For the past 24 years GAZE International LGBT Film Festival has been providing a platform for Irish and International LGBT cinema here in Dublin. The power of our LGBT Stories have never been so poignant as in recent times. GAZE 2016 marks the 24th year of Dublin’s International LGBT Film Festival which has gone from strength to strength. Taking place annually over the August Bank Holiday weekend in Light House Cinema Dublin, the festival offers an exciting array of a selection of films to suit a wide variety of audiences, with a choice of international titles and homegrown Irish films also being screened. From insightful and thought-provoking documentaries to classics to fun, off the wall films, GAZE has built an international reputation as one of the top LGBT film festivals in Europe. A staggering 1,000 submissions were received by the festival for the 2016 event.
As is standard practice at GAZE, Irish content stands proudly to the fore, and GAZE is a platform to provide visibility for Irish LGBT films and filmmakers. The 2016 Irish shorts programme builds on the outstanding standard of last year, and is proof of Irish LGBT stories on screen coming to fruition. The festival this year will also mark the historical significance of the 1916 centenary with the historical thread YesterGAZE focusing on Roger Casement, whose sexuality often makes him an unsung hero of the rebellion.
Viva, one of the biggest Irish films of the year, will screen at GAZE, as well as the world premiere of A Different Country by Edmund Lynch, which will serve as an important piece of posterity for Irish LGBT history in years to come.
Other highlights from the programme include Opening Film Strike a Pose featuring the male dancers from Madonna’s iconic Blond Ambition tour who reunite after 25 years to share stories; this will be accompanied by a special screening of Madonna: Truth or Dare. Kiki, an unofficial sequel to the influential 1990 film Paris is Burning, will have its first Dublin screening at the festival. Holding the Man, the film adaptation of the 1995 memoir by Timothy Conigrave, will screen at the 2016 festival, along with the acclaimed Uncle Howard, Aaron Brookners documentary profile of his uncle, a short-lived leader on the independent film scene in New York in the 1980s. There will also be a panel discussion on the state of LGBT Film Festivals called GAZE on the Fringe.
On the international front, there are a huge amount of delights crammed into the programme that are representative of the range of LGBT cinema being produced around the world. A focus on Queer Québécois Cinema at the 2016 festival materialised from a fruitful meeting with the executive and programming directors of IMAGE+NATION LGBT Film Festival Montréal, Charlie Boudreau and Katharine Setzer at BFI Flare in London. The festival will welcome them to GAZE, and to share Québec’s rich cinematic gems with the audience. Acclaimed filmmaker Xavier Dolan’s Heartbeats will screen as part of this strand, chosen as the perfect example of Quebecois LGBT cinema, the film is a beautiful ode to Montréal.
Michael Connell, Chairperson of GAZE noted that “GAZE is about LGBT visibility, advocacy, and remembrance. The programme invites us to look back
honestly, to look around us critically, and to look forward with intent. We are passionate about providing a platform for new and Irish LGBT film and filmmaking, and for facilitating access to LGBT film for those of limited means.”
He continued “Sincere appreciation and thanks also to our grant aiding bodies: Dublin City Council, The Arts Council, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, and the Communities Foundation for Ireland. I also wish to thank our programme sponsors, in-kind supporters and Friends of the Festival, whose investment and support enables the festival to flourish.”
The GAZE film festival runs from July 28th – August 1st at Light House Cinema, Dublin.