NITV: Mardi Gras season

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Ahead of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras NITV has a slate of programming exploring the 2019 theme, ‘Fearless’, including an interview with Electric Fields band members Zaachariaha Fielding and Michael Ross.

These will screen from Sunday 24 February.

NITV’s Channel Manager, Tanya Orman said: “NITV is proud to tell these inspiring stories of LGBTIQ+ fearlessness from around the globe, with a unique Indigenous lens that you wouldn’t see anywhere else. The Mardi Gras season is a time for us to all come together and celebrate how far the LGBTIQ+ community has come in recent years, acknowledging its joyous resilience and commitment to fundamental rights, often in the face of adversity.”

Kicking off NITV’s Mardi Gras programming with a bang is Shade: Queens of NYC, an 11-part, half hour TV docu-series following eight rising drag stars from New York City as they try to make it big in the industry. The series goes beyond the makeup, lip-synching and glamour to show the queens juggling love, commitment, community, heartbreak, family and faith while on the brink of fame.

Airing from Sunday 24 February at 8pm, by the creators of Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce and RuPaul’s Drag Race, is Transcendent. The ground-breaking six-part docu-series follows a group of young, talented trans women who are navigating their professional, personal and romantic lives while performing at one of San Francisco’s most popular cabarets.

NITV’s flagship news and current affairs program, The Point will tell personal stories from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQ+ community on Wednesday 27 February at 8.30pm. Reporter Ella Archibald-Binge will hear from Electric Fields band members Zaachariaha Fielding and Michael Ross about how their journey of self-discovery has shaped their music. The show will also speak to a person facing the challenges associated with gender realignment surgery and cross live to Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival.

Stephen Oliver’s romantic ‘dramedy’ A Chance Affair will air on Sunday 3 March at 8.30pm, and has been described by producer Majhid Heath as ‘a gay Aboriginal love story that is camp but with a big heart’. The series is about a man named Chance, who is finally lucky in love after having his heart broken into a million pieces.

Following its premiere screening at Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival screening, Tongan feature documentary Leitis in Waiting will air on NITV on Monday 4 March at 8.30pm. The documentary is a raw yet tender portrait of Joey Mataele and the Tonga Leitis, an intrepid group of native transgender women fighting a rising tide of religious fundamentalism and intolerance in their South Pacific Kingdom. With unexpected humour and extraordinary access to the Kingdom’s royals and religious leaders, this emotional journey reveals what it means to be different in a society ruled by tradition, and what it takes to be accepted without forsaking culture and tradition.

Finally NITV’s documentary Black Divaz and critically acclaimed film Kiki will also air as part of the special programming slate. Black Divaz goes behind the scenes of the Miss First Nations Drag Queen pageant to introduce the fierce and sassy contestants and hear the stories behind their outrageous drag personas. Kiki follows the drag and voguing scene in New York, looking at the lives of LGBTIQ+ youth of colour at a time when Black Lives Matter and transgender rights are making front-page headlines.

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