Irish creative Sarah Kinlen on impactful LGBTQ+ short screening at GAZE

Sarah Kinlen sat down with GCN to tell us all about her latest short film, 'Do I Know You?' ahead of its screening at the GAZE film festival on Sunday.

Close up of Sarah Kinlen ahead of her film's screening at the GAZE film festival

The fabulous GAZE film festival is currently underway, back for its 29th edition, and Sarah Kinlen is one of the talented filmmakers bringing the big screen to life for Irish film lovers.

Kinlen is a multi-award-winning quintuple threat, an actor-writer-singer-songwriter-producer, and she’s one of two writers behind the 13-minute short drama, Do I Know You? She and her co-writer (and co-producer) Barry J Kinsella penned this comedy of errors as part of the Actor as Creator Scheme through Screen Ireland and Bow Street Academy.

“This is a celebration of modern families and families that are, you know, everywhere now,” Sarah tells us about the tale of a queer family.

Do I Know You? tells the story of Jessica and Robyn, a mother-daughter duo, when Jessica invites her girlfriend for their first meal together as a family… but Robyn has invited a guest of her own: Jessica’s sperm donor.

Exploring the concept of what really makes a family, as well as the rights of the child versus the rights of gay and/or single parents, Do I Know You? came about when Sarah was on her own IVF journey.

“I was undergoing IVF treatment whilst living with someone who is adopted, and she was fighting to get her identity rights and medical history and just trying to get basic information on who her parents were,” Sarah explains ahead of the GAZE screening. “I was really aware while I was searching online for sperm donors on a particular website that I wanted as much information as possible.”

Having witnessed the struggles that adopted children can go through to find basic details such as their medical background, Sarah feels strongly that a child should have a right to information on their biological parents, which she acknowledges is a controversial opinion.

“This is kind of a potentially contentious issue – like there will be some lesbian couples who won’t want their child to have any information and I respect that to a point,” she says, “…but having lived with somebody who was adopted in Ireland and gone through so much anguish and agony just trying to find her basic information, I’m so aware of the rights of the child now through that experience.”

Screening at the Light House Cinema, Do I Know You? encourages conversation about these sensitive and under-discussed topics, and is featured as part of GAZE’s Queer Éire: New Irish Shorts on Sunday, October 3, at 3:30.

As well as screening at GAZE, this thought-provoking short drama is touring both nationally and globally. Having already screened at the Galway Film Fleadh, Do I Know You? will also be gracing screens in Germany, America and Canada and has just been nominated for an Iris Prize.

“It’s an important story to tell because it is a story of now and it’s the story of what’s happening in Ireland,” Sarah concludes, encouraging readers to check out the film at the GAZE. “It’s a story that is told from the inside as well, it’s an insider’s perspective… It’s also just a fun take on on a kind of serious topic.”

Directed and produced by Rioghnach Ní Ghrioghair, you can rent Do I Know You? to watch from the comfort of your own home here and it will be available from 9AM on Sunday morning.

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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