One hundred and fifteen people attended the Australian premiere of Goodbye Mother on February 24 – a community screening Advance Diversity Services held with Queer Screen as part of the 28th Mardi Gras Film Festival (MGFF21).

‘It was a good roll-up’ said ADS CEO Antoinette Chow. ‘And the film, which tells the tender coming out story of Van (Lanh Thanh), was a soft entry point through which to raise awareness in the CALD community about LGBTIQA+ issues.’

The subsidised screening of Goodbye Mother (directed by Trịnh Đình Lê Minh) at Event Cinema Hurstville was in Vietnamese with English subtitles. The film won the Reeling Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival 2020 Best Narrative Feature Film and also the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2020 Audience Award.

A short version of ADS’s video Pride in My Faith, which offers candid testimony from three CALD LGBTIQA+ people of faith about how they bring their sexual diversity, faith and culture together, was shown prior to the feature.

Showbags handed to cinemagoers contained a link to the full length version of Pride in My Faith, information about ADS’s inclusive services and the latest Multicultural LGBT Support Directory.

Antoinette Chow and Cheryl Kavanagh Co-Chair of Queer Screen also spoke on the night –emphasising the benefits and success of the ADS-Queer Screen partnership.

‘We’re proud to have partnered with Queer Screen to encourage people in our communities to connect with narratives that will support them if they’re coming out and enhance their understanding if they’re unsure about the issues faced by LGBTIQ+ people,’ Ms Chow said.

‘What the film shows us, and what we know further from research, is that coming out can be painful, traumatic and even life threatening.

‘Our goal, therefore, must always be to bring the kind of change that creates more inclusive and supportive CALD families and communities and ensures people can express themselves freely and authentically without fear of rejection, hostility or persecution.’

Ms Chow thanked ADS, Queer Screen and Event Cinema Hurstville staff for their efforts in hosting and promoting the event and also recommended MGFF21’s online and on-demand screenings of other LGBTIQA+ films, which she said represented the best of international cinema.

Caption: ADS staff (from left) Salvin Kumar, Antoinette Chow, Magdaline Shenton-Kaleido, Anthony Scerri and Paul Kennedy from Queer Screen at the Australian launch of Goodbye Mother on February 24.

Credit: The Aperture Club