Advance Diversity Services (ADS) has partnered with Queer Screen for the 2024 Mardi Gras Film Festival to offer a subsidised community screening of The Queen of My Dreams.

Described as a celebration of classic Bollywood cinema, The Queen of My Dreams is screening (subsidised offering at $10) at Event Cinema Hurstville on February 22 at 7pm as part of Queer Screen’s 31st Mardi Gras Film Festival (MGFF24).

The discounted $10 tickets for the Hurstville screening – which is also the film’s Australian premiere – can be booked here.

Azra (Amrit Kaur, pictured) arrives home, and it forces her mother to recall her own childhood and flash back to 1969 Pakistan – a golden era, since gone.

Amrit Kaur (The Sex Lives of College Girls) plays Azra, a Muslim teen living in Toronto. When her father, Hassan (Hamza Haq), suddenly dies, Azra grieves as she returns to Pakistan. She also finds herself on a Bollywood-inspired journey through memories, both real and imagined from her mother Mariam’s youth in Karachi to her own coming-of-age in rural Canada.

‘What’s lovely about The Queen of My Dreams is how it seamlessly weaves these two tales together, and how we learn mother and daughter may not be so different after all,’ said ADS Executive Officer Antoinette Chow.

‘The empathy the film shows for the elders in our lives, also makes it moving and unique.’

The Queen of My Dreams is Fawzia Mirza’s feature directorial debut, and she said she wanted the film to be vibrant and not bleak.

‘There are not enough stories about queer and South Asian Muslims,’ Mirza added. ‘There are just not enough stories of our vibrance, hope, possibility and potential.’

The Queen of My Dreams feature began as a short film more than a decade ago and progressed from there – probing, as Mirza said, ‘whether I could be queer and Muslim and still love Bollywood romance if I came out’.

The film was also awarded the 2023 Iris Prize – Winner Best Actress, Amrit Kaur (actress) – in the ‘Oscars’ of the LGBTQ+ short film world at Cannes.

Ms Chow said the film celebrates Bollywood and simultaneously explores how Azra and her mother Mariam (Nimra Bucha) revisit the past to try to breach the gap that has been keeping them apart.

‘We hope people in our community come to the subsidised screening of The Queen of My Dreams and find a heart-warming story they can connect with. We also want LGBTIQA+ people from CALD backgrounds in our area to know ADS is here for them, and that we are working hard to build a more supportive and inclusive CALD community in our region.’


Book your $10 ticket for The Queen of My Dreams screening at Hurstville cinema on February 22 from Queer Screen here.

Note: Content warning – contains suicide themes.

View the full MGFF24 program and book your other MGFF24 in-cinema and in-home tickets here.