To celebrate the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, SBS is presenting a vibrant line-up of fresh LGBTQI content.
In the lead up to, and following the Mardi Gras Parade hosted by Magda Szubanski, Tom Ballard, Patrick Abboud and Faustina Agolley, SBS, SBS 2, NITV, subscription channel World Movies, SBS Radio and SBS Online join the fabulous and festive party that is Mardi Gras, in a truly platform event.
From Australian premiere drama series, world-class documentaries, the best queer films from around the globe, a Mardi Gras Online hub, dedicated radio station and a collection of insightful feature reports and stories, SBS will have you covered in this year’s Mardi Gras season.
For the first time on TV, the 4th season of the award-winning web-drama series Starting from… Now! will premiere on SBS 2 (Monday, 7 March at 9.15pm), after a successful 3 seasons online. Starting from… Now! explores the lives of four inner-Sydney lesbians as they struggle to work out who they are, find a place where they belong, and maybe even find someone to love along the way. Season 4 picks up three months after the end of Season 3 with each of the four lead characters having to deal with the repercussions of past events and the realisation that no amount of regret will get things back to the way they were. Catch up on all the previous seasons at SBS On Demand.
For the first time on Australian television, the controversial landmark documentary Gayby Baby will air on Sunday, 28 February at 8.30pm on SBS. Gayby Baby follows the story of four kids Gus, Ebony, Graham and Matt, all of whom are being raised by same-sex couples. The one-hour documentary is told from the kids’ perspective and explores what they think about growing up with same-sex parents.
SBS will screen two powerful documentaries which explore being transgender and what it means to be gay in today’s society. Growing Up Trans (Sunday, 6 March at 10.40pm on SBS) provides viewers with an intimate and eye-opening journey inside the struggles and choices facing transgender kids and their families. Do I Sound Gay? (Wednesday 9 March at 11pm on SBS) explores the notion of, is there such a thing as a “gay voice” and includes revealing interviews with Margaret Cho (Comedian), Tim Gunn (Project Runway), Don Lemon (CNN News Anchor), Dan Savage (Author), David Sedaris (Comedian) and George Takei (Star Trek).
SBS World News will feature special reports in the lead up to the Mardi Gras parade, focusing on issues that affect the LGBTQI community. SBS’s 6.30pm news service will also have a full wrap of the parade in the Sunday (6 March) bulletin.
Hosted by Walkey award-winning Jenny Brockie, SBS’s flagship news and current affairs program for debate and first person stories, Insight will air a special episode on Tuesday, 8 March at 8.30pm on SBS which discusses the topic of how it feels when the person you love decides to change gender. Insight looks at the unique and dramatic challenge of changing gender within a relationship and talk to people about being the partner, child or parent of someone who comes out as trans.
BEST IN FILM
World Movies brings you a marathon of films that celebrate the joys of queer sexuality featuring Australian premieres Holiday (2014, Ecuador), Xenia (2014, Greece), All About E (2015, Australia) plus The Duke Of Burgundy (2014, United Kingdom)
SBS will screen the much-loved and iconic Australian classic about two drag queens and their transsexual friend who travel across the Australian desert to perform their unique style of cabaret. The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert screens on Saturday, 5 March at 8.30pm on SBS.
SBS 2 kicked off its Mardi Gras season on Monday, 1 February, with special hosts Faustina Agolley and Patrick Abboud, already showcasing the film famously shot on an iPhone 5S, Tangerine (2013), French drama, Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013), Brazilian drama/romance, The Way He Looks (2014), and multi award-winning, Dallas Buyers Club (2013), all now available on SBS On Demand. The season will continue with its stellar line up including My Brother the Devil (2012), Gerontophilia (2013), 54: The Director's Cut (1998), Appropriate Behaviour (2014), Concussion (2013) and 52 Tuesdays (2014).
NITV celebrates Mardi Gras with a host of Indigenous themed programming recognising the LGBTQI community. Kicking off with award-wining documentary Kuma Hina (Tuesday, 1 March, 10.30pm on NITV) the month will also welcome the Australian premiere of the U.S. drama series, Noah’s Arc (Friday’s from 4 March, 9.30pm on NITV). The nine-part drama series follows the lives and loves of Noah, Chance, Alex and Ricky as they deal with boyfriends, the struggle to build careers, and the search for Mr Right. The series, which predominantly features gay Black and Latino characters, focuses on many socially relevant issues, including same sex dating, marriage and parenthood, HIV and AIDS awareness, promiscuity and homophobia.
Based on a true story of a young Hawaiian girl, A Place in the Middle (Friday 4 March, 8pm on NITV) is an educational documentary that encourages the discussion of values of diversity and inclusion and the power of knowing your heritage.
In another Australian TV premiere, NITV will also screen Laverne Cox presents the T Word on Tuesday 1 March at 9.30pm. Laverne Cox is a well-known actress, having rose to fame in the Netflix series, Orange is the New Black as trans woman, Sophia Burset, The one-hour powerful documentary hears from seven trans youth about what it means to them to be transgender – exploring intersections of identity and race through the eyes of youth with varying levels of support from their parents and peers. Documentary Sistagirls (Thursday 3 March, 9pm on NITV) defies stereotypes of what it means to be an indigenous Australian today – it tells the story of award-winning photographer Bindi Cole's confronting artistic journey to the far north of Australia to document the beautiful, little known, transgender 'Sistagirl' community of the remote Tiwi Islands.
SBS Radio 3 will join forces with Australia's only gay & lesbian radio station, JOY 94.9 for a Mardi Gras weekend simulcast on digital radio and digital television around Australia - including live coverage of the Mardi Gras parade.
The 2016 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras street parade will be streamed live online and worldwide, as it happens, on Saturday, 5 March at sbs.com.au/mardigras.
SBS Sexuality (which launched in November 2015) will continue to provide coverage on the issues affecting the LGBTIQ community in the lead-up to the parade broadcast.