GAZE International LGBT Film Festival Roundtable

From left to right Katie McNeice, Tom Speers, Maya Derrington, Gemma Creagh and Roisín Geraghty

In this podcast, we welcome three filmmakers whose works are screening at this year’s GAZE International LGBT Film Festival (1 – 5 August). Maya Derrington, Katie McNeice and Tom Speers join Gemma Creagh to talk about their films and filmmaking.

Plus festival director Roisín Geraghty pops in to give us a quick look at this year’s programme.

Frida Think (Maya Derrington)

A woman walks into a party dressed as Frida Kahlo, only to find that her version of unique has mass appeal.


In Orbit (Katie McNeice)

A hypnotic and beautiful love story between two women that crosses both time and space.


Boy Saint (Tom Speers)

A sumptuous short film of friendship and adoration between boys, based on a poem by Peter LaBerge.

The GAZE International LGBT Film Festival runs from 1 – 5 August 2019. 

The Irish Shorts programme screens at  6:30pm at the Light House cinema on Sunday, 4th August.

Full programme & tickets here.

 

 

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GAZE LGBT 2018 Film Festival Launches

The GAZE LGBT Film Festival announced an exciting line-up of Irish and international guest filmmakers taking part in the festival which runs from 2nd – 6th August 2018 at Light House Cinema, Smithfield. Filmmakers will be discussing their work and meeting audiences during Q&A’s after films that explore a diverse range of subjects and stories.

Major titles announced include Disobedience, which stars Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams.  A woman returns to her Orthodox Jewish community that shunned her for her attraction to a female childhood friend.  Once back, their passions reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality.  The film is directed by Sebastián Lelio (A Fantastic Woman).

Also confirmed to screen at the festival is The Miseducation of Cameron Post, starring Chloë Grace Moretz and Jennifer Ehle.  Based on the book of the same name by Emily M. Danforth, the film tells of Cameron Post, a 12 year old Montana girl, who is sent to a ‘de-gaying’ conversion camp after her parents die in a car crash and she is sent to live with her conservative aunt.  The film will also have a special screening at Pálás in Galway as part of GAZE on tour.

GAZE programmer Roisín Geraghty said “This year’s programme, while including something for all audiences, is also a reflection of what a year it has been for women – in portrayals on screen, behind the camera, and social shifts in the feminist movement.  We are also very proud of our Australian LGBT focus this year, a celebration of Australian LGBTQ+ society.  As always, we’re particularly excited by our selection of excellent short films too.  We really hope that audiences will come to support the festival and enjoy the selection of films and discussions on offer.”

The opening film on Thursday August 2nd is Riot, which celebrates LGBT trailblazers Down Under, telling the story of the roots of Mardi Gras and the start of the long road to their Yes vote for marriage equality.  The closing film of the festival is the inspirational story of Scott Jones, following the story of this young gay musician who was attacked and paralysed from the waist down.  It captures both the trauma and triumph of its character’s journey in a respectful, loving and nuanced way.

Screenings form a key part of the GAZE 2018 Film Festival programme, which will show the very best in contemporary LGBT films, but will also include discussions and special events including a special Queer Family Event on Saturday 4th August, which is tailored to appeal to all families.  This will include a special screening of Paranorman, and Drag Queen Story Time at The Gutter Bookshop in Temple Bar.

 

Full details of all the events are available atwww.gaze.ie , where tickets are also on sale.

The GAZE 2018 Film Festival takes place at Light House Cinema, Smithfield, from August 2nd – 6th 2018.

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GAZE Film Award Winners 2017

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GAZE International LGBT Film Festival has announced the winners of the GAZE Film Awards 2017, with Michael Moody Culpepper’s Three Friends picking up Best Irish Short.

The Audience Award and The Spirit of Gaze Award  went to the opening night documentary, Linda Cullen and Vanessa Gildea’s The 34th, telling the story of the campaign for a Yes vote in the Marriage Equality Referendum in 2015

Best International Short went to French director Céline Devaux’s Sunday Lunch, and Best Doc was won by David France’s The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson.


 

 



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Gaze Line-up

 

The GAZE LGBT Film Festival has announced an exciting line-up of Irish and international guest filmmakers taking part in the special 25th edition which runs 3rd-7th August 2017. Filmmakers will be discussing their work and meeting audiences during Q&As after films that explore a diverse range of subjects and stories all the way from the sun, skin and escape of a gay holiday cruise in Dreamboat to a couple’s hellish journey by boat through the Scottish Highlands in the thriller The Dark Mile.

Noel Sutton, Festival Director of GAZE said, “I’m thrilled to welcome such an exciting group of filmmakers from our anniversary programme. We have a 25-year history of bringing audiences and filmmakers together to discuss and reflect on LGBT film and culture both from Ireland and across the world and this year will be no exception. Appropriately our guests will be both looking back through our collective past in films like Queerama and Against the Law, while also reflecting modern gay life and storytelling in the two very different voyages of Dreamboat and The Dark Mile. Our retrospective screening of The Crying Game gives us a chance to reflect on the journey of Trans visibility in Ireland from one of perceived sensationalism to having some of the most progressive laws in Europe.”

Following up on her recent moving documentary exploration of her mother’s Irish birth family, After the Dance, director Daisy Asquith returns to Ireland for the Irish premiere of Queerama. A century of British gay experience is brought to life, selected from the extensive BFI Archive, from the first gay relationship on film in 1919 through to the sexual liberation of the 21st century queer and transgender scene.

German filmmaker Tristan Ferland Milewski brings us aboard a seven-day gay cruise with passengers from 89 nations soaking up the sun, sea and naked skin in his documentary Dreamboat. It’s a trip of liberation where day and night, time and space melt with the rhythm of party music but it’s also an inner odyssey, at odds with its shiny veneer, through internal boundaries and the intricacies of modern gay life.

