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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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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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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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The IFI Documentary Festival is a staple of the programming of the Irish Film Institute, key to their remit to exhibit, preserve and educate. The full programme for the 2020 festival is now here as the IFI blends a mix of live screenings and programming on IFI@Home to deliver this year’s selection of interesting, engaging and informative documentaries.
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Following widespread confusion at the latest Covid-19 restrictions in the Republic of Ireland, the Department of the Taoiseach have stated as of this morning that “theatres (including cinemas)” are permitted to operate with 50 people without needing Govt approval. Clear as mud? With cinemas still operating, a campaign has launched in Ireland called #Lovecinema, a reminder to audiences of the wonder that film on the big screen has to offer.

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Getting to take part in an actual, factual film festival this month in the Galway Film Fleadh was a revitalising tonic in a difficult time. We can’t wait to attend cinemas again in person in the fair city of film and beyond, once it’s safe and secure for all staff and audiences to do so, but it was great to have a festival on demand to take in films from home and abroad and we’ve put together a little round up of some of the films we took in during the Fleadh.

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Directors: Maeve O’Boyle, Lucy Kennedy and Aideen Kane Running Time: 95 minutes
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The Galway Film Fleadh opened last night with the world premiere of Irish documentary The 8th. With subject matter so closely tied to the recent national psyche of the country, going as it does through the campaign to repeal the 8th Amendment which constitutionally banned abortion in the Republic, it can be difficult to assess Maeve O’Boyle, Lucy Kennedy and Aideen Kane’s documentary on it’s own merits. Functioning similarly Linda Cullen and Vanessa Gildea’s Marriage Referendum doc The 34th, the film plays out as a matter of historical record, but the filmmakers do allow the heavy emotions of the time their rightful place, elevating The 8th beyond the newsreel footage.

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