12 fantastic LGBT+ short films to check out on IFI Player

There are some phenomenal LGBT+ short films which portray and celebrate the diversity of queer Irish stories to watch on IFI Player.

LGBT+ short films

The Irish Film Institute have brought together a selection of captivating LGBT+ short films over on their IFI Player to watch for free during this period of social distancing and widespread lockdown. 

From documentaries which explore how queer people express affection, to films commissioned by LGBT+ support groups, TENI and BeLonG To, the IFI Player has a riveting line up of short films. Each one explores a different element of queer life in creative and moving ways. 

There has been a greater demand for new entertainment content in response to the COVID-19 lockdown, as people run through the various streaming sites in search of entertainment. IFI Player presents an exciting alternative platform which showcases immensely talented directors and queer Irish stories.

Here are 12 great LGBT+ short films to check out over on IFI Player:

Chicken – Directed by Barry Dignam

Two boys leaning in to each other on a Dublin beach in Chicken

Described as a micro-drama, the story of Chicken unfolds around the scenic setting of a Dublin beach at dusk. A game of dares pushes two boys to question their trust in each other and reshapes the boundaries of their relationship. The film depicts the difficulties LGBT+ youths may feel in expressing their affection for one another.

Hold On Tight – Anna Rodgers

Two people with a pole in between them during Hold On Tight

From the winner of the 2011 Absolut Gaze Filmmakers Award, Anna Rodgers delivers a beautiful short documentary which explores how gay and lesbian couples show affection. This film is a riveting discovery into the way queer people communicate phenomenal social change from small interactions like holding hands in public.

No Strings – Directed by Eoin Maher

One of the men in No Strings smiling while red light shines over him

From the winner of the Filmmaker of the Future Award, Maher’s No Strings offers an intimate depiction of two strangers united by their desire to feel loved. After a casual hookup, jaded Byrn wants to be alone but Sean, an intrusive extrovert, doesn’t want to leave. The chemistry between the two main characters sparkles throughout.

Dream Kitchen – Directed by Barry Dignam

A still from Dream Kitchen where a young man tells his mother he is gay, one of the LGBT+ short films over on IFI Player

This short film from 1997 is a fascinating coming out story which parallels a fairy-tale esque setting with a difficult reality. A young man returns home to find his dad repairing the car and mom cooking a meal. Against a dreary setting, he imagines a luxurious dream kitchen in an alternate world where he tells his parents he is gay.

Coming Out of the West – Directed by Cian Tracey

A still of a man sitting by an open window, looking outward, taking from Coming Out Of The West, an LGBT+ short films

A 2014 documentary which offers a glimpse into the similarities and differences between two openly gay men. One lives in Kilmeena and another has moved to London. This thought-provoking and insightful LGBT+ short film captures the diverging perspectives of these two queer men and how they have dealt with adversity throughout their life.

Stand Up For Your Friends – Aoife Kelleher

A still from Stand Up For Your Friends where a person is wearing a white tuxedo, one of the LGBT+ short films

As part of BeLonG To Youth Services’ annual STAND UP! LGBT+ Awareness Week, this Irish short film conveys a poignant message, speaking out against homophobia and transphobia. It is a very educational and touching watch.

Novena – Directed by Anna Rodgers

A person standing in a doorway, still taken from Novena

Novena won Best Documentary at the Kerry Film Festival in 2013, Best Film and Television at GALAS 2014, as well as joint winner for Spirit of the Festival at GAZE LGBT Film Festival 2013. And this film definitely earns those titles as it gracefully documents a powerful call for inclusivity in religion.

Me First – Directed by Leanne Byrne

Two women walking through a city in Me First

Me First centers around a heart-wrenching story as the main character, Sarah, must chose between her own happiness and her family. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, she finally confides in her daughter’s friend which quickly leads to a life changing moment. The relationship between the mother and daughter create a powerful core to this story.

I Am – Anna Rodgers

A still of a woman on a couch in I Am, an LGBT+ short film

Commissioned by TENI, I Am is an inspirational LGBT+ short film which explores gender identity and transgender experiences in Ireland. Poignant and beautifully directed, it’s definitely a must see.

James – Directed by Conor Clements

James - IFI Player

This short film focuses on the experiences of a young kid who feels like an outsider at school. His teacher, Mr Sutherland, is the only person he feels he can connect with, yet when the young kid puts his feelings into words, things don’t go as he had planned. James was one of 22 short films selected for the International Dramatic Competition at Sundance Film Festival.

A Ferret Called Mickey – Barry Dignam

Father and son out in nature, with boy holding a box, in A Ferret Called Mickey still

A Ferret Called Mickey takes a look at masculine roles within society, contrasting a manly father with his son who is happiest when dressing up in high heels.

Stand Up To Bullying – Directed By Anna Rodgers and Aoife Kelleher

A young teen with white headphones in Stand Up To Bullying still image

As part of BeLonG To Youth Services annual Stand Up! LGBT Awareness Week, this video presents a powerful declaration of friendship amongst young people as a way to combat homophobic bullying.

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