Irish director Fergus O’Brien will be at the festival to discuss his powerful new docudrama Against the Law, marking 50 years since the decriminalisation of male homosexuality in the UK. Following the story of Peter Wildeblood (played by Daniel Mays), a journalist whose partner turned Queen’s Evidence against him in one of the most explosive trials of the 1950s but who emerged from prison determined to change the draconian laws against homosexuality.

A taut and terrifying psychological thriller, The Dark Mile, sees a London lesbian couple take a boat trip to reconnect after a personal tragedy. Their idyllic journey into the Scottish Highlands soon turns into a horrifying ordeal. Director Gary Love will take part in a Q&A to discuss this gripping original work and its clear nods to cinema masterpieces such as Deliverance and Rosemary’s Baby.

These guest events are just one part of GAZE 2017 Film Festival programme of the very best in contemporary LGBT films, discussions and retrospective screenings in a special programme that reflects the festival’s 25-year history of celebrating LGBT films and filmmakers. Full details of all the events are available at www.gaze.ie. Guests will also be in attendance for the festival’s Opening Night World Premiere of The 34th – The Story of Marriage Equality in Ireland with full details to be released soon.

 

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Irish Film Review @ GAZE: A Different Country

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Emily O’ Callaghan was at GAZE to see the world premiere of Edmund Lynch’s A Different Country, a film that began with the filming and recording of members of the LGBT community in Ireland. They, with true reflections, told their stories of Coming Out to claim full and equal rights as members of Irish society, when the result of the marriage equality referendum was announced in Dublin Castle on Saturday, 23rd May 2015.

 

In A Different Country, director Edmund Lynch has painstakingly pieced together an impressive catalogue of first-hand witness accounts to the LGBT struggle in Ireland.

This beautifully paced collection of interviews, images and historic newspaper archives brings to life the journey from lonely individuals searching for connections to the birth of underground clubs combined with personal coming out stories, fear and progression as this group navigated their place in society culminating with a massive victory in 2015 of recognised marriage equality, an astonishing accomplishment given how recently it was still illegal to be gay in Ireland, 1993 to be specific.

 

The struggle is not over for LGBT activists ,yet the intelligence, strength and compassion demonstrated in the interviewees shows just how light can overcome darkness, even in Catholic Ireland.

 

Lynch is to be congratulated for taking the audience’s hand and leading us through the story of the gay community in Ireland, putting a spotlight on the long-suffering Transgender community. This world premiere of the film had the audience on an emotional roller coaster from beginning to end, with many reminiscing about actual events they had lived through, enjoying the personal stories and empathising with the crippling hardships of attempting to be one’s private self in Ireland, publicly.

 

A Different Country screened on Friday 29th July as part of the 2016 GAZE International LGBT Film Festival 
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Irish Film Review @ GAZE: Viva

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Richard Drumm checks out Viva, which screened at this year’s GAZE International LGBT Film Festival

[Contains spoilers]

Written, directed and produced with Irish talent, Viva explores the Cuban drag scene and one struggling young performer in particular, Jesus (Héctor Medina), who goes on to become the titular Viva. Struggling to make ends meet with his occasional hair-dressing clients, and little to do day-to-day except give his friend use of his apartment so she and her boyfriend can have sex, Jesus gravitates more and more toward the local drag club and the dysfunctional family of sorts that it represents. Led by Mama (Luis Alberto García), who Jesus styles wigs for, the various acid-tongued drag queens show our protagonist a strength and confidence which he feels is lacking in his own life; surrounded as he is by aggressively macho bravado and the ghost of his father, Angel’s (Jorge Perugorría) own toxic masculinity. Thought to be in prison for killing a man, the famed local boxer (who walked out on Jesus and his mother when he was only a child) suddenly returns one day while Viva is performing. Disgusted at the effeminacy and what he perceives as his son’s weakness he drunkenly assaults him yet still insists on living with Jesus and controlling his life. Most drastically, he bans Jesus from returning to the club or ever performing again. As his father spirals further into drunken oblivion and Jesus is forced to turn to more drastic avenues to be able to feed himself and his father, tensions in the household rise.

Despite the setting, this still in many ways remains recognisably Irish. From the constant shots of rain-pelted grey buildings, to the local ‘auld-one’ Jesus visits regularly, not to mention the occasional colloquialism slipping into the subtitles (I’m convinced using the phrase “cleaning her box” as a way of describing gynaecological hygiene is a distinctly Irish one and would be curious to know if that particular subtitle is altered from country to country), the film still retains fragments of home. Indeed, as Mark O’Halloran confirmed in the post-screening Q&A, the story itself of a young gay man living in a nominally conservative society and trying to deal and reconcile with his estranged father could just as easily have been set here.

Speaking of that aforementioned colloquialism, it’s worth saying up front that (however that above synopsis makes the film sound) this is a very funny film. The majority of the humour, if not all of it, comes from the drag artists themselves; the dynamics of their interactions akin to that of a particularly vulgar and thunderously bitchy set of old housewives gossiping and passing judgement on all and any who dare enter their sphere of notice. It’s partially for this reason that the film really comes alive when it fully immerses itself in the drag scene and explores it in all its hazily-lit glory. This is especially true of the performances, a series of highly melodramatic lip-syncs (often with real tears), they make for not only an unassailable soundtrack but also visually engaging, fun and (when narratively appropriate) even dramatically satisfying set-pieces. Think the ‘Club Silencio’ scene from Mulholland Drive but with less emphasis on freaking you out and more on entertaining you.

