The GAZE LGBT Film Festival has been highlighting LGBT cinema since 1992, building a reputation as one of the biggest LGBT events in the country. This August, the festival celebrates its 25th anniversary, with the 2017 edition announced on Thursday night at a launch party hosted by the festival’s lead sponsor Accenture, with special guests including director John Butler on hand to mark the occasion.
The GAZE LGBT Film Festival has announced details of the 25th edition of the programme at a lively programme launch party hosted by Lead Sponsor Accenture. The launch took place at The Dock, Accenture’s multi-disciplinary research and incubation hub at 7 Hanover Quay, in Dublin’s vibrant Grand Canal Dock. The anniversary programme was officially launched byHandsome Devil filmmaker John Butler, and featured a striking performance of ‘The Crying Game’ by musician Markus Feehily, highlighting the special retrospective screening of Neil Jordan’s classic film that will take place during the festival.
The festival will take place over the August Bank Holiday weekend at Light House Cinema in Dublin’s Smithfield, with the best in contemporary LGBT films, including work from Irish filmmakers. The Silver Anniversary programme also includes thought provoking documentaries, discussions and retrospective screenings, with something to appeal to all tastes, all taking place with the backdrop of a weekend of celebration to mark the festival passing such a huge milestone.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, GAZE Film Festival 2017 will celebrate Ireland’s LGBT journey over the past quarter century, and the role that storytelling has played in this historic narrative. Renowned as one of the top LGBT film festivals in Europe, this year’s programme features an exhilarating selection of films to suit a wide variety of audiences. The festival continues in 2017 with the valued support of Lead Sponsor, Accenture, whose ongoing commitment to the festival has helped it to go from strength to strength.
The festival will open with triumphant documentary The 34th, which tells the story of the driven and dedicated people who formed Marriage Equality in Ireland, and developed it into a highly effective grassroots force with one clear goal in mind – the extension of Civil Marriage to same sex couples.
In the wake of Brexit, a cornerstone of the programme is the British LGBT Film Focus, kindly supported by the British Council. With the aim of strengthening cultural ties with our closest neighbours, GAZE 2017 looks at how we can continue to develop artistic relations with the United Kingdom. Not only that, but it is very significant that while GAZE celebrates its 25thanniversary, the UK is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality. The British series includes; Young Soul Rebels and Queerama, which document British queer history, and films like The Book of Gabrielle and The Dark Mile, which reflect on contemporary LGBT life in the UK.
This year’s Saturday Night Centrepiece screening will showcase Tom of Finland, a timeless biopic of a world famous cult figure. Tom of Finland brings to screen the life and work of one of the most influential and celebrated figures of twentieth century gay culture.
The film chosen to close the special 25th anniversary of the festival is God’s Own Country, one of the most talked about and critically praised LGBT film titles of 2017. Captivating and broodingly beautiful, God’s Own Country is a thrillingly romantic story set in the heart of rural Yorkshire. Both poignant and moving, it is bracingly open-hearted, with a host of stunning standout performances, making it the must-see film of GAZE 2017.
Noel Sutton, Festival Director of GAZE noted that, “The whole GAZE team are extremely excited to celebrate our 25th festival and to continue to bring the best in LGBT cinema to audiences in Dublin. It’s such a remarkable honour to be Festival Director of this special festival, for this very special anniversary year. Without the help of our valuable supporters, including our Lead Sponsor Accenture who have been simply wonderful, we wouldn’t be able to bring such a wealth of choices to our enthusiastic audiences, many of whom travel from across the country and indeed internationally for the festival each year. We welcome all audiences to our festival to sample the eclectic programme, especially in this year when we’ll be reflecting on the journey of the LGBT community in Ireland and internationally, over the last 25 years.”
Dr Michelle Cullen, Head of Inclusion and Diversity at Accenture Ireland said, “We are incredibly proud to support the GAZE International LGBT Film Festival, now in our sixth year. Every day around the world, Accenture puts the power of diversity into action and the team at GAZE have been doing this for 25 years. Diversity makes us stronger and film is a powerful platform that connects people. The GAZE Film Festival provides this shared platform for people to watch films together to create awareness, insights, and empathy for changing attitudes in Ireland. We are delighted to support the LGBT community in telling these powerful stories through film.”
The GAZE Film Festival is kindly sponsored by Accenture, funded by Funding Partners The Arts Council of Ireland, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, and Dublin City Council, and is supported by Venue Partner Light House Cinema. Other additional partners also provide valuable support.
The GAZE 2017 Film Festival takes place at Light House Cinema, Smithfield, from August 3rd – 7th 2017.