GAZE – engage, excite, provoke and entertain

GAZE International Film Festival announces a return to in-cinema screenings this autumn, for the festival’s 29th edition, showcasing some of the most exciting LGBTQ+ narratives on the big screen today and welcoming some of the most sought after LGBTQ+ films to Dublin.

Established in 1992, the festival’s mission is to advance equality and promote visibility of LGBTQ+ experiences by showcasing and celebrating these narratives on screen. Formerly known as the Dublin Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, GAZE International Film Festival celebrates LGBTQ+ storytelling. Our exciting programme of films and events engages filmmakers and audiences in a vibrant social experience. GAZE annual film programmes thematically explore the many facets of LGBTQ+ lives worldwide, expressly including films which deal with the difficulties facing our LGBTQ+ sisters and brothers around the world and at home.

Running from 29 September to 3 October and hosting 11 Irish Premieres for feature films and 35 Irish Premieres for short films, including European and World Premieres, GAZE opens with the prize-winning and acclaimed genre-bending thriller The Novice, a cinematic treat and what queer cinema is all about. Closing on 3rd October with Vivian Kleiman’s colourful, creative and inspiring documentary about the LGBTQ+ comic scene of the 1980s: No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics, the festival will be packed with screenings, including Q+As with the filmmakers of highly-anticipated punk documentary celebration of the London lesbian scene, Rebel Dykes.

Featuring a diverse, inspiring and exciting range of feature length drama and documentaries, as well as an amazing range of shorts, GAZE aims to promote visibility of LGBTQ+ experiences via some of the best in international cinema. A festival of this calibre is nothing without big screen cinema, so it means the world to get the film reels and the audiences back in to cinema auditoriums to see new and classic works, like the beloved film Beautiful Thing, celebrating its 25th anniversary, and the new Director’s Cut of 1999 cult hit But I’m a Cheerleader.

Through incredible film curation GAZE platforms Queer culture at its best, in all its glorious nuances and subversive contexts. The festival aims to inspire, enrage, encourage, make people laugh and most importantly feel connected with a new delivery of beautiful, topical and compelling films and events.

Following the main festival, in November 2021 GAZE presents its first mini-festival, GAZE West, taking place at the Pálás cinema in Galway. Featuring films from the 2020 and 2021 festivals, a small but perfectly formed treat for audiences in the west of Ireland, bringing you a flash of colour as the days get shorter.

Talking about this year’s festival, Eimhin Walsh, new Chairperson of GAZE says, “We are delighted to be returning to cinemas this year with the same high quality, engaging, and entertaining programme that our audience has come to expect from GAZE. GAZE is all about coming together to celebrate the power of LGBTQ+ stories, and we are looking forward to welcoming our community back for this year’s festival. The last 18 months have been particularly challenging for the arts sector in Ireland and I want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our staff, our voluntary board, our funders and supporters, who have kept the wheels turning to make the 29th GAZE happen”.

In his curated programme for 2021, Head of Programming Seán McGovern says. “It means so much to be back in the cinemas where we belong. We’ve put together a tight and robust programme, featuring the breadth of LGBTQ+ stories on screen. The best queer stories engage, excite, provoke and entertain and that’s what GAZE 2021 is about. With so many premieres and more shorts programmes than ever, there is really something for everyone. ”

Vicky Godolphin, managing director, Insurance and LGBT sponsor at Accenture in Ireland  “Accenture is delighted to be lead sponsor of the GAZE International Film Festival. As our society slowly emerges from the challenges of the past two years, we believe that it is critical to support the arts, which we know play a role in fostering an inclusive environment. The opportunity for people to come together across the exciting programme is wonderful and we are delighted to work side by side with the team to make this year a great success.”

The specially curated short film programmes will also be accessible again this year on the IFI’s VOD platform, IFI@Home, making the programme more widely available to LGBTQ+ film buffs in their own homes across the country – and for those who are simply unable to get to a cinema to experience the 2021 festival line up.

Some of this year’s line up includes:

20:00 / 20:10, Wednesday 29 September

Booking –

20:30, Friday 1 October

Light House Cinema

20.00/20:10, Sunday 3 October
Light House Cinema

Booking –

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). Community partners, and Festival Friends also provide invaluable support.

GAZE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2021 runs at the Irish Film Institute (IFI), Temple Bar and the Light House Cinema, Smithfield. Tickets available directly from screening venues Irish Film Institute, IFI@Home or The Light House Cinema.



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