GAZE International LGBTQIA Film Festival

31st GAZE International LGBTQIA Film Festival 

Dublin | 3rd – 7th August 2023

Lead Sponsor Accenture, Core Funded by The Arts Council


GAZE International Film Festival announces a bumper new programme of film screenings for 2023 – a return to a summer festival this August Bank Holiday – including European, Irish and International film premieres – with more exciting LGBTQIA films in new spaces for new audiences, including the stunning Stella Cinema, while continuing GAZE Online for the whole of Ireland to take part:

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ireland. Cultural and artistic expression helps set the scene for social change and GAZE International Film Festival is one cultural organisation that strives to help with this important cultural revolution, a vital annual tradition to be part of and that gives voices to so many LGBTQIA filmmakers here in Ireland, while inviting other vital creative voices from abroad too. To celebrate this year’s milestone you will find films in the new GAZE programme that celebrate gay sexuality in many guises.

GAZE 2023 will feature 114 films from 25 countries, including a dozen Irish premieres, ten European premieres, six world premieres, and many other films making their Dublin and/or international cinema debut across a packed features and shorts programme. 

Urgent social change is needed across the globe and where GAZE Film Festival is concerned, trans filmmaking plays an essential part in the 2023 festival. Cinema is a space where better futures can be imagined – giving impetus to push for action, honour community, and platform voices that must be herad. At GAZE 2023 you will find a host of trans shorts and features reflecting on community, identity, joy, fantasy and freedom.

Hollywood’s film industry is seeing a clear lesbian take-over recently and this too is thriving at this year’s GAZE Irish shorts programme, with a host of truly genius Sapphic tales on offer alongside plentiful voices from across LGBTQIA community. And while the festival is thinking about our fullest community, at BFI Flare Festival Director, Greg Thorpe experienced an incredible documentary entitled Who I Am Not, which centres the experiences of three extraordinary individuals who all identify as intersex. It is profound story-telling, the kind film festivals are made of. Inspired by activism surrounding the film I have brought the ‘+’ out of the shadows this year and our festival is subtitled ‘LGBTQIA’ for the first time. Thorpe enourages us all to watch this very important film, and the Irish short ‘Lambing’ – stories about intersex and asexual life and other less heard experiences.

The iconic artist David Hoyle will feature heavily in this year’s programme, including the premiere of HEDDA (After Ibsen), a radical film reimagining of the Ibsen classic, by director Jen Heyes. Both David and Jen will be in conversation with Festival Director, Greg Thorpe. Plus you can also catch David Hoyle’s live stage s how ‘The Ten Commandments’ at Project Arts Centre, another premiere piece brought to Ireland by GAZE.

This year GAZE has a defined musical bent to the programme with documentaries focussing on two iconic ground-breaking gay bands, The Indigo Girls (It’s Only Life After All) and The Hidden Cameras (Music Is My Boyfriend). Inspired by these stories the GAZE programming team had fun theming festival shorts selections around gay dancefloor bangers – Smalltown Boys, Bad Romance, and Mighty Real. You will find the cream of queer filmmaking talent in amongst those selections.

GAZE also welcome a special film selection from its Portugese film counterparts at Queer Lisboa, who have sent the festival a selection of beautiful film shorts to whet this year’s festival-goers’ appetites for future collaborations. GAZE is also excited to revive a partnership with the Iris Prize, who present a medley of fantastic cutting-edge shorts this year, and will also join for a workshop this August bank holiday aimed at anyone who wants to work with short films in their career.

Celebrating yet another new partnership, Red Umbrella Film Festival come on board offer shorts that focus on queer experiences of sex work and are wondrous in their variety. Come and meet them and hear more about this exciting Dublin venture. Last but never least, our programming partnership with aemi enters its fourth year sharing eye-opening experimental works that will change your mind about short film.

Festival Director Greg Thorpe says: “A wealth of LGBTQIA films on offer this year left us spoiled for choice. Music, romance, sex, comedy, horror, documentary and incredible story-telling have all found their place in the programme. I am particularly excited for our programming partnerships with Iris Prize, Red Umbrella Film Festival, Queer Lisboa and aemi, and our special festival guest, David Hoyle a living legend. Thirty years since decriminalisation is worth celebrating and seeing ourselves reflected back on screen is part of why GAZE exists. Join us in both celebrating progress and demanding change, together.”

Enda King, Executive Sponsor, Pride Network at Accenture in Ireland comments: “We’re thrilled to be the lead sponsor of the GAZE International Film Festival for the 12th year running. This year’s programme is packed with inspiring, entertaining, and thought-provoking pieces from across the LGBTQIA community. At Accenture, we support our people to be their authentic selves at work every day and we’re proud to work alongside the team at GAZE to champion greater diversity of representation and shine a light on these incredible stories.”

In 2022, GAZE had to postpone the controversial movie People’s Joker. Kept alive by word of mouth and secret screenings, the festival organisers are thrilled to announce that it’s going ahead in this year’s festival programme, and it features the debut from Emmy-nominated editor and jester visionary Vera Drew, who brings a bombastic mix of anti-comedy, anima-tion and transsexual clowns – all made with the help of over 100 artists and with zero authorisation from DC Comics. The screening will be followed by an in-conversation event with its Director Vera Drew at the Light House cinema on Saturday 5 August.

As for other of this year’s features, go ahead and delve in, there will definitely be something to entice you as and film buffs will be spoiled for choice this year. See you at the movies!

Finally, the GAZE annual awards will take place at Light House cinema on Monday 7 August. An integral part of the festival to showcase the best of the best at this year’s festival. Categories include, Best Irish Short film; Best International Short; and Best Documentary. Winners will be announced live at the Closing Gala screening of coming of age Australian comedy drama Of An Age. This year’s jurors include Irish broadcaster Brendan Courtney;Independent Art Curator, writer and maker, Diana Bamimeke; Researcher, writer and artist, Han Tiernan; and multi-media artist, Austin Hearne.

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) and the Stella Cinema in conjunction with Press Up. Community partners, and Festival Friends also provide invaluable support.  

The core cinema season will form the heart of the festival as always at GAZE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2023 and runs a the IFI, Temple Bar; Light House Cinema, Smithfield; and the Stella Cinema, Rathmines from Thursday 3rd  to Monday 7th August. Tickets available directly from screening venues Irish Film Institute, IFI@Home or The Light House and The Stella cinemas. Tickets on sale from 21st  September.

Further info at:

Facebook: @GazeFilmFestivalDublin

Twitter: @GAZEFilmFest

Instagram: @gazefilmfest

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