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October Events...

  • Africa in Motion Film Festival
  • Barcelona International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
  • Beijing Queer Film Festival
  • Brussels Lesbian and Gay Film Festival
  • Cambridge Film Festival
  • Canberra International Film Festival
  • Chicago International Film Festival
  • Cine Movilh
  • COLORS: Cinema + Diversidade
  • Filmfest homochrom
  • Filmový Festival Inakosti
  • Gender Bender
  • Hawaii International Film Festival
  • Hollywood Film Festival
  • Homotopia
  • Kansai Queer Film Festival
  • LesGaiCineMad
  • Mix Copenhagen
  • Morelia International Film Festival
  • NewFest
  • Pink Season
  • Queer Film Fest Weiterstadt
  • Rome Film Festival
  • Sardinia Queer Short Film Festival
  • St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF)
  • Taiwan International Queer Film Festival
  • The Springfield MA - LGBT Film Festival
  • tilde: Melbourne Trans & Gender Diverse Film Festival
  • Tokyo International Film Festival
  • Uppsala International Short Film Festival
  • Vermont International Film Festival
  • Viennale
  • Vinokino Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
  • Vox Feminae Festival
Gaze LGBT Film Festival

Gaze LGBT Film Festival

Thursday, 02 August 2018 until Monday, 06 August 2018

GAZE International LGBT Film Festival Dublin celebrates LGBT storytelling. Our exciting programme of films and events engages filmmakers and audiences in a vibrant social experience.

GAZE programmes thematically to explore the many facets of LGBT lives worldwide, expressly including films which deal with the difficulties facing our LGBT sisters and brothers around the world and at home.

Awards & Prizes

Spirit of GAZE Award
Audience Award
Best Documentary
Best Irish Short
Best International Short


 

2017 films...

The 34th

Country: Ireland  /  Year: 2017  /  Director: Linda Cullen & Vanessa Gildea

‘The 34th’ 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. Through revealing interviews and archive material, former board members and staff outline the strategising, fierce battles, sheer hard graft and personal cost of running such an all-consuming campaign.

From the KAL (Katherine Zappone & Ann Louise Gilligan) case to a YES vote on 22nd May 2015, this documentary spans a decade culminating in the 34th amendment to the Irish constitution, allowing same sex marriage.

AWOL

Form: Fiction  /  Country: USA  /  Year: 2016
Run time: 85 minutes  / Director: Deb Shoval

Building from her award-winning short, writer-director Deb Shoval’s debut feature is a clear-eyed love story told with an assured voice and impressive attention to details of a small town life.

Lola Kirke shines as Joey, an aimless young woman searching for a direction in her small town in rural Pennsylvania. A visit to an Army recruiting office appears to provide her a path but when she meets and falls in love with Rayna, a rough and tumble housewife neglected by her long-haul trucker husband. Soon that path diverges in ways that neither woman anticipated. As Joey falls deeper in love, she begins to lose sight of what’s most important to her while also becoming blind to the mistakes she is making.

Bolstered by two impressive lead performances and a strong supporting cast, AWOL is a beautiful romantic drama that is both tender and tough in equal measure.

OUT RUN

Form: Documentary  /  Country: USA / Philippines  / Year: 2016
Run time: 85 minutes  /  Directors: S. Leo Chiang & Johnny Symon

As leader of the world’s only LGBT political party, Bemz Benedito dreams of being the first transgender woman in the Philippine Congress. But in a predominantly Catholic nation, rallying for LGBT representation in the halls of Congress is not an easy feat. Bemz and her eclectic team of queer political warriors must rethink traditional campaign strategies to amass support from unlikely places.

Taking their equality campaign to small-town hair salons and regional beauty pageants, the activists mobilize working-class trans hairdressers and beauty queens to join the fight against their main political opponent and prove to the Filipino electorate that it’s time to take the rights of LGBT people seriously.  Culminating on election day, Out Run provides a unique look into the challenges LGBT people face as they transition into the mainstream and fight for dignity, legitimacy, and acceptance across the globe.

