FARRINGTON-WILLIAMS , SUE THOMSON
Original Concept of The Coming Back Out Ball: ALL THE QUEENS MEN
Brisbane Queer Film Festival is a highlight of the Brisbane queer community calendar. Since the festivals’ first outing in the year 2000, at Brisbane Powerhouse, more than 60,000 film-lovers have immersed themselves in the BQFF experience. Becoming independent in 2017 under the direction of Shanon King and Justin Marshman, the festival celebrates its' 20th anniversary this year, which took place 7 - 17 March at New Farm Cinemas. Screening annually, there is still no better suburb to create this connection for the Brisbane queer community. Just as Brisbane Powerhouse did in the 90s/00s, New Farm Cinemas has a special history to Brisbane queer culture with the original site, the heritage listed The Village Twin, cited as a gay beat in 70s/80s Brisbane.
In 20 years we’ve come so far as many communities holding space for ourselves. It’s wonderful to see the rest of society slowly catching up - with more mainstream ways for us to see ourselves represented. With still so much more to be done, we are humbled to still be here and value the past 20 years of holding space that Brisbane Queer Film Festival has offered to the Brisbane queer community and hope you continue to see value in our visibility. We are here for the tender moments of reflection and representation.
CREATIVE STATEMENT FROM CREATORS OF THE MOVIE:
The Coming Back Out Ball Movie follows artist Tristan Meecham as he navigates homophobia and ignorance in order to stage a spectacular Ball to celebrate the sexual and gender identity of older LGBTI+ people. Tristan works to create a night that acknowledges and celebrates LGBTI+ elders who, he says, paved the way for him – a young gay man – to be out and proud. Over the course of this documentary, nine key characters open their hearts with raw honesty, generously sharing their painful and secretive pasts, looking back fifty years or more to a world far less accepting of LGBTI+ people.
Many of our cast have experienced social isolation. The CBOB (Coming Back Out Ball) project gave them new confidence, reasons to re-connect and vital opportunities to be accepted and respected. This shift was subtle; a coming together of disparate groups, of communities whose common ground was the shared experience of isolation and discrimination. Our film listens to elderly Australians, mostly in their seventies and eighties, who are now living their authentic life, who want to speak honestly and be heard.
Tristan battles through the judgements and doubts from stakeholders and even some of the LGBTI+ elders he’s working with, to remain focused on creating the Ball. He is determined to take over Melbourne’s largest civic space, the magnificent Melbourne Town Hall, to honour ‘his elders’.