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Writer and trans rights activist Aoife Martin is an ardent film fan. She has written about trans representation on screen for CinÉireann magazine, recorded guest spots on the 250 Podcast and now will serve on the Jury for the 2020 edition of the GAZE LGBTQ+ Film Festival. Alongside writer Chandrika Narayanan-Mohan, performance artist Stephen Quinn and director Katie McNeice will be going through the selection of films on show during the festival, beginning today and running through to the 4th October, to select the GAZE Film Awards; picking out the Spirit of GAZE Award, Best International and Irish Shorts and Best Documentary to celebrate the best and brightest of Irish and international LGBTQ+ stories at GAZE 2020  

 

Ahead of the film festival, Film In Dublin spoke to Aoife about her Movie Memories, early favourites, the importance of telling trans stories on screen and the power of cinema to bring us closer together.  

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This year’s edition of the GAZE LGBTQ+ Film Festival is a prime example of the quick thinking and compromises that film programmers and festival organisers have had to make in 2020. Usually a fixture of the August Bank Holiday weekend, they waited their time and announced a fantastic programme for 30th September – 4th October. Unfortunately, plans to host live screenings as part of the festival were curtailed by COVID-19 lockdown measures that have been put in place for Dublin, as we’re sure you’re all too aware. The festival, however, soldiers on with aplomb. Aided by the IFI@Home online platform, the programme will proceed, with a great line-up of screenings and events to provide the festival experience. We’ve gone through the full schedule to pick out 5 things at GAZE 2020 you simply cannot miss.

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Director: Hong Khaou Starring: Henry Golding, Parker Sawyers, David Tran, Molly Harris Running Time: 85 minutes


When it comes to culture, identity and family, it’s a given that feelings are going to be complex, even contradictory. Add guilt and grief to the mix and you can get a potent stew of melancholia brewing – a recipe that director Hong Khaou knows very well, and well enough to show that there can be hopeful, joyful moments amongs the stinging pains and numb dejection.

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Culture Night is a big part of the September schedule every year in the fair city of film, and normally this time of year we’d be flicking through the calendar for any and every bit of film-related fun to give you all the heads up for the evening. Culture Night 2020 will be offering a combo of live and online events to spread the joy and try to keep everyone safe and we have a quick guide of the film-related stuff you need to know.

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Director: McG Starring: Judah Lewis, Emily Alyn Lind, Jenna Ortega Running Time: 101 minutes


Released on Netflix in 2017, The Babysitter was a good example of what the streaming platform hopes for with a large amount of their ‘original’ films; fun, watchable, kind of disposable, and with a simple hook to lure viewers in: a murderous babysitter and a crew of high school clichés going after the kid who idolises her for a satanic ritual. It was a winking bit of playtime with horror tropes that new what it was and didn’t overstay it’s welcome, but what kicked it up a notch from ‘grand’ to ‘oh that was actually pretty good’ was Samara Weaving in the titular role, elevating proceedings through sheer force of charisma as she went on to do in Ready or Not and looks set to do in a fruitful career in Hollywood.

This sequel sees the return of some of the kids from the first film, as young Cole Johnson, now in high school, grapples with the events of the original. He’s a pariah in school and his parents doubt his mental health, nobody believing his side of the story. Weaving, now in high demand, is a shadow that hangs over Killer Queen, and while the film carries the same spirit of its predecessor quite well, it also serves as a strong indicator of the Aussie’s talent: it’s quality compared the first one is more or less proportional to the extent of her absence.

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The latest exceptionally animated feature film from the folks at Cartoon Saloon is set to get an Irish cinema release ahead of it debuting on Apple’s streaming platform Apple TV+. Coming this October, Wolfwalkers looks set to delight viewers of all ages on the big screen in Ireland and the UK.

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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.

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The Dublin Underground Cinema Film Festival has long been a champion of emerging filmmakers in Ireland. Now in its 11th year, the Underground Cinema believes that no matter what a film’s budget or vision may be it’s the filmmakers passion that drives a film, and they’ve supported that passion through years of festivals. This month, the festival will be going all online for the first time.

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The current climate is one with a lot of uncertainty for us all, but it poses particular challenges for independent filmmakers. The already considerable difficulties of producing a film without grants or studio assistance takes on a whole new dimension when it comes to the new ground of actually getting your film released during increasingly long “strange times”.

One such film striving to get in front of audiences at this time if Irish indie feature Be Good or Be Gone. An entirely self-financed film from pre-production to post, this Dublin-set story is currently aiming for a theatrical release, and is set to screen soon for an Irish premiere at the Dublin Underground Film Festival.

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For years the Carlow Arts Festival has aimed to create a vibrant community in the Midlands fostering creativity, collaboration, innovation, participation, inclusion, diversity, and passion, but the Covid-19 Pandemic ensured that they were one of many endeavours in the arts who were forced to rethink their approach in 2020.

One of their efforts throughout the last month has been their Virtual Reality Cinema programme, which offered viewers the opportunity to replicate the experience of 360 degree filmmaking from the safety of their own home.

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