IFI Documentary Festival includes incredible queer films in lineup

The Irish Film Institute has announced the exciting programme for this year's IFI Documentary Festival and our screens will be graced with two queer political pieces.

A woman kissing the cheek of another woman in a cap

This year the IFI Documentary Festival will be a hybrid event with in-cinema screenings taking place in Temple Bar, Dublin, and virtual screenings taking place nationwide wherever there is internet.

The programme lists 16 documentaries in total, as well as a selection of shorts. Launching the festival will be an in-cinema only screening of Ross Killeen’s Love Yourself Today and the festivities will close with Michael McCormack’s IFTA-winning Breaking Out: The Remarkable Story of Fergus O’Farrell.

“This year’s programme includes a pleasingly diverse range of films,” said Sunniva O’Flynn, IFI Head of Irish Film Programming. “The films may delight, illuminate, entertain or enrage but all should stimulate the kind of heated online and offline debate that is the trademark of a successful documentary festival.”

Among the list of 16 documentaries, which will be screened from 20 – 26 September, are Ghost Empire & Belize and Wojnarowicz: F**k You F*ggot F**ker. Both of these films proudly represent the LBGTQ+ community in their content.

Susan Thomson’s Ghost Empire § Belize tells the tale of Caleb Orozco, who defended LGBTQ+ rights across the Caribbean country by challenging Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code.

This legal provision “operate[d] to criminalize anal sex between two consenting male adults in private” and those found guilty were liable to imprisonment for ten years.

The story of Orozco’s activism for the queer community will premiere at the IFI Documentary Festival on Thursday 23 September in cinema at 20:30 or from the comfort of your own home at 18:00.

The following day, Chris McKim’s Wojnarowicz: F**k You F*ggot F**ker will hit the IFI cinema screen at 18.10 and it will be available for rental from 12:00 the same day.

From the unapologetic title alone, we can expect this queer portrait of artist, writer, photographer and activist David Wojnarowicz to be teeming with political boldness.

This documentary delves into the controversial artist’s life and work as a queer activist set against the backdrop of the 1980s AIDS epidemic, and is supported by a Q&A with director Chris McKim at [email protected]

Tickets are now available from www.ifi.ie and you can pre-order online rentals from www.ifihome.ie. Cinema screenings are €11.50, while three-day rentals come in at €7.50. The one exception to this is Breaking Out, the festival’s closer, which is a one-day rental for €9.99.

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