The 2017 edition of the festival was revealed with a lively launch party hosted by Lead Sponsor Accenture at The Dock, Accenture’s multi-disciplinary research and incubation hub at 7 Hanover Quay, yesterday, June 15th.
The festival runs for the August Bank Holiday weekend at Light House Cinema, Smithfield.
Speaking at the programme launch were ‘Handsome Devil’ writer/director John Butler, Festival Director Noel Sutton, Programmer Roisín Geraghty, Chairperson Mick Connell and Head of Inclusion and Diversity at Accenture Ireland, Dr. Michelle Cullen.
Musician Markus Feehily also performed ‘The Crying Game’ at the launch, highlighting the special retrospective screening of Neil Jordan’s classic film that will take place during the festival.
In celebrating its 25th year, the GAZE Film Festival 2017 celebrate Ireland’s LGBT journey over the past quarter century, and the role that storytelling has played in this historic narrative.
The festival will open with triumphant documentary ‘The 34th’, which tells the story of the driven and dedicated people who formed Marriage Equality in Ireland, and developed it into a highly effective grassroots force with one clear goal in mind – the extension of Civil Marriage to same sex couples.
In the wake of Brexit, a cornerstone of the programme is the British LGBT Film Focus, kindly supported by the British Council. With the aim of strengthening cultural ties with our closest neighbours, GAZE 2017 looks at how we can continue to develop artistic relations with the United Kingdom. Not only that, but it is very significant that in this year the UK is also celebrating the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality.
The British series includes ‘Young Soul Rebels’ and ‘Queerama’, which document British queer history, and films like ‘The Book of Gabrielle’ and ‘The Dark Mile’, which reflect on contemporary LGBT life in the UK.
This year’s Saturday Night Centrepiece screening will showcase ‘Tom of Finland’, a timeless biopic of a world famous cult figure. ‘Tom of Finland’ brings to screen the life and work of one of the most influential and celebrated figures of twentieth century gay culture.
The film chosen to close the special 25th anniversary of the festival is ‘God’s Own Country’, one of the most talked about and critically praised LGBT film titles of 2017. Both poignant and moving, it is bracingly open-hearted, with a host of stunning standout performances, making it the must-see film of GAZE 2017.
Noel Sutton, Festival Director, GAZE:
“The whole GAZE team are extremely excited to celebrate our 25th festival and to continue to bring the best in LGBT cinema to audiences in Dublin. It’s such a remarkable honour to be Festival Director of this special festival, for this very special anniversary year.
“Without the help of our valuable supporters, including our Lead Sponsor Accenture who have been simply wonderful, we wouldn’t be able to bring such a wealth of choices to our enthusiastic audiences, many of whom travel from across the country and indeed internationally for the festival each year. We welcome all audiences to our festival to sample the eclectic programme, especially in this year when we’ll be reflecting on the journey of the LGBT community in Ireland and internationally, over the last 25 years.”
Dr Michelle Cullen, Head of Inclusion and Diversity, Accenture Ireland:
“We are incredibly proud to support the GAZE International LGBT Film Festival, now in our sixth year. Every day around the world, Accenture puts the power of diversity into action and the team at GAZE have been doing this for 25 years. Diversity makes us stronger and film is a powerful platform that connects people. The GAZE Film Festival provides this shared platform for people to watch films together to create awareness, insights, and empathy for changing attitudes in Ireland. We are delighted to support the LGBT community in telling these powerful stories through film.”