After 12 days of screening 120 queer films, and the mountains of popcorn that accompany such an event, the votes have been counted at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival and the winners announced.

Director Jonah Markowit'z Shelter won the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature. This is Shelter's 3rd top prize, winning Audience Awards in both Seattle and Tampa Gay & Lesbian Film Festivals.

Finding oneself and coming out issues are explored in the film. Zach is in a dead-end fry cook job when he meets Shaun. Despite being warned that Shaun is gay, Zach pursues a friendship. The pair bond while surfing the waves of Southern California and soon Zach starts to realize who he really is.

Shelter is set for a May 27th DVD release.

Director Peyman Khosravi risked it all when he fled to Canada from Iran to finish his controversial documentary I Know That I Am. The film brings to light human rights abuses suffered by transgender women at the hands of Iranian officials. According to Iranian law sexual “deviancy” is punishable by hanging.

What happens in the final hours before you say goodbye to someone you truly love? Director Sophie Hyde asks that question in her short film My Last Ten Hours With You. Hyde manages to capture moments of intimacy, anger, and pain as two men find themselves at the final moments of their affair. The short won the Audience Choice Award for Best Australian Short Film.

Portuguese filmaker Monica Pallazo won the Audience Choice Award for Best Short. In Pallazo's Pages Of A Girl (Paginas De Menina) Ingrid applies for a job at a bookstore in 1955 Portugal where she meets Sylvia. Ingrid's life opens new options as the women's intellectual friendship becomes emotional.

The science of love in a modern world sets the theme for Director Emily Brindal's Love Is Blue. The short won the Selector's Choice Award for Best Film in Celluloid Casserole. Angus signs up for a scientific study that promises to find him love. He begins to see love all around him, but things do not turn out quite as promised.

The Melbourne Queer Film Festival is the largest queer film festival in Australian, screening over 120 films in 2008.

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