5 December 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network

Irish Film and Television Network




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GAZE International Film Festival announces a new programme for 2023
28 Jun 2023 : Luke Shanahan
Of An Age (Dir. Goran Stolevski)
The festival will take place this August Bank Holiday (3rd - 7th August) with a selection of European, Irish and International film premieres, with LGBTQIA films in new spaces, including the Stella Cinema, while continuing GAZE Online.

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ireland. GAZE International Film Festival strives to give a voice to LGBTQIA filmmakers here in Ireland, while inviting other creative voices from abroad too. To celebrate this year’s milestone the films in the new GAZE programme celebrate gay sexuality in many guises.

GAZE 2023 will feature 114 films from 25 countries, including a dozen Irish premieres, ten European premieres, six world premieres, and many other films making their Dublin and/or international cinema debut across a packed features and shorts programme. 

Trans filmmaking plays an essential part in the 2023 festival. GAZE 2023 will feature a host of trans shorts and features reflecting on community, identity, joy, fantasy and freedom

At BFI Flare, Festival Director Greg Thorpe experienced a documentary entitled Who I Am Not, which centres the experiences of three individuals who all identify as intersex. Inspired by activism surrounding the film, the festival is subtitled ‘LGBTQIA’ for the first time. Who I Am Not will screen at the festival, as will Irish short Lambing explores stories about intersex and asexual life and other less heard experiences.

The iconic artist David Hoyle will feature heavily in this year’s programme, including the premiere of HEDDA (After Ibsen), a film reimagining of the Ibsen classic, by director Jen Heyes. Both David and Jen will be in conversation with Festival Director, Greg Thorpe. David Hoyle’s live stage show The Ten Commandments will be performed at Project Arts Centre as part of GAZE.

This year GAZE has a musical bent to the programme with documentaries focusing on two gay bands, The Indigo Girls (It’s Only Life After All) and The Hidden Cameras (Music Is My Boyfriend). Inspired by these stories the GAZE programming team have themed festival shorts selections around gay dance tracks Smalltown Boys, Bad Romance, and Mighty Real. 

GAZE also welcomes a film selection from its Portuguese film counterparts at Queer Lisboa, who have sent the festival a selection of film shorts. GAZE is reviving a partnership with the Iris Prize, who present a collection of shorts this year, and will also join for a workshop aimed at anyone who wants to work with short films in their career.

Another new partnership, Red Umbrella Film Festival, offer shorts that focus on queer experiences of sex work. The festival’s programming partnership with aemi enters its fourth year sharing experimental short films.

“A wealth of LGBTQIA films on offer this year left us spoiled for choice,” said Festival Director Greg Thorpe. “Music, romance, sex, comedy, horror, documentary and incredible story-telling have all found their place in the programme. I am particularly excited for our programming partnerships with Iris Prize, Red Umbrella Film Festival, Queer Lisboa and aemi, and our special festival guest, David Hoyle, a living legend. Thirty years since decriminalisation is worth celebrating and seeing ourselves reflected back on screen is part of why GAZE exists. Join us in both celebrating progress and demanding change, together.”

Enda King, Executive Sponsor, Pride Network at Accenture in Ireland added: “We’re thrilled to be the lead sponsor of the GAZE International Film Festival for the 12th year running. This year’s programme is packed with inspiring, entertaining, and thought-provoking pieces from across the LGBTQIA community. At Accenture, we support our people to be their authentic selves at work every day and we’re proud to work alongside the team at GAZE to champion greater diversity of representation and shine a light on these incredible stories.”

In 2022, GAZE had to postpone the controversial movie People's Joker. Kept alive by word of mouth and secret screenings, the film is going ahead in this year’s festival programme. It is the debut of Emmy-nominated editor and jester Vera Drew, and features a mix of anti-comedy, animation and transsexual clowns, all made with the help of over 100 artists and with zero authorisation from DC Comics. The screening will be followed by an in-conversation event with its Director Vera Drew at the Light House cinema on Saturday 5 August.

The GAZE annual awards will take place at Light House cinema on Monday 7 August. Categories include Best Irish Short film, Best International Short, and Best Documentary. Winners will be announced live at the Closing Gala screening of coming of age Australian comedy drama Of An Age. This year’s jurors include Irish broadcaster Brendan Courtney, independent art curator, writer and maker Diana Bamimeke, researcher, writer and artist, Han Tiernan, and multimedia artist Austin Hearne.

GAZE International Film Festival is kindly sponsored by Accenture, funded by The Arts Council, Dublin City Council and is supported by venue partners Light House Cinema, the Irish Film Institute (IFI), and the Stella Cinema in conjunction with Press Up.

Tickets are available directly from screening venues Irish Film Institute, IFI@Home, or The Light House and The Stella cinemas. Tickets will be on sale from 21st  September.

For more information, click here.

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