Owing to the strength of that side of the film, it’s disappointing to report that the more conventionally dramatic side of the story fails to engage quite as well. Despite being the backbone of the film and handled better than it could be in similar films, the narrative with Angel can’t help but (literally, given the plot) close off the more vibrant and interesting club antics to us. It still deserves some praise; the un-remarkability of their troubled relationship is in many ways what makes it noteworthy. It feels real and messy and, despite how negatively it’s affecting Jesus’ life, it never becomes this all-consuming force of dramatic nature that drowns the story. It’s presented quite believably, as an obstacle, one he lives his life around and has to deal with day-to-day.

What truly lets it down is how formulaic both the ultimate resolution and the story beats it hits to get there, are. Spoilers ahoy but as the film goes on we learn Jesus’ father was let out of prison early owing to severe and untreatable cancer. From there you can guess exactly everything that happens, right up to him showing up at the club for Viva’s big show-stopping performance as she finally comes fully into her own, and him being proud of his son for it. It’s a pity as the film had toed a nice line at making their troubled dynamic true to life while also managing to make this drunken, abusive bigot seem partially sympathetic without letting you forget he’s an unrepentant asshole. That nuance is gradually eroded away as we move toward a resolution that never feels fully earned and could certainly have been more satisfying. That said, in keeping with the film’s strength, Viva’s final performance, fuelled by grief and anger is suitably enthralling.

In other areas the film fairs well. Having already mentioned the fantastic soundtrack, the actual score is less remarkable but has a nice, subtle, authentic feel to it that anchors the film’s setting without feeling intrusive or stereotypical. Visually too, the film is strong. One character remarks that where they’re living is “the most beautiful slum in the world” and it’s hard to argue the point given how the film photographs the urban landscape. Urban decay can often be aesthetically striking but even more so here where it’s being applied to the familiar architecture and faded splashes of colour that the Havanan landscape is recognisable for.

While the film may be less than stellar in its main dramatic thrust, that doesn’t detract from the stronger elements that make it well worth a watch. When it works, it’s a funny, occasionally sad, visually and aurally vibrant and bombastic affair with an acid tongue and genuinely funny albeit bleak sense of humour. Decidedly the best Irish feature you’re likely to see about Cuban drag queens in the immediate future.

 

Viva screened on Friday, 29th July  as part of the GAZE International LGBT Film Festival

Viva is released in Irish cinemas on 19th August.

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Irish Film Review @ GAZE: YesterGAZE

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Richard Drumm went along to YesterGAZE at this year’s GAZE International LGBT Film Festival. 

Nestled within the sleepy afternoon of Saturday at GAZE, YesterGAZE was nominally an exploration, for the year that’s in it, of queer (and to a lesser extent female) representation during and around the events of 1916. More of a presentation and discussion than a regular screening, it comprised of a (delightfully passive-aggressive) music video by Zrazy pointing out the erasure of the women of 1916, followed by a screening of ‘The Ghost of Roger Casement’, capped off by a brief vignette of David Norris discussing Casement before closing with a Q&A panel discussion about Casement and the themes brought up by the documentary.

It would seem redundant to review a television documentary from over a decade ago. Nonetheless, it is amusing to see a time-capsule of early noughties tech and editing styles (the quality of title cards and animations that major broadcasters got away with in the era immediately preceding the widespread availability of editing software on home PCs is quite bemusing), not to mention early noughties politics. Oh what a time, when a documentary could be shown featuring Bertie Ahern where not only was he not the focus of it but was even somewhat framed as a hero of the piece. What was particularly refreshing about the documentary was that (in keeping with what we saw in many of the celebrations this year), there’s precious little blind valorising of the Rising. It was a troubled, messy event that succeeded for a complicated, fractured series of reasons and Casement is presented with similar complexity.

Obviously, exclaiming that we’ve come a long way from one hundred years ago, in terms of how a figure like Casement being gay would be received, is a little quaint. However, seeing how controversial it still seemed to be in 2002 was more sobering. (An anecdote from the panel discussion of one woman who refused to believe Casement was a ‘pervert’ when the Black Diaries were authenticated demonstrates the difference we’ve seen in just fourteen years.) It nonetheless feels telling that a hundred years later we’re still discussing a figure like Casement predominantly in relation to his sexuality while his other activities and achievements get a tad side-lined. This was a man who made a valiant effort to draw attention to the horrors of Britain’s colonialism, who in the process realised the subjection of his own countrymen and turned, in the midst of WW1, to the German’s in an effort to help them break from British rule.

While it wasn’t necessarily the explicit goal of the presentation, nor did it make much of an appearance in the Q&A; the erasure of practically anyone who isn’t a white, cis, straight male from major events such as the Rising is an irritatingly common problem and one ripe for exploration, even amongst the LGBTQ+ community itself. Especially in light of the very justified backlash and discussion had around Roland Emmerich’s Stonewall in the very recent past, plagued as it was with justified accusations that it wilfully whitewashed its story and removed the many, significant people of colour and trans protesters.

As for David Norris’ brief appearance, it was exactly what you’d expect it to be; pompous, amusing and tinged with gleeful pride as he got to expound upon the virtues of a fellow gay intellectual. There was the bemusing sense that, as he looked directly into the camera and talked about what a handsome fellow, and how intelligent Casement was and we mustn’t forget what a handsome fellow he comes across as in photos; that maybe Norris is really talking about someone else…

YesterGAZE is a valuable addition to the overall festival, creating a brief dialogue about a particular subject which nicely breaks up the various big name films screening there. If you’re attending GAZE next year and happen to be around for this particular presentation, it’s certainly worth dropping by.

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GAZE Film Festival 2016

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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 DareKiki, 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.

www.gaze.ie

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GAZE Returns for Bank Holiday

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GAZE, Ireland’s international LGBT film festival, returns this August Bank Holiday Weekend from Thursday July 30th – to Monday August 3rd 2015.

The event, a highlight in the LGBT social calendar, takes place in the Light House Cinema, Smithfield, Dublin.

