Now in its 26th year, and a staple of the August Bank Holiday weekend, the GAZE LGBT Film Festival remains one of the highlights of the queer calendar, showcasing the best of LGBT cinema. Given the ever-decreasing funding available to arts ventures, to have reached a quarter-century is quite an achievement. To be able to put together a programme of this year’s calibre is simply astonishing.
Festival programmer, Roisín Geraghty, has pulled together a fantastic mix of major movies, along with low-budget hidden gems, some classic flix, and the always-popular shorts programme.
Two of the biggest films in the festival, Disobedience, which stars Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams, and The Miseducation of Cameron Post, starring Chloë Grace Moretz and Jennifer Ehle, are both definitely worth a look, and arrive to the festival on the back of serious critical acclaim.
The opening gala is always a must-see at GAZE, and this year is no exception with a screening of Riot, which tells the story of the infancy of the Australian gay rights movement, which laid the foundation for Sydney Mardi Gras.
An oldie but a goodie, showing on Friday 3rd August in association with Grindhouse (and one which I’m rather excited about) is 1968’s The Killing of Sister George. Directed by Robert Aldrich (who also gave us Whatever Happened to Baby Jane). This sees Beryl Reid reprise her Tony award-winning role, playing an ageing lesbian actress fighting personal battles both on and off-screen. It was considered shocking and explicit on its release, and is an absolute classic that is rarely screened these days.
Also on Friday 3rd is the World Premiere of Sonya Mulligan’s documentary, Outitude, which examines what it means to be lesbian through the personal stories of members of the community. This has a lot of buzz around it, and should definitely be on your one-to-watch list.
Another documentary that should be on your radar is Black Divas, which goes behind the scenes of Australia’s inaugural Miss First Nation’s Pageant. Drag Race this ain’t, but it promises to offer a fascinating insight into the life of a group that are considered a minority within a minority.
The closing film of the festival is a must-see, telling the inspirational story of Scott Jones, a young gay musician, who was attacked and paralysed from the waist down. It captures both the trauma and triumph of his journey in a respectful, loving, and nuanced way.
For queer families, there is a special screening of ParaNorman, which was the first mainstream animated film to feature a gay character, and is a damn good movie to boot.
There is also a MobDoc Mobile Documentary Making Workshop, to teach people in the community how to document their stories using their mobile phones, Town Hall talks, and an array of special guests to keep movie-goers happy throughout the festival.
The full programme is available at www.gaze.ie and I have to say it is one of the strongest that they’ve had in years. Roll on the august Bank Holiday weekend!.
For a taste of what’s available, have a look at the GAZE film festival trailer below:
The GAZE 2018 Film Festival takes place at Light House Cinema, Smithfield, August 2nd – 6th, 2018