SIGNATURE MOVE

Form: Fiction  /  Country: USA  / Year: 2017
Run time: 82 minutes  /  Director: Jennifer Reeder

IRISH PREMIERE

Signature Move is a hilarious and heartfelt look at modern families and the complexities of love in its many forms. 

Zaynab is a thirty-something Pakistani, Muslim, lesbian lawyer living in Chicago who begins a new romance with Alma, a confident and vivacious Mexican-American woman. Zaynab’s recently widowed mother Parveen has moved in and spends her days watching Pakistani TV dramas while searching for a potential husband for her only daughter. Alma’s mother, Rosa, is a former professional Luchadora, which Zaynab finds fascinating, as she has recently taken up lucha-style wrestling training.

Exploring cultural and sexual conflict in a bold and refreshing manner, Signature Move is a comedy that celebrates the many faces of the United States, at a time when stories of diversity and acceptance are needed more than ever. It’s a wild, vibrant, and very American mix of cultures, generations, and wrestling.

THE FABULOUS ALLAN CARR

Form: Documentary  /  Country: USA  / Year: 2017
Run time: 90 minutes  /  Director: Jeffrey Schwarz

IRISH PREMIERE

From veteran GAZE visitor and favourite Jeffrey Schwarz (Vito, I am Divine, Tab Hunter Confidential) comes another fascinating portrait of an LGBT Icon: The Fabulous Allan Carr. 

A larger-than-life figure of 1970’s and 1980’s Hollywood, Allan Carr began his career with dreams of recapturing the magic of the classical movie era. A producer, manager, and marketing genius, he built his bombastic reputation amid a series of successes including the mega hit musical film Grease, not to mention his infamous Benedict Canyon parties, which defined Hollywood in the 1970’s.

Alas, as with most Hollywood fairytales, Allan Carr’s star began to slide in the 1980’s, with a series of disastrous movie, musical and career flops, culminating in the notorious debacle of the 1989 Academy Awards, which he produced. 

A tale of glamour, talent, and the glorious triumph of the underdog, this insightful biopic records the life and work of one of Hollywood’s most fabulous moguls.

DREAM BOAT

Form: Documentary  /  Country: Germany  / Year: 2017
Run time: 90 minutes  /  Director: Tristan Ferland Milewski

IRISH PREMIERE | FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE

They come from 89 nations to float on a cruise ship and soak up the sun, sea and naked skin. The countdown is on for seven days of hunting for love, happiness and eternal youth: the promise of the Dream Boat for gay men. 

For these men the trip on the Dream Boat is a liberation from political, social, or internal boundaries. Day and night, time and space melt with the rhythm of party music. In the floating state of this dreamy journey, the protagonists are confronted with their own reality. 

Dream Boat follows men from Poland, Palestine, India, France and Austria, as they navigate this gay man’s paradise, while confronting issues within themselves. Basic themes of their lives shine through the seemingly paradisical surface, including questions of old age, family, belonging and the desire for self-acceptance. 

An unexpected inner odyssey at odds with its shiny veneer, Dream Boat is an insightful journey through the intricacies of modern gay life.

THE DARK MILE

Form: Fiction  /  Country: UK  / Year: 2017
Run time: 85 minutes  /  Director: Gary Love

The Dark Mile is a psychological thriller exploring the strong but fraught relationship between very different yet sympathetic female characters, attempting to reestablish a connection in the wake of grief.

When London couple Louise and Clare book a boat trip to recover from personal tragedy - their trip of a lifetime through the Scottish Highlands soon descends into a hellish ordeal as they delve further into the wilds. 

They’re confronted by layer upon layer of jeopardy from a variety of sources, but neither our heroes nor the audience can tell which threat will ultimately prove decisive. With many twists along the way - we’re kept guessing until the very end. Combining character driven storytelling with more conventional genre set pieces against the powerfully cinematic Highland backdrop, the film is an intense and gripping original work, with a strong nod to cinematic masterpieces “Deliverance” and “Rosemary’s Baby”.

