Acclaimed Irish film Handsome Devil will be hitting the Irish Film Institute at 1pm this Friday, August 2; the second screening of 2019’s GAZE Film Festival. A Q&A session with writer and director John Butler will take place at the screening. You can expect a lot more Q&A events with filmmakers over the course of the festival!
Set at an elite boarding school perceptible as Blackrock College, where Butler studied, Handsome Devil follows social pariah Ned’s (Fionn O’Shea) friendship with gay rugby player Conor (Nicholas Galitzine). Sherlock and Pride star Andrew Scott features as Mr. Sherry, a cultured closeted English teacher struggling with his identity.
Sport plays a huge role in the rugby-obsessed school, seen to juxtapose the themes of homosexuality prevalent in Handsome Devil. However, the film beautifully battles homophobia, and acceptance within the rugby world.
The friction faced by many LGBT+ people in the sports industry is a struggle relatable to Butler. In a 2017 interview with GCN, the director opened up about the importance of highlighting LGBT+ representation in sport – “I am gay, and I am really into sport, and I had difficulty in reconciling those two aspects of myself growing up. I always seemed to be told that you have to make a decision or a choice about one or the other.”
Handsome Devil premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016 before hitting Irish theatres the following year, where it saw the award for Best Irish Feature of 2017 from the Dublin Film Critics’ Circle, and four nominations at the 2018 Irish Film and Television Awards.
Feeling lucky? To be in with a chance to win a pair of tickets to the event, just answer the following question. The winner will be announced on Thursday, August 1. You can also buy tickets to the screening here.
This competition has now closed and winners have been informed by email. Check gcn.ie/competitions for the latest.
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