The GAZE International LGBTQ+ Film Festival returns to the capital this week for its 2022 instalment. This year’s festival promises a glorious showcase of the best of Irish and international queer films to celebrate its 30th birthday, and the spectacular 2022 programme is a must-see!
Following the success of the festival’s first-ever Culture Night offering at Outhouse last Friday, where they presented a double bill of films – Gay Health Network’s new series of short films Voices From Afar; and Pradeep Mahadeshwar’s Tír na mBeo/The Land of the Living, exploring the experiences of LGBTQ+ people during the Covid 19 pandemic – GAZE kicks off the five-day cinema festival tomorrow, Wednesday, October 28.
Wednesday, September 28 (Opening Film)
The opening offering Wildhood is a multi-award-winning coming-of-age story hailing from Canada.
In an attempt to escape a devastating family truth, bothers Lincoln and Travis go on a journey of exploration guided by Two-Spirit Pasmay (Joshua Odjick) whose gentle but profound influence allows Lincoln to connect with desire, freedom, and his own Mi’kmaq heritage.
Created by Two-Spirit director Bretten Hannam, tenderly offers to expand the horizons of our queer understanding and kinship.
Thursday, September 29
Thursday evening sees the presentation of three separate features.
The beautifully poignant Irish film How to Tell a Secret sees playwright Shuan Dunne teaming up with filmmaker Anna Rodgers to adapt Shaun’s documentary play Rapids for the big screen. The resulting masterpiece is a magically woven together testimony to people living with HIV in Ireland, with a not to missed stunning tribute to the legendary Diceman by Veda.
In German film Generation Tocher, Clara struggles to break free of the legacy of her mother’s anarchist gang to explore her own desires.
Make Me Famous portrays Edward Brezinski as he aspires to make a career out of the gritty art scene of New York’s 70s and 80s.
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Friday, September 30
This year sees Festival Director Greg Thorpe mixing up the shorts programmes. Doing away with the traditional categories of lesbian, gay and Trans, he has favoured a new approach exploring theme and content with ‘The Art of Imagination’, ‘The Art of Cruising’, ‘The Art of Experience’, and ‘The Art of Dress’ which feature across Saturday and Sunday.
But one festival favourite and a backbone of the annual programme has remained. Queer Éire: New Irish Shorts will see some of Ireland’s finest queer filmmakers sharing their stories with that uniquely Irish lilt.
Jimmy in Saigon sees director Peter McDowell lifting a veil on family secrets to uncover the story of his brother Jimmy who died in Vietnam when he returned as a civilian after his US military service.
A decade in the making, Jimmy In Saigon “is a heart-wrenching but ultimately life-affirming reconciliation with the truth.”
Two other notable features on Friday include Greg Araki’s 1992 masterpiece The Living End selected by guest curator DJ, activist and historian Tonie Walsh. And no 2022 LGBTQ+ film festival would be complete with a 50th-anniversary screening of John Waters’s infamous femme fatale sensation Pink Flamingos, and GAZE doesn’t disappoint.
Saturday, October 1
Saturday kicks off with the Brazilian film The First Fallen, at once a beautiful and angry story of three friends coming to live with HIV in the early days of the AIDS pandemic.
While there are many strengths to The First Fallen, one of its stand-out narratives is the centring of Trans experience in an AIDS story.
Among the other highlights from Saturday’s offering are; Everything at Once: Kink, a documentary exploring Kink Magazine which straddles the boundary between art and porn; Esther Newton Made Me Gay, a remembering of butch lesbian Esther Newton who legitimised drag culture through coupling it with lesbian identity; and Mommy Is Coming, selected especially for GAZE 2022 by Artistic Director of Outburst Ruth McCarthy, a look at Berlin’s dyke scene from 2012 by Cheryl Dunye.
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Sunday, October 2
Sunday sees three showcases of shorts; ‘The Art of Experience’ explores ageing within the LGBTQ+ community; ‘The Art of Dress’ reflects on the crucial role clothing plays on LGBTQ+ identity; and ‘Making and Unmaking’ an experimental showcase programmed in collaboration with aemi.
Nelly and Nadine tells the story of opera singer Nelly and her lover Nadine who, despite having to keep their relationship secret, survived persecution in Nazi concentration camps.
GAZE 2022 closes out on Sunday night with Finnish film Girl Picture which portrays a group of truly modern queer women navigating their sexual identities. A celebration of what it means to be queer in today’s society.
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GAZE at the Complex
And if the festival lineup wasn’t enough, to mark their 30th-anniversary GAZE is bringing you two weeks of free screenings at the Complex Gallery. Programme one Terrain runs from Tuesday, October 4 to Saturday, October 8 and programme two Voice will run from Tuesday, October 11 to Saturday, October 15.
A selection of films will also be available to rent online from October 2 – 8, for those who prefer to tune in from the comfort of their own homes.
Films during the GAZE 2022 Festival will be screened in the IFI and Light House cinemas. For information on all films and bookings go to gaze.ie.
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