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Five Must-See Films at this Year's MIFF

By Beau
Beau is the founder of Apollo Social. He recently relocated to Melbourne with his husband and has begun a love affair with the city.
We’ve poured over this year's MIFF program and picked out 5 must-see films for queer men.

The Melbourne International Film Festival runs 4-21 August with a huge program of Australian and international films. The festival celebrates its 70th birthday this year and to put that into perspective, Cannes is only five years older at 75.

With 257 features, there is more than enough content to satisfy the biggest cinephile. Let's take a look at 5 standouts for a queer audience.

Check out the full program and buy tickets at

Of an Age

Reserved, Serbian-born Nikola gets a ride with his friend’s charming brother Adam in a journey across suburban Melbourne in a mission to help his friend Ebony. Along the way, the two young men feel a mutual spark and so begins a tender and touching romance. 

This is a standout film of the festival. In fact, it is the opening night feature and is played at all of the regional theatres. Director Goran Strolevski was named in Variety’s global ‘10 Directors to Watch for 2022’. 

Get your ticket for this quintessentially Melbourne queer, coming-of-age story today.

Of an Age plays 6-20 August at various theatres.

Head On

A re-release of the 1998 hit starring the hunky Alex Dimitriades as the son of Greek immigrants as he wrestles with his sexuality and discovers himself over a hedonistic 24 hours in Melbourne.

The film was controversial when it was released and is still eyebrow-raising 24 years later. 

It’s based on Christos Tsiolkas’s explosive 1995 debut novel, Loaded. Christos has gone on to more success with The Slap which won numerous awards and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award.

Head On plays Saturday 13 August at The Kino on Collins Street.

Homosexuality: A Film for Discussion

A documentary shot on super-8 on the streets of Melbourne in the early 1970s. The film consists of interviews with everyday Melburnians on their views on homosexuality at a time when acceptance still had a long way to go. The film gives insight into the struggle of same-sex attracted people in this era.

Homosexuality: A Film for Discussion plays Sunday 21 August at ACMI.


If you’re looking for something a little more fleshy, Lonesome could check all the boxes you're looking for. With fresh-faced actors and plenty of steamy action, Lonesome is a sexually-charged coming-of-age story that titillates as well as entertains.

Casey leaves his home town after being involved in a scandal and arrives in Sydney with no money, a cowboy hat and a Grindr account.  He searches for trysts and accommodation and in doing so connects with Tib who is battling his own demons. The two form a bond as they explore the hedonistic underbelly of the big city.

Lonesome plays Wednesday 10 August at Hoyts and Friday 12 August at The Kino.

The Lost City of Melbourne

Melbourne boomed in the late 1800s which left a legacy of grand Victorian architecture. By the 1950s, this had started going out of fashion so in the lead up to the 1956 Olympics,  historical buildings were demolished and replaced with gleaming modern skyscrapers. This documentary tells the story of several beautiful theatres that were knocked down in this pursuit of modernism. The documentary is a great piece of Melbourniana to indulge in. 

The Lost City of Melbourne plays 9-19 August at various theatres.

Other Queer Standouts

Will-o'-the-Wisp A Portuguese sci-fi musical in which a dying king recalls his youth as a volunteer firefighter.

Burning Days A state prosecutor arrives in a remote town in Turkey to stamp out corruption. He soon finds himself embroiled in a scandal and subjected to hostility and homophobia.

Close A childhood friendship between two 13-year-old boys is devastated by homophobia when friends start questioning their closeness.

Moonage Dream An unconventional documentary exploring the art and music of David Bowie.

Peter von Kant A tale of sadomasochistic queer male desire set in Colgne. 

Please Baby Please A kitsch, genderqueer quasi-musical exploring the concepts of self and sexuality.

The Blue Kaftan A Moroccan tailor with a terminally ill wife wrestles with his sexuality in this subtle and complex drama exploring unconventional relationships.

Joyland The son of a conservative Pakistani patriarch must decide between following his father’s expectations and his feelings for trans woman Biba who is the star of an erotic revue for which he is a backing dancer.