GAZE is 23 years old this year, and to celebrate, the festival offers no less than 19 different strands of filming:

RETRO, SPORTS, IRISH ,COMING OF AGE, GOLDEN GAZE, FAITH, RUSSIAN, LATINX, HOME TRUTHS, ROMANCE, COMEDY, REAL LIVES, MUSIC, MARRIAGE, DIY, HUMAN RIGHTS , NO BOUNDARIES (subtitled & deaf community)

 

Click here for the full schedule

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gaze on Tour & Call for Submissions

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GAZE International LGBT Film Festival Dublin, with the support of The Community Foundation Of Ireland, are collaborating with access>CINEMA to bring you the first phase of GAZE on Tour.
GAZE has collaborated with access>CINEMA and announced the beginning of the tour with The Case Against 8.
The Case Against 8 is an account of the epic five-year legal battle that overturned Proposition 8. Co-directors Cotner and White take us on a riveting, hold-your- breath, behind the scenes look at the historic Californian trial that overturned the controversial constitutional amendment. The story first made headlines with the unlikely pairing of Ted Olson and David Boies, political foes who last faced off as opposing attorneys in Bush v. Gore. The film also follows the plaintiffs, two gay couples who find their families at the centre of the same-sex marriage controversy. This extraordinary film provides fly-on-the-wall coverage of a trial the public was never allowed to see.

So far GAZE on Tour have 9 confirmed venues, with others still to be announced. Marriage Equality, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, and GLEN, the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, will host panel discussions to coincide with the screenings in selected venues. GAZE on Tour has been very successful for the last two years, but this will be the biggest project by far.

Playdate: 4 February
Venue: Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda, Co. Louth

Playdate: 16 February
Venue: Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, Co. Wicklow

Playdate: 18 February
Venue: Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

Playdate: 22 February
Venue: Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford City

Playdate: 4 March
Venue: Draíocht Arts Centre, Blanchardstown, Dublin

Playdate: 10 March
Venue: Cinemax, Bantry, Co Cork

Playdate: 18 March
Venue: Galway Film Society, Town Hall Theatre, Galway City

Playdate: 18 March
Venue: Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise, Co. Laois

Playdate: 15 April
Venue: 69 O Connell Street, Limerick City

* Check individual venues for times

 

 

In addition to Gaze on Tour, the festival has announced that submissions are now open for Irish and International shorts and features for GAZE 2015. The festival is particularly interested in nurturing homegrown LGBT filmmaking talent, so if you are currently in production, or have a completed film, GAZE would love to hear from you.

To submit your film, or for more information, contact roisin@gaze.ie.

 

 

Gaze International LGBT Film Festival will take place over the 2015 August Bank Holiday weekend, July 30th to August 3rd. The festival celebrates LGBT storytelling, with an exciting programme of film and events that will engage filmmakers and audiences in a vibrant social experience. For more information, visit www.gaze.ie.

 

 

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Call For: GAZE Festival Programmer

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Illustration: Adeline Pericart

Application Deadline 5pm, 15/12/14

GAZE are seeking to appoint a Festival Programmer to deliver the 23rd Annual GAZE International LGBT Film Festival 2015 on the August Bank Holiday weekend. The programmer curates the GAZE Festival and is responsible for conceiving, developing, budgeting, and implementing the artistic and programmatic focus of GAZE 2015 in consultation with the Festival Manager and GAZE Board of Directors.

 

Job Description

Start Date: TBD

Period of part-time, and period of full-time in the immediate lead up to the 2015 GAZE Film Festival.

Must be available for some evenings and weekends, particularly during the period immediately prior to and during the GAZE festival.

Remuneration negotiable & commensurate with experience.

Reporting to:

GAZE Ltd. Board of Directors in partnership with the GAZE Festival Manager.

Experience required:

Commitment to excellence in the arts and a passion for LGBT cinema as well as knowledge of LGBT history, culture, and diversity.

  • Direct experience programming and curating film events plus involvement and/or knowledge of distribution and festival programming is highly desirable.
  • Strong computer skills should include use of excel spread sheets, web-based databases and familiarity with online social networking tools
  • Demonstrated financial and logistical negotiation skills

Key Tasks:

Film Selection and Festival Programming

Responsible for programming and scheduling festival screenings and events in consultation with the Festival Manager and other stakeholders.

  • Selection of the GAZE Festival’s film programme: Obtaining screening copies of fims from the marketplace and via call-out. Where appropriate, involving consultation with selection committees, and also consideration of films that are solicited by the Festival Manager, and other key stakeholders.
  • Organising the screening schedule for the festival in consultation with the Festival Manager. Responsible for creation and maintenance of the programme grid and liaising with the venue managers and Festival Manager with regard to the schedule.
  • Devising, planning and realising festival events to run alongside and compliment the film programme e.g. Gala screenings, Filmmaker Q&A’s, Panel Discussions, etc.
  • Programming the festival requires excellent short- and long-term planning skills; proven ability to work both independently and as part of a team; and the ability to meet deadlines.

Screenings: The festival weekend

  • Working closely with the Festival Manager to ensure the smooth running of the festival weekend.
  • Liaising with venues and the Festival Manager regarding projection.
  • Responsible for liaising with venue staff and the Festival Manager regarding the technical production of screening sessions as well as Q&As’, master-classes etc.

Guests

  • Organising festival sessions and master-classes related to guest filmmakers, producers, distributors or cast at the festival in consultation with the Festival Manager. Programming all Q&A sessions at the festival and appointing minders to special guests.
  • Working alongside the Festival Manager on the invitations to filmmakers and international guests for the festival, and in concieving and preparing other events.
  • Liaising with cultural organisations and film councils to support visiting filmmakers including fundraising for such.
  • Responsible for ensuring the organisation of hospitality and guests liaison, including travel and hotel bookings for the festival, and other events.

