Lisa Daniel has announced she will leave the Melbourne Queer Film Festival after 16 years as Festival Director.
Photo supplied by MQFF
Lisa Daniel has been the Festival Director of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) for 16 of the organisation’s 25 years. This week she announced that she would step down from the role after the 2015 festival has wrapped.
‘It’s been an absolute privilege to serve Melbourne’s film loving queer community all this time, and I’m so proud of what myself and our small team have been able to achieve over the years,’ Daniel said on Thursday.
‘The MQFF has grown enormously, from a small 30 session festival with virtually no profile outside of inner city Melbourne, to a 100 session multi-event festival that is extremely highly regarded the world over, and claims its place as one of the top five queer film festivals in the world.’
Daniel said she was particularly proud of helping bring the best in contemporary queer cinema to a range of locations across Australia during her time at the MQFF.
‘Apart from being able to deliver some amazing cinema to Melbourne audiences, I’m very chuffed that I also had a hand in starting the Brisbane Queer Film Festival, Bendigo Queer Film Festival, and have taken quality queer cinema to film starved locations like Far North Queensland, Darwin, Adelaide, Perth and Ballarat,’ she said.
The festival’s Co-Convenor Alice Murray paid tribute to Daniel, calling her ‘one of the world’s best queer film curators’.
‘The respect Lisa commands at overseas festivals is testament to her skill. Curating is a delicate balance between representing all audiences in the GLBTIQ spectrum while delivering a commercially successful program. We have been so fortunate to benefit from Lisa’s expertise and passion, but her humour and charm, particularly her now legendary Opening Night speeches [are] gold. Lisa is fiercely loved within our community and although we are sad, we understand her need to start another adventure,’ Murray said.
The MQFF is the largest film festival of its kind in Australia; the 2014 festival screened 162 titles from around the world, including a range of features, documentaries and more than 15 separate short film packages.
The MQFF Board will announce details of the recruitment process for Daniel’s replacement in the near future.
Daniel herself said: ‘I’ll miss the rough and tumble of the queer film fest world and the adrenalin of running a not-for-profit event on the smell of an oily rag, but mostly I’ll miss the people who have helped make it happen – the various Boards, staff, volunteers, audiences, filmmakers and financial supporters. I look forward to watching the continued growth of the MQFF from the back stalls of the cinema.’
Entries for the 2015 MQFF are now open. Films can be of any length and should be of interest to the gay, lesbian, transgendered, bisexual, queer or intersex communities. Submission details can be found on the festival website; entries close on 5 December 2014.
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