Queer films and television online
Exhausted Netflix and looking for more content for your lock down viewing pleasure? Perused our online gallery of Queer Algorithms and want to learn more?
We have made a selection of LGBTQI+ films and television series that are available to watch in full for free online (no monthly subscriptions necessary!) All of the below videos are made in New Zealand, exploring queer issues and icons from the 1960s up until last year.
Full length television series available on NZ On Screen
A list of queer New Zealand films would not be complete without this ground breaking documentary on iconic trans activist Carmen Rupe. Geoff Steven’s documentary traces Carmen’s life story and cultural impact. Born in Taukarunui in 1936, Carmen went on to be a dancer, brothel and cafe owner, and one of the first non-MPs to appear before the Privileges Committee. This documentary fuses contemporary footage of Carmen with extended fantasy sequences (that feature artist Mika Haka) to illustrate key moments from her past.
Loading Docs 2017 – He Kākano Ahau: From the Spaces in Between
Short web doco available on NZ On Screen
Every year pride parades celebrate LGBTQI culture and pride. But Wellington takatāpui activist, Kassie Hartendorp, feels alienated from the flamboyant festivity. “It’s glittery, it’s fun, it’s fabulous. It feels empty. I don’t really know what the point is sometimes, you know.” In this Loading Doc short documentary, Hartendorp talks about wanting pride celebrations to be more inclusive of takatāpui. She faces a dilemma when her takatāpui kapa haka group are invited to perform at the Wellington Pride Parade.
Full length television documentary available on NZ On Screen
This TV documentary sees director Peter Wells look at his life “through pansy-tinted glasses”. Motivated by the anniversary of his brother’s 1989 death from AIDS-related complications, Wells’ film charts his path to becoming a pioneering gay filmmaker and writer: from growing up fascinated by colour and the glamour of royalty in conservative Port Chevalier in the 1950s, to baking, and deciding to come out when he was drafted to fight in Vietnam. As befits an artist whose credits include Desperate Remedies, the treatment is distinctive: a mixture of documentary, (aptly) flowery home movie, and quiet reflection.
Life is Easy, 2019
Television series, available to watch on TVNZ OnDemand
This locally-made web series is more than your typical body-swap comedy. Millenial BFFs Jamie-Li and Curtis wake up in each other’s bodies and are forced to confront issues of race, sex and gender.
Pot Luck, 2015
Web series available to watch on NZ On Screen
Created by New Zealand Film & Television School tutor Ness Simons, Pot Luck became the country’s first lesbian web series. It follows three Wellington friends who get together every week for a shared dinner. The trio challenge each other to achieve the impossible — Mel (actor/director Nikki Si’ulepa) has to keep her promiscuous hands to herself until shy Debs (British actor Anji Kreft) finds romance, while Beth (Tess Jamieson-Karaha) needs to find the courage to tell her mother she’s gay.
Hudson and Halls – A Love Story
Television documentary available to watch on NZ On Screen
Peter Hudson and David Halls were the stars of their own cooking show on NZ telelvision from 1976 to 1986. The couple (“are we gay? Well we’re certainly merry”) turned cooking into comedy, and won Entertainer of the Year at the 1981 Feltex Awards. This 73-minute documentary explores their enduring relationship and tragic passing — from memorable early days entertaining dinner guests at home and running a shoe store, through to television fame in NZ and the UK. The interviews include close friends and many of those who worked with them in television.