THE CRYING GAME

Form: Fiction  /  Country: UK / Ireland  / Year: 1992
Run time: 112 minutes  /  Director: Neil Jordan

25TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING

Twenty Five years since the release of Neil Jordan’s The Crying Game, GAZE presents a special screening of the film, which shares it’s silver anniversary with our festival. As the breadth of queer cinema in Ireland has flourished in the last few years, it’s important to skew the lens to look at the Irish film canon in a queer context.

The Crying Game tells the story of an IRA members search for redemption in the wake of a British soldier’s death. However, nothing is as it seems in this quiet film about relationships across seemingly impassible divides, including the film's reputation that the twist is as important as the human drama unfolding before the viewer's eyes.

Neil Jordan is one of the few, and certainly one of the first, Irish director’s to tackle queer representation in his films, even in a covert manner. He continued this trend in a more substantive manner with Breakfast on Pluto, but undoubtedly this film stands as one of the first portayals of LGBT characters in Irish film.

DISCREET

Form: Fiction  /  Country: USA  / Year: 2017
Run time: 80 minutes  /  Director: Travis Mathews

The most recent film from US auteur Travis Mathews (Interior. Leather Bar, I Want Your Love), Discreet is a twisted mystery thriller, which explores incredibly dark subject matter through nuanced performances and subvertive visual imagery. 

The film chronicles modern gay existence in Trump-era Texas – from anonymous gay sex and heterosexual porn in a sex bar cabin, to the right-ring radio propaganda that frequently blasts from our protagonist’s van.

Filmmaker and drifter Alex lives a nomadic existence in his van, exploring the open road, and shooting footage of America’s highways. He seeks solace in meditative self-help tapes and orchestrating blindfolded hook-ups through craigslist, and as the film unfolds, we discover the deep emotional trauma he is attempting to alleviate. When a revelation from his recovering-alcoholic mother sends him into a tailspin, the plot unravels into a dark, troubling, and sometimes menacing portrait of one man’s quiet yet destructive journey.

OUT OF IRAQ

Form: Documentary  /  Country: USA  /  Year: 2016
Run time: 81 minutes  / Directors: Chris McKim and Eva Orner 

IRISH PREMIERE

Out of Iraq tells the astounishing story of Nayyef and Btoo, two young soldiers who began their relationship in the unlikely setting of the Iraq war.

Formerly an art student, Nayyef risks his life by becoming a translator for the US army. There he meets Btoo and, after a long covert courtship, they fall in love. For many years they hide their clandestine relationship, with the knowledge that they could be captured or killed at any moment. Further complications arise when Nayyef receives a US visa, in exchange for his long service to the army, and leaves Btoo in limbo, and at the mercy of an intolerant Iraqi society.

With the country falling to insurgents and the proliferation of videos showing gay men being executed, Btoo must run for his life and risk everything to join Nayyef in the United States. This story is one of true love, one that shows tremendous bravery from beginning to end, and one that will leave audience with a supreme sense of love against all odds.

Screening: DON'T LOOK AT ME THAT WAY

Form: Fiction  /  Country: Germany / Mongolia  / Year: 2015
Run time: 88 minutes  /  Director: Uisenma Borchu

Talk: LOOKING AWRY - Representing Bisexual* Desires On Screen

Don’t Look At Me That Way is a complex and emotional drama, which deals with the intricacies of love, desire and female sexuality.

Iva is a beautiful single mother struggling to maintain her own personal identity, until she meets Hedi, who gives her a fresh perspective on life. The two women start an affair and Iva falls desperately in love. The relationship between them is muddied with the appearance of Iva’s father, as Hedi feels strongly attracted to him. It soon becomes clear that only one world exists for Hedi. Her own.

Don’t Look At Me That Way will be followed by Looking Awry, a talk by Jacob Engelberg (Eyes Wide Open Cinema, Brighton), which will dissect cinema’s invocations of bisexuality - from well-known Hollywood neo-noir thrillers, to underground queer filmmaking, to the extremities of European art cinema. 

AXOLOTL OVERKILL

Form: Fiction  /  Country: Germany / Year: 2017
Run time: 89 minutes  /  Director: Helene Hegemann

A striking, impressionistic debut from Helene Hegemann, Axolotl Overkill is a wild coming-of-age story about a troubled young woman who tests her sexual and emotional limits in underground Berlin.