Budgeting & funding

  • Researching funding opportunities related directly to the film programme and creating funding applications to relevant funding bodies.
  • Ensuring that expenditure in relation to the programme, and other events is within budget and for the financial administration of the programme, and other events.

Research

  • Responsible for liaising with other film festivals, distributors, broadcasters, film schools, film makers, the media, and others to solicit films for the festival’s programme, and other events.
  • Where possible attending national and international events, conferences, markets and festivals on the company’s behalf to research films and film makers and to promote the GAZE Film Festival, and other events.

Administration

  • Negotiating with filmmakers, distributors and sales agents for screening rights for films, negotiating hire fees where applicable, and issuing contracts. Actively negotiating for UK and Irish premieres for a large portion of the programme.
  • Ensuring the secure and punctual transport of prints for the festival, and returning said prints to their distributors where appropriate. Liaising with the Manager and Board regarding insurance for prints.
  • Delegating tasks to the Film Festival Intern who works on a voluntary basis to assist in delivering the film programme of the festival.
  • Engage other constituents – e.g. individual volunteers, committees, board of directors, Festival staff, arts and LGBT community – for advice and support.
  • Consulting with the communications sub-committee in archiving the programming materials after the festival, including press, promotion and other materials.
  • Formally monitoring and tracking the subsequent ticket sales of films programmed at the Festival.

Press & PR

  • In consultation with the Festival Manager ensure the provision of marketing and press information on the film, filmmakers, and sessions for the festival; for example, the soliciting and collation of press materials and copy, photographic prints, trailer prints, video clips, web clips.
  • Responsible for writing copy for selected film for the festival brochure and website and liaising with the brochure and website publishers.
  • Represent GAZE Film Festival Ltd. in outreach, publicity, fundraising events and solicitations.
  • Strong social media skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including public speaking

Applications with CV to – info@gaze.ie

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 5pm, 15/12/14

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GAZE: ’52 Tuesdays’ review

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Eileen Leahy checks out 52 Tuesdays, which screened at the GAZE International LGBT Film Festival.

The closing film of GAZE 2014 was the Australian drama 52 Tuesdays (Sophie Hyde, 2013), a coming-of-age story, filmed every Tuesday over a year. 16-year-old Billie’s close relationship with her mother is put to the test when she discovers her mum’s transgender identity and is asked to live with her father for a year while her mother undergoes gender reassignment treatment. Mother and daughter agree to meet every Tuesday, hence the central theme of the film which explores the changes Billie, played beautifully by Tilda Cobham-Hervey, undergoes in her own life, mirrored by her mother’s transition from female to male.

The gender-transition storyline is a useful lens through which to explore the separation of mother and daughter, bringing to the foreground that period in both parent and child’s life when the bond begins to stretch for each of them and thus paints a compelling portrait of mother(as well as daughter)hood. Billie’s mother, Jane, becomes James, but does not stop being Mum thanks to a powerful performance from Del Herbert-Jane, who manages to be utterly convincing as a male without sacrificing the believability of her deep maternal love for her child. And moving alongside this story, almost unnoticed, is a beautiful rendition of a daughter’s relationship to her father, in a perfectly understated performance by Beau Travis Williams playing Billie’s dad, Tom. The fact that Billie’s mother being a man takes nothing from her father’s masculine presence in her life, suggests that parental connections, rather than being based on gender, are, in fact, relationships built over years.

There is so much that is interesting in this film. Issues of representation, the relationship between filmmaker and subject, along with ideas of power and control, for example, are broached in the mirroring of James’ video diary of his transition by Billie’s video art project detailing her sexual experimentation with two friends, Jasmine (played by Imogen Archer) and Josh (played by Sam Alhuizen). The videos, in both hiding and revealing secrets, also manage to show the complex layering of intimacy and autonomy at the heart of this story, and serve as a means by which both mother and daughter learn the boundaries of their changing relationship to each other.

The film has picked up a number of awards, including at Sundance (for director), Berlin (best film) and Melbourne (audience award), and boasts a range of qualities that make it particularly interesting: the collaborative approach of its production, experimental techniques in its scripting and performance, its use of a non-professional cast and, as a first feature from director Sophie Hyde, new work from an emerging star. It is well worth watching beyond the confines of the LGBT circuit for its portrayal of complex family dynamics, its treatment of a variety of issues central to cinema and as a powerful work of cinema in itself.

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GAZE: ‘Tru Love’ review

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Eileen Leahy checks out Tru Love (Kate Johnson and Shauna MacDonald, 2014), which screened at the GAZE International LGBT Film Festival.

 

Beautifully shot by cinematographer Maya Bankovic, Tru Love creates a striking evocation of a wintery Toronto (for once not standing-in for elsewhere) that evokes something essential about winter in the city because it is not the typical Christmas in the city that we are used to. Deserted waterfronts, waves breaking up shards of ice, the particular stark white light reflected by snow and a grey-upon-grey colour palette, livened by touches of colour, are all used to striking effect. The winter setting also provides an interesting construction of the mainly female characters. Costumes cushion the female shape in deep furs and layers of thick padding, countering the usual cinematic focus on the female body. These images of fur and layers call to mind Garbo in Anna Karenina (Clarence Brown, 1935) and its sensual contrast between womanly fragility and a robust femininity, in the main provided here by the accomplished performance of Tru Love’s supporting actress Kate Trotter as Alice.

 

Unfortunately the film as a whole does not support the excellent visuals and fine performances, the plot meanders painfully and there is far too much exposition, someone should have reminded these directors of that worn-out dictum “show don’t tell” particularly in relation to the key message of the film: sex. Despite featuring a female Lothario, alongside a number of hot young sexual flings (who mostly looked remarkably similar, as though long black hair and pouting lips are the current defining hot lesbian characteristics) not to mention a delightfully flirtatious sixty-something, there is not one actual sex scene in the entire film. This lent a soap-opera quality as though the makers had to be mindful of a watershed.

