GAZE Film Festival: 25th Anniversary edition opened with Gala World Premiere screening of major Irish Marriage Equality documentary

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, and other leading figures from the Marriage Equality campaign, joined directors, Linda Cullen and Vanessa Gildea, to attend the Gala Opening Night of the GAZE Film Festival for the World Premiere of The 34th – The Story of Marriage Equality in Ireland.

The 34th 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. Through revealing interviews and archive material, former board members and staff outline the strategising, fierce battles, sheer hard graft, and personal cost of running such an all-consuming campaign.

From the KAL (Katherine Zappone & Ann Louise Gilligan) case, to a YES vote on 22nd May 2015, this documentary spans a decade, culminating in the 34th amendment to the Irish constitution, allowing same-sex marriage. 

GAZE Festival Director Noel Sutton said:

“I can’t imagine a better way to open our 25th Anniversary Festival than the world premiere of this landmark documentary. In the last quarter century, the LGBT community, including GAZE, has fought for and achieved a transformation in Irish society’s relationship to its LGBT members that culminated in the Marriage Referendum so it’s with both joy and pride that we welcome this film and start an extraordinary long weekend of film.”

Director and Producer, Linda Cullen, added:

“The movement for marriage equality didn’t come out of nothing so this film tells about the ten years before the referendum and all the people who came together and fought hard to make it happen. We’re delighted that the film has its World Premiere at GAZE amongst our peers and so many people who made the campaign and the film a success.”

Director and producer, Vanessa Gildea, commented:

“Working with Linda and our editor, Cuan MacConghail, on such a historic subject has been a great experience. I’m thrilled that so many people directly involved in the film and the campaign are able to be with us tonight.”

Alastair Blair, country managing director at Accenture Ireland, concluded:

“Now in our sixth year, we are delighted, once again, to be headline sponsor of the GAZE International LGBT Film Festival for the 25th anniversary celebration. Ireland has made profound societal progress in supporting the rights of the LGBT community during this time and The 34th is a very fitting opening gala film depicting the hard work and sheer dedication by the people of Ireland. Many of my colleagues at Accenture and friends at GAZE worked tirelessly during the campaign to ensure inclusivity for our families and friends. Tonight we will see that brought to life.”

A COCO Production, The 34th was produced and directed by Linda Cullen and Vanessa Gildea.

The GAZE Film Festival is kindly sponsored by Accenture, funded by Funding Partners the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, and Dublin City Council, and is supported by Venue Partner Light House Cinema, and the opening night is supported by leading catering and facilities services company Sodexo Ireland.  Other additional partners also provide valuable support. 

The GAZE 2017 Film Festival takes place at Light House Cinema, Smithfield, from August 3rd – 7th 2017.

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