Queer short films that stole the show at GAZE 2022

GAZE International LGBTQ+ Film Festival closed its cinema programme this past weekend, with the short films being a highlight for audiences.

A split screen of three GAZE short films.
Image: Instagram: @GazeFilmFest

Pop culture enthusiast David Ferguson is back once more, this time giving his top 10 short film picks from GAZE 2022.

For the 2022 edition of GAZE International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, a highlight for me were the short films that managed to cover a variety of topics and came from all over the world. From New Zealand’s wonderful Firsts to Switzerland’s hilarious In Nature (or Dans La Nature if you’ll pardon my French). Of course the Irish shorts were an important part of the programme with an interesting variety there too from strange First Date to important documentary short Where do all the old gays go?. 

Here are ten of my favourites:

Dir. Albert Carbó / Spain / 2021
Not everybody in 6 year old Elsa’s life realises that she is a girl but she is determined to be queen. Her grandmother may not be able to accept it, but she has the support of her parents.

In Nature
Dir. Marcel Barelli / Switzerland / 2021
A hilarious animated short that gives examples of homosexual relationships and gender variance in nature. Something a lot of us could have done with seeing when we were growing up. It certainly garnered some good feeling from the audience I was in.

Dir. Jesse Ung / New Zealand / 2021
A closeted Chinese student, Steven (Kelvin Ta), is weighed down by the expectations of his familiar. He decides to lose his virginity to a guy who he has found online, Andrew (David Shi). A wonderfully acted piece that, to me, also highlights the importance of consent as Andrew does not rush or push the inexperienced Steven.

Naughty Spot
Dir. Jean Costa / France / 2021
On Tonio’s first visit to Corsica he encounters the Oracle, a guide who reveals the erotic topography of gay life on the island. This film had some interesting things to say about the differences between cruising and online apps and the negatives of the latter. 

Dippers & Oysters
Dir. Kia Fiáin / United Kingdom / 2022
Part of the ‘Art of Cruising’ collection, this film shows a different kind of cruising as a butch lesbian pickpocket (Suky Willis) is targeted by a femme lesbian pickpocket (Sarah Robinson) and romance ensues. A sweet and very funny film.


Dir. John Fitzpatrick / United Kingdom / 2022
After a casual park hook-up after meeting in a park, Bim and Nathan have instant sexual chemistry. However, after another chance encounter, Bim finds a secret exposed. Another wonderfully acted piece. The intimacy between the two characters felt so authentic.

Dir. Mark Pluck / United Kingdom / 2022
Two strangers (Daniel Lane and Christopher Sherwood) meet up at a night-time cruising spot. A strong bond forms between the two but the two must face truth of the day eventually. An interesting story that is not entirely what it seems. Very well told.

First Date
Dir. Clara Planelles / Ireland / 2022
Recently widowed farmer, Tina (Aisling O’Sullivan), doesn’t want her daughter to go back to the city, so when Seamus arrives for date night, she decides to intervene. A traditional story we have all seen with a non-traditional spin.

Dir. Caleb J. Roberts / Ireland / 2022
A father (James Doran) tries to reconnect with his gay son (Peter Young) who has returned home after leaving abruptly. An interesting look at the father / son dynamic and how communication can be difficult.

Where do all the old gays go?
Dir. Cathy Dunne / Ireland / 2021
A short documentary about some of the older members of the LGBTQ+ community, their lives and a discussion about their futures. 

If you didn’t manage to catch all the films at GAZE in person, some of them are available through GAZE Online on the IFI website. Additionally, a whole new offering of shorts are screening through GAZE at The Complex from October 4 – 15.

Make sure to follow David on Twitter for more pop culture news.

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