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The effects of Covid-19 continue to cause uncertainty and doubt in the film industry, with cinemas closed and the festivals that would normally be filling the calendar in the fair city of film either out the window or up in the air.

Thankfully the GAZE Film Festival along with the British Council Ireland are presenting some online screenings to keep us all going indoors as part of the #FiveFilms4Freedom Shorts Programme.

 

The world’s widest-reaching digital celebration of LGBTIQ+ themed film returns for 2020 and GAZE is helping to share a selection of films which are available for the world to watch online in the #FiveFilms4Freedom Shorts Programme for free, over an 11-day period each year.

 

From 18-29 March, Arts – British Council, in partnership with BFI Flare, have presented their sixth edition of #FiveFilmsForFreedom, the world’s widest-reaching online LGBTIQ+ film programme. Every year, they encourage people around the world to watch five films in solidarity with LGBTIQ+ communities in places where freedom and equal rights are limited. Since 2015, more than 14 million people in 200 countries and principalities have tuned in online, including many parts of the world where homosexuality is criminalised and, in some cases, punishable by the death penalty.

It’s as good a time as any to show a worthy cause some support, and it doesn’t hurt that an Irish film is among the offerings for 2020. Check out some info on the 2020 films below:

 

134 (Ireland)

Directed by Sarah-Jane Drummey

Jack prepares to take the stage at an Irish dancing competetion as family members come to terms with their feelings around their child’s gender identity.

 

After the Party (Brazil)

Directed by Caio Scot

“Why would he hide something like that from me?”

Leo struggles to approach his father after discovering a secret.

 

Pxssy Palace (UK)

Directed by Laura Kirwan-Ashman

“It is more than clubbing. It’s that sense of community where people actually care about each other.”

Writer-director Laura Kirwan-Ashman welcomes you into the world of Pxssy Palace, a London based QTIPOC (queer trans intersex people of colour) collective and club night.

 

Something in the Closet (UK)

Directed by Nosa Eke

” Maddie what about you, which boy do you like?”

This short film tells the story of a queer teenager struggling with her sexuality as her desires manifest their way from the depths of her eerie closet into reality.

 

When Pride Came to Town (Norway)

Directed by Julia Dahr and Julie Lunde Lillesæte

“Growing up gay in a small town wasn’t easy”

Bjørn-Tore left his rural hometown to escape the everyday homophobia he experienced growing up. Decades later he returns for Norway’s first-ever rural Pride celebration. Thrilled to see his neighbours hoisting a pride flag, he hopes that the turn out for Pride is higher than the numbers of anti-pride demonstrators from the local church group.

 

You can see Sarah-Jane Drummey speak about their film 134, an official selection at last year’s Cork Film Festival, here:

The films are already available to watch online here until the 29th.  Feel free to watch along on Twitter using #FiveFilmsForFreedom to help spread the word.

To reflect the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, GAZE has extended submission deadlines for the 2020 edition of their festival to April 24th (regular) and May 15th (late). Submissions can be made here. They’re still on to hold the 2020 festival from July 29th – August 3rd but until then you can enjoy a mini festival showcasing LGBTQI+ stories directly from your living room/office/bunker.

The short film In Orbit is dedicated to “the daoine who loved and those who couldn’t”. It’s a sci-fi story, or at least, a story rooted in a future looking back, that provides an insightful perspective on recent events in Ireland’s changing society and the impact that has on the people who live in it.In Orbit former optician Maura recounts her life story in an interview with the Head Archivist of the Human Experience Records, going over her memories as she meets Amy, a bright academic with broken glasses. For the first time in forty years, Maura wants to share her life. The only catch is leaving behind the world as she knows it.

Following on from In Orbit winning Best Irish Short at the GAZE LGBT Film Festival for 2019, Film In Dublin spoke to writer and director Katie McNeice about her process in making the film, its focus and more.

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As if the attractions at the GAZE LGBT Film Festival this or any year could be limited to a mere five standouts! Still, as one of the standout annual events in the fair city of film, both as a consistently excellent programme of cinema and as one the country’s biggest LGBT gatherings outside of Dublin Pride, GAZE generates considerable excitement every summer and it’s worth looking at why. The mood of film fans is buzzing nicely ahead of GAZE 2019’s Opening Gala taking place tonight, a sold-out screening at the Light House Cinema of the documentary Deep In Vogue. You can get an overview of this year’s programme here, but with so much to choose from in the five days of film ahead, we look at five reasons why you must get yourselves into the screens for GAZE 2019.

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This evening the GAZE Film Festival hosts a sold-out preview screening of Vita & Virginia, but last night saw one of Ireland’s premiere annual festivals launch their 27th programme. Another exceptional line-up of LGBTQ cinema comes to the fair city of film this August. Read more…

Kate Dolan is one of the fastest rising directors working in Ireland at the moment. The last year in particular has seen Kate’s 2017 horror short Catcalls feature at numerous festivals both at Ireland and abroad, including Women in Horror Month, Fantasia, GAZE, Frightfest and more. Kate has also contributed to the rising profile of Irish bands like Bitch Falcon and Pillow Queens through her music video, and is one of the filmmakers chosen by Screen Ireland to take part in their inaugural POV scheme, supporting the development and production of low-budget live action feature films from female Writers and Directors. Kate took a break from writing to talk with Film In Dublin, looking back at the last year and her work, and looking ahead at what’s to come.

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One of the highlights of the calendar every year in the fair city of film, the GAZE LGBT Film Festival is shaping up to have one of its most packed programmes yet. There’s loads to see and do during the festival, which takes place this year from the 2nd to the 6th of August, but we’ve picked out a couple of highlights for you to help you plan your own festival schedule. Narrowing it down to six picks was hard enough, considering how many intriguing screenings and events are taking place (we originally had five and just had to add more), but these are some of the most can’t miss moments during a great weekend to come.

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The GAZE LGBT Film Festival officially launched the programme for the 26th festival last night at an event hosted by lead sponsor, Accenture. A launch party attended by special guests took place at The Dock – Accenture’s hub at 7 Hanover Quay. The full festival programme, including feature films, shorts and workshops, is available now. One of the highlights of the calendar every year in the fair city of film, GAZE 2018 is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing editions of the festival yet.

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It was a happy Pride all round this weekend in the fair city of film, as the first announcements started coming in for GAZE 2018. Ireland’s top LGBT film festival were present in Smithfield at the weekend, giving Pride revellers a sneak peak at their programme for this year. They’ll be back in Smithfield for the August Bank Holiday weekend, and have now made the first of their announcements for screenings and advance ticket sales ahead of the GAZE 2018 official programme launch on July 10th.

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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.

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Director: Chloé Robichaud Starring: Sophie Desmarais, Jean-Sébastien Courchesne, Geneviève Boivin-Roussy Running Time: 94 minutes


The debut feature film of Quebecois writer-director Chloé Robichaud, Sarah Prefers To Run was screened at Cannes 2013 in the Un Certain Regard category, alongside the likes of The Bling RingFruitvale Station and The Missing Picture. Though she is a gay filmmaker, it goes without saying that Robichaud is not at all obligated to make her film strictly a gay romance. An important part of representation is showing diverse characters in stories that are not solely about what makes them ‘diverse’ and the subjects of this film are not defined by their sexual identity. However the ideal is still to have characters who are complex and engaging for reasons besides their sexuality and the problems of Sarah Prefers To Run mostly come from a reluctance to show anything about its protagonist that can’t be gathered from its title.

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