 

While it is undoubtedly refreshing to see a narrative dealing with sexual awakening in an older woman and issues of inter-generational sex and desire, this film doesn’t really rise to the challenge. Too many clichés drown out the central idea of a late blossoming sexuality. For one, the trope of the bed-hopping, commitment-phobic lesbian who seems to have a spare key to the home of every one-night stand or casual hook-up she engaged with, yet the exchange of keys with her current casual dalliance is the one signal of the possibility of a more serious commitment. Yes, house-keys feature as a recurring cue, but such cues don’t work when they’re over-used and contradict each other. And Tru Love repeats many such slips, too many to mention. It’s a pity because the film does hold promise, but for a lesbian audience now used to the expert scripting, high production values and entertaining storylines of such television fare as the L Word or Orange is the New Black, the kind of messy, and frankly unconvincing, plotting that plagues Tru Love just won’t cut it anymore.

 

 

 

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GAZE Film Festival: Different from the Others

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Film festivals do two things: they showcase the newest feature films and they celebrate the best of past cinema. This year, GAZE featured a fascinating film from Weimar Germany, Different from the Others (1919, Richard Oswald). It tells the story of a violinist, Paul Körner, who falls in love with a young male student, Kurt Sivers, and then becomes the victim of blackmail.

 

Magnus Hirschfeld co-wrote and starred in the film, practically playing himself, a sexologist. Hirschfeld developed the “third sex” theory and was part of the early 20th century movement in northern Europe that sought a new understanding of homosexuality and campaigned for the removal of penal provisions such as Paragraph 175 of the German Penal Code. He participated in the production of many educational films that addressed issues such as venereal disease, abortion and prostitution. When the German Empire fell after the First World War, Hirschfeld worked with director Richard Oswald to create Different from the Others, to expose the provisions as a blackmailer’s charter, and to condemn homophobic society. It was a time of revolutionary hope and potential, soon quashed by the rise of Nazism.

 

Like many historical films, the primary interest and virtues of Different from the Others lie in the historical context in which the film existed. Vito Russo noted that Christopher Isherwood, whose stories form the basis of Cabaret, remembered attending screenings of the film that the Nazis broke up. In Vienna, a man fired a revolver into the audience, wounding several patrons.  The Nazis destroyed all prints of the film when they came to power. They then used the provisions of Paragraph 175 to imprison homosexuals, forcing them to wear a pink triangle (instead of a yellow star, the subject of the play and the film Bent). When the war ended, the gay men who survived the concentration camps remained imprisoned. Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman tell that story in their documentary Paragraph 175. The Nazis attempt to remove gay men from their society and to remove any record of anything that advocated tolerance or justice for them. So, Different from the Others remains as an important cultural and historical artefact that testifies to an early and important gay liberation movement.

 

The Filmmuseum München pieced together the film screened at GAZE from a print found in Ukraine during the 1970s. In this version, they fill gaps with intertitles and stills. What survives is a film that features static shots and theatrical staging that seem so outdated to (post)modern viewers. But the story is a powerful one, and it becomes more absorbing as it progresses. It features an early performance by Conrad Veidt, who plays Paul Körner, the lead character.  The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, filmed shortly afterwards, made Veidt a star. He became famous for his films with Valerie Hobson and as the evil Grand Vizier in The Thief of Baghdad. His character is the film’s tragic hero; the villain is not just the blackmailer, but, as Hirschfeld stresses, society’s injustices arising from a misplaced condemnation of homosexuals.

 

The Hirschfeld Centre, opened in 1979, was the first gay community centre in Dublin, honouring the importance of his work in pleading for justice and the repeal of oppressive laws. The laws that criminalised homosexual acts between men in Ireland were only abolished in 1993, a year before the final repeal of Paragraph 175. The story behind Different from the Others reminds us that we cannot be complacent with regard to freedom to create such works, particularly at a time when works that “promote” homosexuality have again become the subject of criminal sanctions in Russia and when the death penalty continues to be imposed in other countries as a punishment for homosexual acts. In Ireland, the Equal Status Act provisions exempt the teaching profession, and the fear of being outed and losing one’s employment and status remains all too real.

 

The Dublin Film Qlub presented the film with the assistance of the Goethe Institute. The Film Qlub organisers had previously run a season of silent films from the early 20th century, emphasising that Different from the Others represents a fascinating and insightful range of filmmaking that merits further critical and public attention.

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Interview: David Mullane, GAZE International LGBT Film Festival programmer

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GAZE International LGBT Film Festival 2013 (1 – 5 August, Light House Cinema, Dublin)

Brian Lloyd chats to festival programmer David Mullane about the GAZE International LGBT Film Festival, which kicks off tomorrow.

It seems shocking to think of it, but homosexuality in Ireland was decriminalised only twenty years ago. “The GAZE Film Festival’s been running for twenty-one years and this will be the twentieth anniversary of decriminalisation. The timing’s a little strange,” remarks David Mullane, the festival’s programmer. The festival – Ireland’s only LGBT film festival – runs from August 1st to August 5th at Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield, Dublin. The coincidence of the two events – twenty years of decriminilisation and the festival – doesn’t, however, mean the two are linked. “We do have a number of screenings about LGBT history, sure, but it’s not just documentaries or retrospectives about that, as well. That said, one of our big events is a free screening of The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name, the RTÉ documentary by Bill Hughes.” First broadcast in 2000 on RTE, the documentary follows the history of the Irish gay community from Oscar Wilde to decriminalisation. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion on the future of the LGBT community in Ireland, with some of the original contributors of the documentary taking part. The director of the documentary, Bill Hughes, will also present the screening as well.

