Arts & Entertainment

Coming Soon: The Flipside of Flamboyance

Barbara Karpinski and Johnnie Cass. Photo by Wade Laube.

The Flipside of Flamboyance is a defiantly queer film coming to a screen near you.

Developed by local independent filmmaker Barbara Karpinski, the documentary explores the reasons why the mental health of the GLBTIQ community is amongst the poorest in Australia.

This film celebrates the resilience of the people behind the GLBTIQ movement’s glamorous parades. The lives, loves and losses of a community long persecuted yet flamboyantly defiant. Karpinski is seeking to provide a deeper understanding of the concept that social justice could be the antidote to depression.

The documentary features a wide range interviews including transgender rights activist Norrie May-Welby, indigenous writer and Stonewall survivor Noel Tovey, pole dancer and human rights activist Zahra Stardust, creative entrepreneur Johnnie Cass, and a small group of 78ers including journalist Peter Murphy and Karpinski herself.

Karpinski spoke to City Hub about the motivation behind the film: “I wanted to present a picture of mental illness that looked at the political side, and wasn’t ‘well-meaning’ and made by people who have not lived it, like a lot of material on mental health.”

A self-described “insider” on mental health issues, Karpinski explained the process of making a documentary with subjects who are suffering from depression and anxiety as a challenging but rewarding experience, jokingly adding: “I think I prefer making films about children and animals, though last time I had a dog in a film it nearly electrocuted us by weeing on some power chords.”

The Flipside of Flamboyance needs some help to get off the ground, however. Karpinski is currently seeking to raise $20,000 to fund post-production, music and sound design.

To make a tax-deductible donation and to find out more about the film, go to and search ‘Flipside of Flamboyance’. (AM)

Preview of The Flipside of Flamboyance from barbarella karpinski on Vimeo.

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