A bold selection of the best and most diverse queer films from around Australia and the world will screen at the newly independent Brisbane Queer Film Festival.

New directors Shanon King and Justin Marshman have chosen a Brisbane Queer Film Festival (BQFF) program that embraces the full gamut of queer cinema, with films exploring gay, lesbian, bi, trans and gender diverse characters and issues.

“This year the festival celebrates its 18th birthday. Like all 18-year-olds, BQFF has moved out of its childhood home, Brisbane Powerhouse, and is now ready to party as an independent festival,” Marshman says.

“We are thrilled to lead this exciting new episode of Brisbane’s much loved queer arts festival.”

The program includes 16 features, two shorts sessions, five docos and a special binge screening of Brazil’s stylish four-part serial The Nest.

“It is very important for us that BQFF screen films that reflect modern queer life and contemporary forms of storytelling: from opening night’s dazzling NYC vogueing documentary KIKI, French Paris 05:59: Théo and Hugo and dark comedy Women Who Kill to the delightfully divisive Tomcat,” King says.

“We are really proud of the calibre, diversity and inclusiveness in this year’s program. We’re not the biggest queer festival in Australia, but our program features the best films chosen especially for Brisbane’s queers, allies and cinephiles.”

This will be the first year that the festival is recognised as a member of the Asia Pacific Queer Film Alliance, making BQFF a peer of major international events like the Shanghai PRIDE Film Festival, Tokyo International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and Seoul PRIDE Film Festival, as well as the Sydney Mardi Gras Film Festival and Melbourne Queer Film Festival.

The Brisbane Queer Film Festival will be held at New Farm Cinemas from Friday 10 March to Sunday 19 March. For more info and tickets, visit bqff.com.au.