Mifti is sixteen, looks like she's twelve, acts like she's in her mid-thirties, and has lived with her half-siblings in a shared Berlin apartment since the death of her mother. Her father considers terrorism a contemporary career and is more interested in art than people.

Given this backdrop and strange set of circumstance, going to school makes less sense to Mifti than living life between parties, drugs, lesbian affairs and kitchen-table polemics. She‘s wild, sad, sensitive and in love. The adults she meets are one thing only by comparison: desperate. Either because the world is about to go under, or because they don't know what to wear and how to dress. Thus, Mifti has to grow up on her own, one way or another.

BELOW HER MOUTH

Form: Fiction  /  Country: Canada  / Year: 2017
Run time: 92 minutes  /  Director: April Mullen

IRISH PREMIERE

Below Her Mouth is a film that juxtaposes electricity with simplicity. It explores how the most basic of human conditions can get lost in a society that functions under out-of-date constructs.

The story centres on Dallas, who makes her living in the male-dominated trade of shingling roofs, whilst turning over many female lovers in her personal life. That is until she encounters self-assured fashion editor, Jasmine. From the moment their eyes meet, the two women are inexplicably drawn to one another. Their connection is powerful and immediate, drawing them into a passionate love affair. 

Shot with an all female crew, putting an emphasis on immersion into the female side of love, intimacy, sensuality, and sex, the film focuses on one sole mission: to tell a female love story from a female perspective. It is an erotic fever dream from start to finish. However, at it’s heart it is a simple love story, where two people come together and their lives change forever. 

TOM OF FINLAND

Form: Documentary  /  Country: Finland / Sweden / Denmark / Germany  / Year: 2017 / Run time: 116 minutes  /  Director: Dome Karukoski

IRISH PREMIERE

Tom of Finland is the beautiful and thrilling true story of Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen and his journey to international success. 

Upon returning home from serving his country in World War II, Touko finds Finland is a bleak and moralistic place, where homosexuality is illegal and furtive sexual encounters are common. To amuse himself and his friends, he starts to draw muscular, uninhibited and proud gay men; artwork completely at odds with his regular life creating corporate content for a soulless advertising agency. His drawings soon lead Touko to Berlin and Los Angeles, where his art reaches a wide audience, becoming widely symbolic in fanning the flames of the gay movement. 

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 BOOK OF GABRIELLE

Form: Documentary  /  Country: USA  / Year: 2017
Run time: 80 minutes  /  Director: Lisa Gornick

IRISH PREMIERE | FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE 

The Book of Gabrielle is a clever, voluble dramedy that covers new narrative territory in its exploration of the intimate, yet platonic, relationship that develops between a female graphic artist and an older male erotic novelist, which changes both her internal psyche and her perspective on the external world. 

Despite their age difference and the fact that Gabrielle is lesbian while Saul is straight, the two click when they meet at a book signing. They have a few things in common, namely their secular Judaism and obsession with sex. But it is their differences that they find fascinating. 

Saul delights in Gabrielle’s description of her past affairs and her on-going relationship with her younger girlfriend, and as their relationship unfolds, Saul helps Gabrielle find her artistic voice. But does she need to break from his patriarchy to find herself? The Book of Gabrielle answers that query with style, wit and a measure of erotic heat.

AFTER LOUIE

Form: Fiction  /  Country: USA  / Year: 2017
Run time: 100 minutes  /  Director: Vincent Gagliostro

IRISH PREMIERE

After Louie stars Alan Cumming in a beautiful and understated performance as Sam, an artist and activist from ACT UP who lived through the early years of HIV/AIDS - a man scarred and still struggling with survivor’s guilt. 

Cemented into an oppressive past, he is bewildered by a younger generation of carefree gay men with their uninhibited use of social media, sexting, and seeming political indifference. But when he meets the seductive young Braeden at a bar late one night, their pants quickly come down and, eventually, so does Sam’s ossified guard. As the pair become increasingly intimate, an intergenerational relationship blossoms between them, one that reawakens Sam’s artistic soul and revives his wilted heart.

