NOTE: The article below references cinemas being open for the GAZE LGBT Film Festival as was the case at time of publication. Per Level 3 COVID-19 restrictions in Dublin announced on 18/09/20, cinemas are not permitted to open. The festival as described below remains available online via the IFI@Home online media player.
For nearly three decades, the GAZE LGBT Film Festival has brought the best of queer cinema to Dublin, a shared experience of access, advocacy and adulation, sharing great films from Ireland and abroad. Taking place this year from September 30th – October 4th, GAZE 2020 have announced their full programme, a mix of live cinema and online screenings that will open one of Ireland’s biggest film festivals up to a wider audience beyond the fair city of film.
The Light House Cinema and the IFI will be the live cinema venues for GAZE 2020, with streaming platform IFI@Home taking up the online section of the festival. Films that are only available on IFI@Home can be viewed at any time from the day they become live, but to bring the “Film Festival Experience” to attendees, the festival has included a ‘Suggested Viewing Time’ for each of the online films in their programme.
This year’s programming includes a special focus on German cinema. Celebrating the country’s impact on LGBTQ+ filmmaking throughout the history of the medium, GAZE 2020 with the support of Goethe-Institut Irland has picked out some less obvious but still excellent choices, both feature and short, to spotlight. As outlined in the festival programme;
The features each represent an aspect of German LGBTQ+ life andexperience. Cocoon is a beautiful and life-affirming coming of age story about one girl’s transformative summer, Taxi Zum Klo is a raucous and hilarious snapshot of West Berlin gay life in 1980 that feels shockingly current, and Closing Film No Hard Feelings explores life as a second generation German-Iranian and speaks very much to our time.
Opening the festival this year on 30th September at the IFI and online is the film Two Of Us, the story of Nina (Barbara Sukowa) and Madeleine (Martine Chevallier). The pair are neighbours, pensioners living across the hall from each other, with Nina being a passionate free spirit, and Madeline a widow with grown children, who too often treat her like she didn’t raise them from infancy. But how would her children react when she tells them that she and Nina have been together for the last ten years? When illness strikes Madeline, the need for the two to live truthfully becomes more necessary and more complex. A live Q&A with director Filippo Meneghetti will follow the screening, one of several throughout the festival.
The usual wide range of short programmes will take place throughout, with selections of mens, womens, trans and genderqueer shorts providing a welcome variety of queer perspectives, with an Irish shorts programme also included to sharing works from great local talents including Cara Holmes, Shaun O’Connor, Megan K. Fox and more.
As well as new films, the festival as ever provides a spotlight on the past. Frank Ripploh’s Taxi Zum Klo, a vibrant snapshot of West Berlin gay life in 1980 forms part of the festival’s German flavour. A rare screening of Cheryl Dunye’s The Watermelon Woman will take place on the 3rd of October, celebrating a landmark in LGBT Cinema history. Made in 1996, the film is a corrective, rebellious act in film history as the first feature film directed by a black lesbian.
The festival will close on the 4th of October with another German film, the exceptional No Hard Feelings. We loved Faraz Shariat’s film when we caught it at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh, and highly recommend that you check it out. Vital in many senses, it impressively balances young, dumb fun and touching romance with intelligent discussions of the immigrant experience, a film with a lot on its mind that still manages to be visually arresting.
There are plenty of exciting sounding events on schedule for GAZE 2020 also, to engage the wider community online. From festival standards like workshops to events like Drag Storytime and a special performance ‘Inside the Over-Actor’s Studio by SPICEBAG , there’s plenty going on beyond the great selection of cinema that GAZE has to offer this year. Make sure to flick through the full programme to pick out what you’re going to see this year, whether you’re staying at home or heading out to the cinemas.
Tickets for GAZE 2020 are available now from the Light House and IFI and a selection of passes are available. Prices break down as below:
Adult: €12 ex. booking fee
Unemployed/OAP/Student €10 ex.booking fee
Opening Night: €25 ex.booking fee
Closing Night : €18 ex. booking fee
Online Films: €6.99
Online 4 Film Pass: €24.99
Online 6 Film Pass: €36.99
Online All Films Pass: €99.9
Bespoke bundles curated by the festival programmers are also available. Check out the festival site for the full story.