There’s a lot of Israeli at the 2017 MQFF

Desire Will Set You Free | Fri 17 Mar 10:15 PM | 92 mins | Germany | 2016 | Yony Leyser
Ezra (director Yony Leyser), an Israeli-Palestinian writer sunk deep into Berlin’s artistic underground, has a passing fascination with Russian hustler, Sasha (Tim Fabian Hoffman), while his acerbic friend Catherine (Chloe Griffin) attempts to sex her way free of her straight-edged girlfriend (Amber Benson, Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Like the city that provides its intoxicating setting, Desire Will Set You Free is packed with influences (from Isherwood to Bowie) and is under the influence. Tick off your Berlin scenester cameos: look out for performances from Nina Hagen, Peaches, Sookee, Blixa Bargeld and beefcake-electro oddities Rummelsnuff. English and German/Arabic/Hebrew with English subtitles.

Haircut | Sun 19 Mar 6:00 PM | 2 mins | Israel | 2015 | Amir Stolar
On the morning of his 29th’ birthday, Omer thinks back on his ex boyfriend Ori. This starts a journey of regrets and mixed emotions.

Barash | Mon 20 Mar 8:00 PM | 5 mins | Israel | 2015 | Michal Vinik
‘Israeli-Palestinian tensions deepen and complicate more familiar coming-out subject matter in Michawl Vinik’s vibrant debut’ – Variety

Seventeen year old Naama Barash enjoys alcohol, drugs and hanging out with her likeminded friends. When the suburban teen meets the cool, more experienced Dana they explore Tel Aviv’s nightlife and a hesitant relationship develops between them. Meanwhile Naama’s sister has gone missing from her post at a nearby military base, diverting her family’s attention away from the new developments in Naama’s life. Drawing favourable comparisons to Blue is the Warmest Colour, Barash is about the dizzy rush of first love, and an original, energetic drama that defies the stereotypes of life in Israel. Hebrew with English subtitles.

Who’s Gonna Love Me Now | Wed 22 Mar 6:15 PM | 85 mins | Israel | UK | 2016 | Tomer Heymann, Barak Heymann, Alexander Bodin Saphir
“Who’s gonna love me now?” These words, spoken by an ex lover, resonate with Saar, who is HIV positive. After being barred from his Israeli kibbutz years earlier, and with his Orthodox family still unable to accept his sexuality, Saar established a new life in London, where the London Gay Men’s Chorus have become an extended family. Featuring some stirring performances from the chorus, Who’s Gonna Love Me Now? is a deeply affecting, intimate portrait of a man trying to balance his yearning for home with his desire to live life on his own terms. English and Hebrew with English subtitles

Cut | Fri 24 Mar 10:00 PM | 3 mins | Israel | 2015 | Dar Laor
A quirky animation on the myths that surround what is normal and natural in the realms of gender and identity.

Fake It | Sun 26 Mar 3:30 PM | 23 mins | Israel | 2015 | Tzurit Hartzion
Zohar needs more photographs for her exhibition and asks her ex, Ella, to recreate things that happened before the breakup so that she can photograph them. Is it real or are they, faking it. Hebrew with English subtitles.

Melbourne Queer Film Festival 2013

Melbourne Queer Film Festival logoThe 2013 Melbourne Queer Film Festival runs from March 14 to 24 this year and has a large number of Jewish, Israeli and UK/Israeli offerings to select from.

Specific sessions to watch out for:

Make sure you book early to secure your seats.

Yossi’s Story, the sequel to Yossi & Jagger | JPost

 Blue and white on the silver screen | JPost.

What are Israel’s top directors up to? Eytan Fox is probably the next prominent Israeli who will release a film. He is busy editing Yossi’s Story, a sequel to his acclaimed 2002 film Yossi & Jagger, which tells the story of two gay soldiers in the IDF. Ohad Knoller reprises his role as Yossi. He will be joined by veteran actor Lior Ashkenazi (who starred in Fox’s Walk on Water) and rising star Oz Zehavi, who is best known for his part on the TV series Asfur and appeared in the film Infiltration. Orly Silbersatz co-stars as Jagger’s mother.