This film is a poignant portrayal of the complex generational tensions between gay men, which juxtaposes their outward differences with the ties that bind them together.

SMALL TALK

Form: Documentary  /  Country: Taiwan / Year: 2017
Run time: 88 minutes  /  Director: Hui-chen Huang

Anu is a tomboy. She was married off at a young age - as was customary in Taiwan in the 1970s - and had two children, Anu soon divorced her violent husband and raised her daughters alone. Since then her only romantic relationships have been with women.


It’s considered taboo in Taiwanese culture to question a mother’s love, but that’s exactly the topic of her daughter, Hui-chen Huang’s intimate portrait. Mother and daughter set off on a journey together into the past, during which Hui-chen confronts Anu with questions that have tormented Hui-chen for many years. 
 
The two women discuss loneliness, trust, and abuse, yet most of these discussions end in painful silence. Shifting focus in order to plumb the depths of their relationship, Hui-chen attempts to understand her mother by also talking to her mother’s siblings and ex-lovers. In doing so she paints a picture of the changing lives and conditions for three generations of women in Taiwan.

THE WOUND

Form: Fiction  /  Country: South Africa / Germany / Netherlands / France  / Year: 2017 / Run time: 88 minutes  /  Director: John Trengove

IRISH PREMIERE

Eastern Cape, South Africa. A lonely factory worker, Xolani, takes time off his job to assist during an annual Xhosa circumcision initiation into manhood. In a remote mountain camp, young men recuperate as they learn the masculine codes of their culture. In this environment of machismo and aggression, Xolani cares for a defiant initiate from Johannesburg, Kwanda, who quickly learns Xolani's best kept secret, that he is in love with another man. 

The tension that builds inexorably throughout the film derives on the one hand from the young Kwanda who increasingly calls into question the patriarchal codes of the initiation, as well as the unbearable crisis building in Xolani as he must choose between the traditional world that he knows, and his own fulfillment.

QUEERAMA

Form: Documentary  /  Country: UK / Year: 2017 / Run time: 70 minutes  /  Director: Daisy Asquith

FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE

Queerama is a film created from the treasure trove of BFI archive. The story traverses a century of gay experiences, encompassing persecution and prosecution, love and desire, identity, forbidden encounters, sexual liberation and pride. The soundtrack weaves the lyrics and music of John Grant, Goldfrapp and Hercules & Love Affair and guides us intimately into the relationships, desires, fears and expressions of gay men and women in the 20th century - a century of incredible change.

From the first gay relationship on film released in 1919, Different From the Others, Queerama offers a wealth of unknown newsreel and amateur film from the 20’s and 30’s, the sub textual references in 40’s cinema, the arrests and prosecutions of the 50’s, the early gay rights marches of the 60’s and 70’s, the Pride movement and AIDS crisis in the 80’s and 90’s and the sexual liberation of the 00’s queer and transgender scene.

TOMKAT

Form: Fiction  /  Country: Austria / Year: 2016
Run time: 124 minutes  /  Director: Händl Klaus

Winner of the Teddy Award at Berlin Film Festival in 2016, Tomkat is a stunning visual work that offers an insight into the complications of human relationships, and what happens when a traumatic event changes everything. 

Andreas and Stefan lead a happy and passionate life. Together with their beloved tomcat Moses, they live in a beautiful old house in Vienna's vineyards. They work as a musician and as a scheduler in the same orchestra and they love their large circle of friends. 

An unexpected and inexplicable outburst of violence suddenly shakes up the relationship and calls their life together into question. They begin to question everything they know about each other, and about themselves – the blind spot that resides in all of us.

THE DEATH AND LIFE OF MARTHA P. JOHNSON

Form: Documentary  /  Country: USA  / Year: 2017
Run time: 105 minutes  /  Director: David France

IRISH PREMIERE

When Marsha P. Johnson, the beloved, self-described "street queen" of NY's Christopher Street was found floating in the Hudson River in 1992, the NYPD called her death a suicide, despite much evidence to the contrary. Now, twenty-five years on, Academy Award nominated director David France (How to Survive a Plague) examines the death, and life, of this extraordinary individual.