“Every film in this festival could be about gay filmmakers but the topics could be about, say, milk pasteurisation or something like that. So, really, a gay film is one that’s going to entertain a gay audience. There are some films that are about gay people, but they’re not doing gay things necessarily.” David goes on to talk about The Man Behind The Throne, the story of choreographer Vincent Paterson and his work with some of the most famous music artists of the last thirty years. But do you necessarily have to be a member of the LGBT community to enjoy and attend the festival? “Definitely not,” David replies, firmly. “These film festivals started because there was a lack of representation for gay people on screen. So it was aimed at gay people. That’s getting better. It’s not perfect, but it’s getting there. In order to survive as a film festival, we need to appeal to everyone. We have Pussy Riot – that’s the Irish premiere of the documentary. That’s a pretty mainstream documentary that everyone can and should see.”

But now, society is slowly becoming more and more accepting of gay culture and society, is there still a need for film festivals that deal only in LGBT films and issues? “If films like these aren’t shown here, they probably won’t be seen anywhere else in Ireland and they’re worth seeing. Firstly for entertainment value because they’re great films. But secondly because they deal with LGBT issues. We’ve got documentaries from Cameroon and Jamaica, where there’s serious homophobic and human rights issues. We don’t see ourselves as a political event, we’re a LGBT social and cultural event.”

As mentioned, the festival runs from August 1st to August 5th, kicking off with the opening night gala premiere of Animals. David describes it as “Gus Van Sant mixing Donnie Darko and Seth McFarlane’s Ted“, and is David’s favourite film of the year with director Marcal Fores. James Franco’s controversial Interior. Leather Bar also will feature at the Festival, which David admits he isn’t sure if it’s a documentary or a film. Another highlight is Wonder Women that explores and traces the legacy of both Wonder Woman and other female characters in pop culture, comic books and science fiction films throughout the last century. The director Kristy Guevara-Flanagan will be in attendance, followed by a panel discussion led by Jim Carroll.

In all, the GAZE Film Festival promises to be an inspiring social event that truly deserves to go from strength to strength. Tickets and a full schedule are available at GAZE.ie.

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Launch GAZE at the Light House

 

The Lighthouse cinema hosted the launch of the programme for GAZE 20, Dublin’s 20th International LGBT Film Festival, which will take place in August (2nd to 6th).

Highlights include films from Iran, where the authorities banned Circumstance, in which a family comes to terms with their lesbian daughter.  Facing Mirrors is the first narrative film from Iran to feature a transgendered main character.

Buck Angel, the world’s first female-to-male transsexual porn star, will appear at the Light House to discuss his life story, his transition and his film Sexing the Transman.  His family hails from Ireland.

A compilation of shorts represents Irish film, and their makers will attend a Q&A, discussing what festival programmer David Mullane describes as ‘the pain and pleasures of making LGBT films in Ireland’.

Writer/actor Mark O’Halloran (Adam & Paul) will chair a panel discussing what constitutes a gay film.  Is it the content, the maker’s intention, the audience?

This year’s audiences will vote for the best film and best short film.  The festival’s board will choose the film that best represents the ‘Spirit of Gaze’, while a jury will choose the best documentary.

Free screenings include Weekend (2011, Andrew Haigh), “one of the best LGBT films of last year and ever,” says Mr Mullane, and The Outs, a web series, selected to demonstrate the evolution of film festivals into transmedia events.  Mr Mullane describes these screenings as a way of saying thanks to the festival’s audiences over the past 20 years.

The festival will make use of exhibition spaces in the Light House, with The Story of Gaze, which will feature archive material, and posters and stills taken by Irish photographers Colin Quinn and Oisín Share during the filming of Weekend.

All 33 screenings will take place at the Light House over the August bank holiday weekend.  Details of parties, other special guests, ticket prices and booking are all available on the website.

Denis Dermody, chair of the festival board; David Mullane, festival programmer; Noel Sutton; festival manager; and Conor Behan; festival intern

 John Moran

http://www.gaze.ie/

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Celebrating 20 Years of Ireland’s Premiere LGBT Film Festival

 

This August bank holiday weekend marks the 20th birthday of the GAZE Dublin International LGBT Film Festival, which is set to be bigger and better than ever. This year is an extra special year as the event takes a retrospective look at what has made the festival such a highlight in the LGBT social calendar, as well as bringing the most talked about and award winning new queer cinema from the far corners of the globe to the wonderful Light House Cinema.

 

The 20th edition programme will once again represent the huge range of diversity in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community internationally. From Thursday, August 2nd until Monday, August 6th the hottest new independent features, documentaries, shorts, award winners and experimental films in Irish and International film will be shown exclusively at the Light House cinema in Smithfield. Unmissable films include “All the Way Through Evening” from Rohan Spong and “Sexing The Transman” from Buck Angel.

 

Speaking on the announcement of this year’s festival, Noel Sutton, GAZE 2012 Festival Manager commented; ‘We couldn’t be more excited about the 20th GAZE festival. Like any arts festival, the experience doesn’t end with conclusion of a specific event. One of the key features of GAZE is the ability the festival has to create a social context for cinema lovers to mingle, discuss the programme, and generally have a good time in a great space that we have in the Light House Cinema. This year, celebrating our 20th year, we’re hoping to build on our reputation as a festival that is not only cerebral, creative and thought provoking, but also great fun.’

 

The Festival Club, where cinemagoers, guests, volunteers and organisers gather throughout the festival, is the heart of the social side of the festival. It’s here that a supplementary programme of events will take place, from DJs, birthday parties and music performances, and where attendees can unwind and have great fun.

 

‘I’m so excited by some of the amazing films that I have had the opportunity to programme. The diversity and quality will speak for itself when they hit the screen.

