GAZE 2020: Ireland’s International LGBTQ+ Film Festival Returns!

GAZE International Film Festival 2020

Irish Film Institute, Lighthouse Cinema, and Online: September 30 – October 4 

GAZE 2020: Ireland’s International LGBTQ+ Film Festival returns with an exciting programme of in-cinema and online (at-home) experiences for the LGBTQ+ community of Ireland.

For its 28th edition, GAZE International Film Festival returns this year with the newest releases in LGBTQ+ film, in a specially curated programme of the most engaging, mind-bending, and life-affirming cinematic experiences, to be seen both on the big screen and from the comfort of your own home.

It hosts 9 Irish Premieres for feature films, and 34 Irish Premieres for short films, including European and World Premieres. It may be a brave new world out there, but GAZE endeavours to make a big celebration for the community, while highlighting the importance of LGBTQ+ stories on-screen, this September and October.

Cinema screenings are at the core of the GAZE Film Festival programme, with films that have universal themes to speak to all audiences.

The programme includes brand new films, as well as rediscovered classics, with accessible comedies and dramas as well as urgent contemporary films detailing the experiences of migrants and queer people of colour – and even an Irish language documentary about two young trans people.

This year, Ireland’s biggest LGBTQ+ and allies film festival expands its reach to a much greater audience nationwide. For the very first time, through the festival’s new online programme, films at GAZE will be seen across the Republic of Ireland, from Letterkenny to Longford, Ringaskiddy to Roscommon, thanks to the new VOD platform, IFI @ HOME, the entire programme will be accessible to many homes.

Talking about this year’s festival, Sarah Williams, Chairperson, of GAZE International LGBTQ+ Film Festival says:

“Queer culture, in all its glorious nuances and subversive contexts, is something GAZE tries to curate through film. We hope you’ll be inspired, enraged, encouraged, that you’ll laugh and most importantly feel connected. We are immensely proud of our team, who, despite all uncertain odds, have delivered a beautiful, topical and compelling festival of films and events, in this extraordinary year that continues to shake us all to the core.’’

Brendan Byrne, ‘Pride at Accenture’ Network Lead added:

We are delighted to once again be the lead sponsor of GAZE, and even more pleased that the wonderful festival team have been able to create a compelling programme of at-home film screenings and events in this never normal. As a community, we need to keep moving forward, bring people together virtually and be visible. It’s never been more important to foster a culture of equality and GAZE does this in a really special way for 2020.”

However, GAZE is first and foremost a film festival, to be seen on the big screen, and a festival of this calibre is nothing without big screen cinema. GAZE is thrilled to be back at the Irish Film Institute (IFI) and the Light House Cinema for 12 incredibly special screenings, including the beautiful Opening Film TWO OF US, about love in later life between two women, and the Closing Film, the mesmerising NO HARD FEELINGS, a story about the divergent lives of two young Iranian men, set in Germany.

Other festival highlights include the award-winning IF IT WERE LOVE, a hypnotic work of French docu-fiction that recreates the joy of the dancefloor from the 1990s rave scene, directed by Patric Chiha; a rare screening of classic 1996 film THE WATERMELON WOMAN, the romantic comedy-drama film which highlights black storytelling on-screen, from American writer, director, and star of the film Cheryl Dunye; the joyous ALICE JUNIOR from Brazil, about a young trans woman who changes the hearts and minds of her conservative school, directed by multi-award winning Gil Baroni, whose work mainly focuses on human rights issues; STEELERS: THE WORLD’S FIRST GAY RUGBY TEAM will make your heart-swell with its touching message of friendship and community through sports, from Australian / New York based filmmaker/Director, Eamonn Ashton-Atkinson; and an anniversary screening of TAXI ZUM KLO, a West German film that may be 40 years old, but captures gay life in hilarious and contemporary ways.

From September 30, revel in all these great movie selections from GAZE 2020, plus all the Short Film Programmes available in-cinemas and online, which in itself is a definite festival highlight every year!

This year the festival is thrilled to announce its annual and exceptional discussion panels and workshops, in association with Screen Skills Ireland and activities, but in a safe environment (not allowing a pandemic to get film buffs down) which includes INSIDE THE OVER-ACTORS’ STUDIO and DRAG AND DRAW to tickle the 2020 GAZE patrons many a shade of pink, at the festival this year.

GAZE are thrilled to announce and award Senator David Norris for this year’s festival Vanguard Award, for his unending contribution and legacy to the lives of LGBTQ+ people in Ireland.


Thanks to the magic of Zoom, more films than ever will also include Q+As with the filmmakers, available as bonus content on the VOD Platform, IFI @ HOME. There are some changes that will stay permanent, and in every future edition of the festival there will be more chances to hear filmmakers talk about their work – offering the true film festival experience.

GAZE 2020 was put together through the lens of a pandemic, as the entire country felt separated from friends and (chosen) family this year. The state of the world always influences choices, and this year it was front and centre.

LGBTQ+ people should not be seen as a monolith, but a diverse and multi-coloured abundant community. GAZE strives to put the best works of film art together, to reflect the LGBTQ+ community on-screen, and learn a little bit more about someone else through the magic of cinema and storytelling. Now more than ever, GAZE aims to entertain, uplift, engage and arouse. This is the festival for our time!

Irish Premieres: 9 films

SUK SUK  (Sunday 4th October, 13:15, IFI & IFI @ HOME)

IF IT WERE LOVE  (Thursday 1st October, 20:45, IFI & IFI @ HOME)

COCOON  (Saturday 3rd October, 18:00, IFI @ HOME)

LINGUA FRANCA  (Thursday 1st October, 18:30, IFI @ HOME )

CLEMENTINE (Friday 2nd October, 18:30, IFI @ HOME)

CICADA  (Thursday 2nd October, 21:30, IFI @ HOME)

ALICE JUNIOR (Saturday 3rd October, 13:15, IFI & IFI @ HOME)

DRY WIND (Saturday 3rd October, 15:00, IFI @ HOME)

WELCOME TO CHECHNYA (screened on BBC) (Saturday 3rd October, 16:00, IFI @ HOME)

ASK ANY BUDDY (Saturday 3rd October, 22:00, IFI @ HOME)

GAZE International Film Festival is kindly sponsored by Accenture, funded by The Arts Council, Dublin City Council and is supported by venue partners; Light House Cinema and the Irish Film Institute (IFI). Festival patrons and Friends also provide valuable support.

GAZE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2020 runs at the Irish Film Institute (IFI), Temple Bar and the Light House Cinema, Smithfield while also streaming online at IFI@Home to your living room nationwide, from September 30 – October 4.

Tickets now on sale at 

Facebook – @GazeFilmFestivalDublin

Twitter – @GAZEFilmFest

Instagram – @gazefilmfest

Lead sponsor is Accenture. Core funded by the Arts Council of Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, Dublin City Council.

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