Marsha arrived in the Village in the 1960’s, where she teamed up with Sylvia Rivera when both claimed their identities as “drag queens”. Together, the radical duo fought arrests, condemned police brutality, battled the intolerant majority within the gay community, and helped spearhead the Stonewall Riots. 

Now, a quarter century later, at a time of unprecedented visibility and escalating violence in the transgender community, the film follows a dynamic activist named Victoria Cruz, as she reexamine what really happened at the end of Marsha’s life.

AGAINST THE LAW

Form: Docu Drama  /  Country: UK  / Year: 2017
Run time: 83 minutes  /  Director: Fergus O'Brien

FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE 

2017 sees the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, which decriminalised homosexual acts in England and Wales between adult males, in private. While it would take several decades before homosexuals achieved full equality, this legislation marks the beginning of this journey.

Against the Law is a powerful factual drama about Peter Wildeblood, the thoughtful and private gay journalist whose lover, under pressure from the authorities, turned Queen’s evidence against him in one of the most explosive court cases of the 1950s - the infamous Montagu Trial. He was sentenced to prison a broken man, but emerged a year later determined to change these draconian laws against homosexuality.

Woven through this powerful drama is testimony from a chorus of men who lived through those dark days, and these accounts help to immerse us in the reality of a dark chapter in the recent past, a past still within the reach of living memory.

CHECK IT

Form: Documentary  /  Country: USA / Year: 2016
Run time: 89 minutes  /  Director: Dana Flor and Toby Oppenheimer

At first glance, they seem unlikely gang-bangers. Some of the boys wear lipstick and mascara, some stilettos. They carry Louis Vuitton bags, but they also carry knives, brass knuckles and mace. As vulnerable gay and transgender youth, they’ve been shot, stabbed, and raped.  
 
Once victims, they’ve now turned the tables. Started in 2009 by a group of bullied 9th graders, Check It gang members all have rap sheets riddled with assault, armed robbery, and drug dealing charges. 
 
Led by an ex-convict named Mo, they have broken the cycle of poverty and violence they’ve grown up with. Life for the members of Check It can be brutal, but it’s also full of hope and an indomitable resilience. At its heart, this documentary explores the undying friendship and unbreakable bonds that are tested in a community relentlessly trying to beat it’s queer community down.

Screening & Panel Discussion: YESTERGAZE - Queering in the Years

Based on the GAZE Queering in the Years exhibition, which is running as part of 2017 festival (See page 13 for full details), our YesterGAZE programme will take a look back to particular moments of media visibility that were crucial for both political and social progression within Ireland’s LGBT community. 

The session will include a screening of seminal RTÉ productions that shaped the perceptions of LGBT life through the latter half of the twentieth century. This will be followed by a panel discussion with Bill Hughes, Pat Kenny, Una Mullally, Páraic Kerrigan and Ailbhe Smyth, who will discuss  the programme within the context of the historical trajectory of LGBT representation in the Irish media from the 1970s to the present day.

Screening & Panel Discussion: FLARE TACTICS - Queer Media Making & Creative Activism

At a time when the fight for LGBTQ rights is making great strides, just scanning world headlines reminds how we still have much to do in the fight against homophobia and transphobia - death camps in Russia, gang attacks on lesbians, transphobic violence, legal discrimination on the grounds of religious ‘freedom'. In this light, what can queer activism achieve in 2017?

How do we as filmmakers, artists, digital and social media creatives apply our skills to activism? And how do we pro-actively re-frame our queer narratives beyond just reacting to attack, beyond mainstream assimilation of queer politics and culture? 

We explore our new roads of resistance.  

Flare Tactics will screen a curated programme of activist short films and will be followed by a discussion with a group of engaged panelists - including Paul Rowley (Gays Against Guns), Ruth McCarthy (Outburst Queer Arts Festival) and Dr. Monica Pearl (University of Manchester/ ACT Up New York).