 

The programme is almost complete with just a few slots left to fill but already I’m so excited by some of the amazing films that have come across my desk. We put out an open call for submissions for both international and Irish LGBT film and the response was tremendous. It’s especially encouraging to have received so many Irish submissions. I can’t wait to share all the treasures and gems I’ve discovered with our GAZE audiences in August’ said David Mullane, Festival Programmer for GAZE 2012.

 

For further information on the 20th GAZE Dublin International LGBT Film Festival visit:

www.facebook.com/gazefilmfest

www.twitter.com/gazefilmfest

www.gaze.ie

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Call For: Submissions for GAZE Dublin International LGBT Film Festival

Illustration: Adeline Pericart

GAZE Dublin International LGBT Film Festival is now accepting submissions for its 2012 festival and are especially looking for new Irish LGBT film. This year, GAZE celebrates its twentieth anniversary and wants to feature Irish LGBT film as much as possible in this year’s programme.

Information on submissions can be found on out http://gaze.ie/getinvolved.aspx?contentid=82

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The All-Irish ‘Fur Coat & No Knickers’ debuts at GAZE

Fur Coat No Knickers

Máire Robinson talks to writer/director Paul Ward about his first feature Fur Coat & No Knickers, a romcom which puts the lives of gay characters centre stage and which will have its upcoming debut at GAZE, Dublin’s annual lesbian and gay film festival.

Over the years, Paul Ward has been a loyal attendee of Dublin’s GAZE film festival, an annual showcase of LGBT films. Despite enjoying the festival each year, he felt there was something missing. ‘There was never an Irish movie,’ says Paul, ‘With all the successful Irish writers, they wouldn’t dream of writing an Irish gay story. I thought, if they can make films in the Middle East, Europe, South America and, God knows, every other country going, why can’t we have one in Ireland?’

Deciding to take matters into his own hands, Paul wrote Fur Coat & No Knickers a romantic comedy set in Dublin’s theatre world. He wanted to write an Irish film where gay characters could take centre stage, and not be limited to supporting roles, ‘This is the first time it’s been all out, completely gay characters. Although we do have one token straight guy in it,’ he laughs. Paul has his own theories as to why it has taken so long for what is essentially Ireland’s first gay romantic comedy to be made. ‘People probably think that it’s hard enough to get a movie made, so they definitely won’t be given money to make a gay story. You have to be crazy like me! It’s the only way.’

Fur Coat & No Knickers is Paul’s first feature film as writer/director. He honed his craft by writing and directing several short films, starting back in the early ’90s, when cameras were less user-friendly. ‘I shot films with a camcorder – a big huge yoke and you’d traipse around with it. Then the cameras just got smaller and smaller. You can get brilliant equipment now, compared to those days, which makes it more democratic for everyone making films.’

Paul’s involvement in theatre helped to prepare him for his debut feature film. He set up his own theatre company, Misty Productions, and produced, directed and acted in several plays. ‘It was the best training ever for doing a low budget movie,’ he explains, ‘I was used to doing everything, so it made it easier.’ His background in theatre also provided writing material for Fur Coat & No Knickers. ‘A lot of it is based on carry-on we used to get up to in the theatre. In gay life, there are a lot of romantic stories and characters you meet – you wish you never did, in some cases.’

The film offers a glimpse into a Dublin not seen often on screen. Scenes shot on location in The Panti Bar and Outhouse lend an authenticity to the film, which Paul feels is important, ‘It rings true with the gay crowd. There are a few scenes that might be, “Oh my God!” but nothing embellished from what does goes on. It’s probably even tamed down, to tell you the truth. It might raise a few eyebrows, but that’s a good thing.’

The low budget film was shot in Dublin city over seventeen days. Despite operating on a deferred payment system, there was no problem finding willing cast and crew members. ‘When you treat people right and tell them up front what the story is, most people are happy with that,’ says Paul. The film has already caught the attention of several buyers, prior to its official premiere. ‘We have had some interest already from sales agents to get it sold in the different territories for DVD deals. We’ll try to get the best deal and get everyone paid.’

Paul Ward will be in attendance next week at the GAZE film festival, now in its 17th year. Fur Coat & No Knickers will have its world premiere at the festival, on the 1st of August at 6.30pm in the Light House cinema

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GAZE at the Light House Cinema

The 17th Annual Dublin Lesbian and Gay Film Festival will take place at the Smithfield venue for the first time this August Bank Holiday Weekend.

Dublin’s LGBT film festival returns this August Bank Holiday Weekend at the new venue with a wide and varied programme, screening something for everyone, regardless of their orientation, with plenty on offer from local talent to Hollywood stars, from dramas and comedies to documentaries and the ever-popular short film programmes.

This year’s opening film on Thursday, 30th July will be the European premiere of the critically acclaimed Grey Gardens, starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange, and co-written by festival guest Patricia Rozema. This multi-talented filmmaker is no stranger to Irish shores, having been one of the select directors chosen to translate one of Samuel Beckett’s works (Happy Days) into film for the Beckett on Film series. Rozema will also be present for a Q&A session after the screening of the original Grey Gardens documentary.

Other strands in the festival include numerous gala events, talks, audience participation and feedback opportunities, along with numerous social outlets, including after-screening discussions that will take place in the Light House café / bar, which will be open throughout the festival.

To view the GAZE line-up, please click here: http://www.gaze.ie/films.aspx

Tickets can be booked in person at Light House Cinema, online at www.lighthousecinema.ie, or by telephone on (01) 879 7601.

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GAZE Film Festival 2009

The 17th Annual Dublin Lesbian and Gay Film Festival is back this August Bank Holiday Weekend with premieres from homegrown talent and Hollywood stars, Q&A sessions and gala events. From 30th July–3rd August festival films will screen in the Light House Cinema, Smithfield.

Tickets go on sale at 2 pm on Wednesday 8th July and for the full programme, including the timetable, see www.gaze.ie

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