Melbourne Documentary Film Festival

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Becoming Cherrie

About the film

Becoming Cherrie is a documentary about living with HIV in Northern Ireland.
The film tells the story of actor and performer Matthew Cavan, aka Belfast’s most-loved drag artists, Cherrie Ontop. Diagnosed HIV-positive aged 19, Matthew struggled to find acceptance in conservative Northern Irish society. Coming from a religious family, Matthew was kicked out of his church by the Minister, and having never met anybody else with HIV, felt so alone he tried to commit suicide. In a desperate attempt to escape his everyday reality and get back on stage, Matthew created his absolutely fabulous drag alter-ego Cherrie Ontop. A decade later, Cherrie is Belfast’s most-loved drag artist, and Matthew is a spokesperson for people living with HIV in Northern Ireland. However, as a result of being so open about his HIV status, Matthew has become a frequent target for homophobic trolling, threats and abuse.
Becoming Cherrie allows us inside the intimate process of transformation between Matthew and Cherrie. A portrait of resilience and reinvention, Matthew and his father Terry tell the story of the difficulties of living with HIV in the age of the DUP - set against the backdrop of the abuse Matthew has received; adapted into a terrifying stage performance!

Featuring the track Yummy Mummies & Boho Dummies by Diplomat M.

Runtime 11 mins 14 seconds
Premiere Melbourne Premiere

Director(s) Nicky Larkin

Venue Backlot Cinemas

Address 65 Haig St, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia

Date July 22, 2019

Time 8:45 pm

GenresLGBTIQ, Shorts, Masterclass

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Reasons to Submit

1

The Hottest Postcode

 Melbourne, Australia has consistently been voted one of the worlds happiest and most livable cities. Our competition represents a great opportunity and reason to visit Australia. This year we had 41 guests to our festival from overseas and across Australia. Which was a combination of the festival paying for the filmmakers to attend, filmmakers paying for themselves to attend, consulates, embassies and film commissions paying for filmmakers to attend and people crowd funding to attend. The festival is a great networking opportunity.

2

The Coolest Cinema

 Our documentary competition will be held at Cinema Nova, one of Australia's best cinemas. All feature, shorts, video essays and documentary web series in competition will be played in DCP on a 4k projector at 24 FPS in Dolby surround sound. The cinema's we will be utilizing for the competition will be 147 to 240 seat capacity. All Q&A's will be conducted by a Film Critics Circle of Australia or Australian Film Critics Association member. We even have curated cocktails at the cinema bar and unmissable parties and networking events.

3

The Toughest Competition
Go head-to-head in Melbourne, Australia and test your mettle with the worlds best, and most prestigious documentary film schools and film festivals like Tribecca, Sundance, Sydney Film Festival, TIFF, Venice Film Festival, American Documentary Film Festival, Raindance, Slamdance, Sheffield Doc Fest, Hot Docs, New Zealand International Film Festival, Traverse City Film Festival Doc NYC, SXSW, CPH:Dox, IDFA and many more. You're in it to win it.

4

Make it Australian

The Melbourne Documentary Film Festival is an encouraging and supportive platform for local filmmakers and commits to playing at least 40% Australian content in our 2020 fest to support the local industry. Screen Australia, Film Victoria, Create NSW, Screen West, Screen QLD, Screen NT, Screen Tasmania, Documentary Australia Foundation, AIDC, Goodpitch Australia productions are encouraged to apply. MDFF wants to have the very best Australian competition we can from local industry and indie talent. SBS, NITV and ABC productions are also eligible to apply to compete, provided that the production submitted contains new material and is effectively a directors cut.

5

A Fantastic Prize Pool

 Total prize pool for 2020 in cash and prizes will be over 10k. With one documentary session that will be used to raise money for a specific cause or charity TBD. As well as winning Melbourne's top honors.

Get in touch

info@mdff.org.au Melbourne Documentary Film Festival GBO Box 4007 Melbourne 3000