YOUNG SOUL REBELS

Form: Fiction  /  Country: UK  / Year: 1993
Run time: 103 minutes  /  Director: Isaac Julien

London 1977. Pink socks. Check. Second hand Triumph car. Check. Black and working class. Check. Cool handshake. Check. Latest Donna Summer album. Check. The two DJs at the ‘Soul Patrol’ pirate radio station are all swaggering style and smooth cool. Caz fancies a brash commie punk boy, and his buddy Chris fancies a girl who is out of his league - will they find the right frequency to connect? 

Our heroes are in enough trouble already: harassed by the police, bullied by the local thugs, scrambling a living, Caz and Chris now also have to face a murderer on the loose who has handpicked a gay black ‘soul boy’.  

Critics Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and the breakthrough role for the magnetic Sophie Okonedo, Young Soul Rebels has one of the grooviest soundtracks in history, and is a film with plenty of soul.

THE UNTOLD TALES OF ARMISTEAD MAUPIN

Form: Documentary /  Country: USA  / Year: 2017

Run time: 91 minutes  /  Director: Jennifr M. Kroot

IRISH PREMIERE

The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin examines the life and work of one of the world's most beloved storytellers, following his evolution from a conservative son of the Old South into a gay rights pioneer and writer of Tales of the City, which inspired millions to claim their own truth. 

Tales of the City became wildly popular for its portrayal of gay and straight characters living together in a mythic apartment house run by a pot smoking, transgender landlady. The novels set a precedent for the inclusion of queer people in mainstream American literature, shattered barriers in its representation of queer characters.

The film itself moves nimbly between playful, poignant and laugh-out-loud funny. With help from his friends (including Laura Linney and Sir Ian McKellen), it offers a disarmingly frank look at the journey that took him from the jungles of Vietnam to the bathhouses of 70's San Francisco to the front line of the American cultural war.

GOD'S OWN COUNTRY

Form: Fiction /  Country: UK  / Year: 2017

Run time: 104 minutes  /  Director: Francis Lee

God’s Own Country follows Johnny Saxby, as he works long hours on his family’s remote farm in the north of England, numbing the daily frustration of his lonely existence with casual sex and nightly binge-drinking at the local pub. When a handsome Romanian migrant worker arrives to take up temporary work on the family farm, Johnny suddenly finds himself having to deal with emotions he has never felt before. As they begin working closely together during lambing season, an intense relationship starts to form, which changes Johnny’s life forever.

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. 


TRANS SHORTS

Run time: 78 minutes

The GAZE 2017 Trans shorts view life through the lens of transgender identity, in a series of fascinating and insightful films.

In Get the Life, Alex, a transgender youth, struggles with a secret pregnancy in the face of poverty, deprivation, and discrimination. 

Walk For Me is a contemporary coming out story where Hassan Kendricks explores his trans identity as a part of NYC's underground ballroom scene.

High Heels Aren’t Compulsory charts trans* lecturer Carolyn’s first day back at work after her transition.

In Ariel, a homeless black transwoman has created a wall around her and will not let anyone in, until guardian angel Paul comes into her life.

In the intolerant and uninformed world of 1950’s England portrayed in Dusk, young Chris Winters struggles to fit into the gender roles dictated by wider society. 

Two estranged sisters in Sis reconcile their differences during the course of one night - where honesty is the only policy. 

IRIS PRIZE: BEST OF BRITISH SHORTS

Run time: 50 minutes

The Iris Prize, the world’s largest LGBT short film prize has so far been presented to 10 film makers from 6 countries. The Cardiff based festival also celebrates British film making talent, with a Pinewood Studios-sponsored £20,000 of sound post production as a prize for the Best British Short at the festival.

This collection, curated from the Iris Prize ‘Best of British’ award winners, represents the diversity of film making talent in the UK - including documentary, historical drama and even time travelling fantasy. Private Life reminds us of the incredible length people went to find love in England of the 1950’s; My Mother is a brave documentary full of love made by a Welsh-based filmmaker from San Francisco; Middle Man takes us to Scotland and follows Dave on his first day at a call centre for the deaf; before we finish in 1980s England with Closets and a tormented 16-year old who travels through time.

WOMEN'S SHORTS

Run time: 70 minutes

The GAZE 2017 women’s shorts programme perfectly encapsulates the beauty, joy, humour, pain and emotion of lesbian life.

