Advance Diversity Services (ADS) has partnered with Queer Screen to offer a subsidised community screening of a tender coming-of-age tale at a local cinema next month.

The Australian premiere of The First Girl I Loved (喜歡妳是妳) is screening (subsidised offering at $10) at Event Cinema Hurstville on February 24 at 7pm as part of the 29th Mardi Gras Film Festival (MGFF), which runs from February 17 to March 3, 2022.

The First Girl I Loved explores friendship and first love between two young high school girls in Hong Kong who connect again when one is about to be married,’ says ADS Executive Officer Antoinette Chow. ‘It’s an intriguing plot, which looks at the joys and dilemmas of same-sex attraction, including family pressures and heartbreak.’

This is the second year ADS has partnered with Queer Screen to bring a relevant film to the local culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) populations it works with in St George.

‘ADS is an inclusive service,’ Ms Chow says, ‘and our partnership with Queer Screen offers us a creative way to raise awareness and also to show people who identify with a diverse gender and/or sexuality (LGBTIQA+) that we support them.’

The First Girl I Loved is the directorial debut of advertising director Ng Wing-shan and Yeung Chiu-hoi and is screened in Cantonese with English subtitles.

It tells the bittersweet story of teenage best friends Ming Lee (Hedwig Tam) Sylvia (Sz-Wing Yeung) who are both high-achieving students at a traditional Hong Kong girls’ school.

When Sylvia asks Ming Lee Wing Laam to be maid of honour at her wedding the women are thrown together and forced to ponder if the heated relationship they pursued as students was love or friendship? And what of their relationship now? What are they left with?

Hedwig Tam and Sz-Wing Yeung shine in this dreamy and dramatic romance, which is cited as a unique and affecting piece of Hong Kong cinema.

The $10 tickets are only available at the Hurstville screening and you can book them here.

MGFF22 is inviting people to ‘explore the queer frontier’ in cinemas across Sydney and homes and around Australia with over 110 LGBTIQ+ features, documentaries and shorts. ‘First Nations’ and ‘Rebels with a Cause’ films feature strongly in the program.

The First Girl I Loved is one of many great options for people to view during MGFF22,’ says Ms Chow.

‘This year, there’s also a significant festival strand that is all about queer rebels – artists, musicians and activists who’ve forged a path for rainbow communities by being brave, breaking new ground and living authentically.

‘We know the fight isn’t over – but we really want LGBTIQ+ people in our area to know ADS stands with them all the way in the battle to bring change, equality and freedom.

‘Yes! We’re with you.’


Note: COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place and patrons are encouraged to wear a mask.

Book your $10 ticket to The First Girl I Loved at Hurstville cinema from Queer Screen here.

View the full MGFF22 program and book your other MGFF22 in-cinema and in-home tickets here.

Hedwig Tam and Sz-Wing Yeung star in The First Girl I Loved – a dreamy Hong Kong romance, which screens in Cantonese with English subtitles at Event Cinema Hurstville on February 24.