TILDE Film Festival celebrates 10 years this May, with a bold program exploring trans collectivism

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TILDE Film Festival celebrates 10 years this May, with a bold program exploring trans collectivism

TILDE Film Festival
The Alexander Ball, credit: courtesy of the artist.
Words by Staff Writer


If you’ve ever wondered what that small, elegant symbol is called, it’s a tilde. It represents equivalency or similarity between two values and within the context of Melbourne’s beloved TILDE Film Festival, it represents the fact that we are all equal, and deserve to be celebrated and treated with respect.

TILDE Film Festival is celebrating 10 years of being at the forefront of social progress and equality in this city in May with one of its finest programs of films created and starring trans and gender-diverse people. The theme this year is trans collectivism and these films, each in their own way, celebrate the strength in collaboration and the importance of not being the singular trans voice at a table.

TILDE Film Festival

  • Melbourne’s Trans & Gender Diverse Film Festival
  • When: 3 May—5 May 2024
  • Venue: Footscray Community Arts

Find Melbourne’s latest film, TV, literature and gaming news here.

TILDE is a true community festival, started by a committed group of volunteers back in 2014 and hit hard by the Covid pandemic. It’s been a long journey to establish itself as one of the most important film festivals, in a state overflowing with superb celebrations of film, but TILDE has carved out a crucial niche and it’s fantastic to see it mark the 10 year milestone with such an interest array of films.

TILDE Film Festival takes it social responsibility seriously. In the wake of a devastating referrendum result for First Peoples sovreignty, TILDE is celebrating First Nations trans folk, brotherboys and sistergirls in its opening night of the festival on Friday May 3. Just one of the many films showing on opening night.

Likewise, as it looks towards the future, it never forgets the shoulders it stands upon. On Saturday May 4, Our Elders will be a highlight, showcasing Australasia’s earliest documentaries on trans lives including the Australian premiere of groundbreaking Aotearoa film Behind Me is Black, from 1999. 

Then on Sunday, Premiere Shorts come the front. One highlight will be the screening of acclaimed Austrian film, In their dreams all jellyfish are wet, in which a sauna experience merges into a fantastical dream scenario. 

The full TILDE Film Festival program

Friday 3 May

Opening Night — First Nations curated by Merryn Trescott & Jamie Connor

  • 6:30—10pm

Opening night of TILDE will bring First Nations trans folk, brotherboys and sistergirls together in celebration of our creativity, diversity of experience, and storytelling.

Saturday 4 May

Our Future — Screening & filmmaker in-conversation

  • 2—4pm

There is a wave of trans and gender expansive culture building strength. Featuring the world premiere of the delicately beautiful Black Trans Miracle by Tinaye Nyathi, with screenings and in-conversations with filmmakers Luka Gracie (More Than This), AP Pobjoy (Unerased), Jasper Caverly (HEDGEHOG).

Our Elders — Screening

  • 6—7:40pm


Celebrating our icons. Celebrating elders who ensured future spaces like TILDE. Through rarely seen experimental and archival hidden gems, we open up an opportunity for our elders to look at us, as much as we look at them.

Representing Takatāpui, activists and genderqueer life from the ‘70s, ‘80s and today. Starring Icons Carmen Rupe, Roberta Perkins and Jo Clifford. Do not miss Australia’s first documentary on trans lives.

GAY24 Presents TRANS DOMESTICITY — Screenings Guest Curated by Jini Maxwell & Samantha Eckhardt

  • 9—10:40pm

GAY24 are hosting the international premiere of Henry Hanson’s DOG MOVIE; a film about a tenderqueer couple whose eternal couch surfer who seems immune to their passive-aggressive insinuations that it might be time for her to find a new place.

Sunday 5 May

Premiere Shorts — Screening

  • 1—2:45pm

From the sublimely absurd Australian premiere of In their dreams all jellyfish are wet to the visionary mind of director Karimah Zakia Issa in Scaring Women At Night, when we disrupt the norms of filmmaking the results are exquisite!

AFTRS Presents Women on Set — Conversational Panel

  • 3:30—5pm

Consent educator, intimacy coordinator and performer Bayley Turner (Neighbours, Krystal Klairvoyant) sits down with leading actresses for a frank in-conversation about how we as a community can play a critical part in supporting trans women to thrive in the film industry.

Our Desires Lines: Community Night — Screening & Panel Discussion

  • 6—8:30pm

A cinematic pairing that provides refreshingly honest perspectives on sex and relationships through a trans masculine lens. It is a rare occurrence to feel seen and understood, hopeful and motivated, deeply grateful for and connected to community, whilst also entertained and aroused, all at once.

Find out more about TILDE Film Festival here.