These stories come from all over the world, and bisect a range of ages, ethnicities and religious identities, but the central narrative of exploring the female identity outside of the patriarchy hold a thread throughout the programme, and break the power of the male gaze. Unsurprisingly, it scores quite highly on the Bechdel test as well!

In the rapturous Oh-Be-Joyful, Rita is about to kick the bucket. Before she does she’s got one final job to do - drag her granddaughter out of the closet.

Happy follows a sexually inexperienced and lonely young woman who seeks a casual encounter with another woman online. 

Ama is a beautiful animation about an American woman visiting the coast of Japan, who break away from her group, and her life, to explore the world of a young ama fisherwoman.

09:55 - 11:05, Ingrid Ekman, Bergsgatan 4B is a heartbreaking work. It is a stunning, raw portrayal of Ingrid, a woman who has decided to deal with her carcer on her own terms.

In Vamonos, a woman must overcome homophobic hostilities from her dead girlfriend’s family to give her the send off into the afterlife she would have wanted.

Set in a neighbourhood rife with racial tension, Balcony follows a teenage girl who falls for a recent immigrant who is the victim of shame and prejudice.

IRISH SHORTS

Run time: 82 minutes 

The pride and joy of the GAZE programme, each year we are incredibly proud to present the finest of Irish LGBT short film to our festival audience. Reflecting upon the twenty-fifth anniversary of the programme, it is incredible to recollect how non-existent queer filmic content was in Ireland in 1992, and the strides that have been made in LGBT representation on screen in such a short period of time. 

Each year the quality of Irish films submitted to the festival bolsters, and we believe this is reflected in the 2017 Irish shorts programme, which explores our Irish LGBT past, present and future, and portrays the wide spectrum of storytelling being produced on our island.

Our programme begins with Tuesday Night, a dark comedy about the sensationalised media representation of trans people, and the burdens of local planning regulation.

Lily tells the tale of an adolescent girl with a secret, on the cusp of becoming a young woman. In the wake of a violent and vicious homophobic attack, she is faced with the greatest challenge of her young life.

The Condom Man is the story of how Irish people fought the system, provided frontline and core services for haemophiliacs and other HIV/AIDS patients, and ultimately saved lives. 

3 Friends, based on a Colm Tóibín short story, follows Fergus, a pensive, young man, who is propelled on a powerful journey that begins at his mother's funeral. His grief becomes a catalyst to reflect upon his life and relationships. Ultimately it is through death, joy, and sex that Fergus looks inside to define himself.

Finally, in a stunning visual and visceral artistic exploration, choreographed by Fearghus Ó Conchúir and directed by Dearbhla Walsh, I’m Roger Casement  dances its way through the queer legacy of the Irish revolutionary. The film is a sensuous, poetic and moving evocation of a complex history seen in contemporary bodies, and the perfect concluding work for the GAZE twenty-fifth anniversary shorts programme. 

MEN'S SHORTS

Run Time: 72 minutes

Emcomprassing a range of narrative arcs and crescents, GAZE 2017 Men’s shorts explore powerful and affecting stories through the lens of gay identity.

Whether it is in the story of a gay Syrian refugee attempting to rebuild his life in the shadow of a traumatic war, or a humorous account of being outed by a Scientology stress test, these stories traverse through accounts of gay life using the ultra affective short narrative form.

In Scar Tissue, Syrian refugee Sami hopes to build a home in Europe and live openly as a gay man. 

In Shudo, two samurais clash in a duel fuelled by deep emotions.

It's Sunday night, hook-up time in Pricked – but the mood goes wrong when Adam thinks too much.

Swimming Pool follows two friends as they navigate adolescent complexities, stirrings and the oppressive heat of the Spanish summer.

An intense bromance between a gay football and a straight military officer, Forces reflects upon friendship and masculinity.

In Sunday Morning Coming Down, two brothers take a road trip to Hastings, where one of them has arranged a discreet hook-up.

Sunday Lunch  is an extremely humourous animation, which explores the tradition of the family Sunday lunch and the awkward situations which can arise.


 

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