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Entertainment, News, Tasmania

Tasmanian activists doco takes out Melbourne Queer Film Festival award

A short film about two leading Tasmanian LGBTIQ advocates has been named best documentary at this year’s Melbourne Queer Film Festival.

Belonging, written and directed by Matt Scholten, uses the stories of young activist Sam Watson and veteran advocate Rodney Croome to look at Tasmania’s transformation from the country’s worst LGBTIQ human rights to the best.

The film won the Shaun Miller Lawyers Best Documentary Award.

Belonging is a stand-out film on so many levels: the telling of the parallel stories of two generations of LGBTIQ activists in Tasmania, the history of LGBTIQ rights in Tasmania, and, above all, as a great shout-out for equality, inclusion, and belonging,” said a spokesperson for Shaun Miller Lawyers.

“⁠⁠As Sam Watson exclaims at the end of the film, everyone has a right to belong.

“In these troubled times, that applies now more than ever.”

The documentary was supported by the Out Here Initiative, which showcases the LGBTIQ experience in rural and regional communities.

Scholten said he was “humbled and delighted” that Belonging received the award.

“It was such an honour to be able to tell the stories of Rodney Croome and Sam Watson and their family and friends, and I am grateful to them for appearing in the film and telling their stories about the ongoing transformation of Tasmania,” he said.

“My heartfelt thanks to the creative and producing team who collaborated with me with such kindness, talent, and care, and to Screen Australia and Channel Ten for funding the Out Here Initiative, which also includes the beautiful work of filmmakers Luke Cornish on Alone Out Here and Cadance Bell on The Rainbow Passage.

“At a time of such distress and darkness, this recognition for us all feels like the veritable pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and encourages and fortifies my resolve to make more work for the screen.”

Along with other LGBTIQ films Alone Out Here and The Rainbow Passage, Belonging is streaming now on 10Play.

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