Powerful documentary How To Tell A Secret to screen in Irish cinemas

Starring activist Robbie Lawlor and drag icon Veda, How to Tell a Secret is an “intimate exploration of HIV disclosure in Ireland”.

Poster of film How To Tell A Secret, releasing in Irish cinemas soon. Two men sitting at a diner with red walls and seats.
Image: Via Twitter - @ASecretFilm

How To Tell A Secret, a powerful hybrid documentary film that explores the social stigma around HIV in Ireland, will open in Irish cinemas on World AIDS Day 2022.

After screening at numerous festivals, including the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2022 and the GAZE Film Festival 2022, How to Tell a Secret is now set to be released in a selected number of Irish cinemas from December 1.

Directed by IFTA award-winning director Anna Rodgers and artist Shaun Dunne, the film is an exploration of the experiences of people living with HIV in today’s Ireland. In particular, it explores HIV disclosure and the relationship between advocacy, art, stigma and secrecy. The documentary is based on Dunne’s theatre show Rapids and it expands on the original play in a new artistic collaboration for the screen.

How To Tell A Secret shows the stories of young men, migrant women, drag artists and activists using a mix of documentary, performance and genre-blurring storytelling techniques. These stories are told by a cast of talented actors but also by ordinary people, who had never publicly spoken about living with HIV and used the film as a platform to come out for the first time.

The cast includes well-known names among the Irish LGBTQ+ community, such as Robbie Lawlor, who was diagnosed with HIV when he was 21 and thus became one of the youngest people in Ireland to come out about his status on national television; and Enda McGrattan, better known with the drag name Veda, who opened up about their HIV status in a powerful song after keeping it a secret for a decade.

Lauren Larkin, Jade Jordan and Eva Jane Gaffney are among the amazing actors who show the hidden experiences of women living with HIV. Moreover, other participants that were not able to show their faces on screen found new creative ways to have their voices heard and share their stories.

The documentary also contains an emotional tribute to Thom McGinty, better known as the Diceman, with a reenactment of his appearance on The Late Late Show in the 1990s.

How To Tell A Secret was produced by Zlata Filipovic for Invisible Thread Productions as part of the Reel Arts award with The Arts Council of Ireland.

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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