Melbourne Queer Film Festival Presented by ACMI and MQFF

Criminalising Queer

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“According to the people in court, this is what gay people do”

About the panel

The case of the San Antonio Four explored in Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four is one of many crimes in which the sexuality of the accused (four queer Latina women), is used as damning evidence of their guilt.

This panel will draw on true crime documentaries including Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hoods, The Staircase and The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst to examine cases in which the (assumed) sexuality and personal proclivities of the accused created a fervor of queer panic in the eyes of the press and in turn the public.


Natasha Gadd is the Public Programs Manager at ACMI and an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Her documentary ‘Murundak: Songs of Freedom’ received the United Nations Association of Australia Media Peace Award and she is the recipient of an Australian Directors Guild Best Director award and multiple AACTA nominations. Before moving into film production, Natasha was the Director of ‘REAL: Life on Film’, a national documentary festival dedicated to promoting human rights and social justice through film.

Dr Lauren Rosewarne is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. She is the author of 8 books and currently teaches in the areas of political science and gender studies and writes, comments and speaks on a wide variety of topics including gender, sexuality and pop culture.

Catherine Dixon is the Executive Director at the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and has 19 years of legal, policy and advocacy experience specialising in the areas of equal opportunity and human rights. She has taken a leading role in the Commission’s recent work on LGBTI rights and equality law reform, including advancing marriage equality.