“What we have now is a wealth of lesbian and gay film and filmmakers whose work is depicting us as we see ourselves – the life, times and issues that affect us.” – Dónal Sheehan, founding member, 1991.
OutLook Film Festival was launched on October 11th 1991, becoming Ireland’s first lesbian and gay film festival, two years before the decriminalistion of homosexuality in Ireland in 1993. In the words of Dónal Sheehan, a founding member of the OutLook committee, their aim was “to create a space specifically for lesbian and gay film.” Cork Film Festival provided that needed space and much thanks are due to the festival and its staff for their support and encouragement over the last twenty years. Mick Hannigan, Cork Film Festival Director, in his introduction to the 1991 programme, saw OutLook as “an exciting development and one which [he hoped would] endure.” Endure it has, and over the twenty years Outlook has represented and reflected on the many changes that have occurred in gay culture and politics in both Ireland and internationally.
Another aim of the festival was the fostering and promotion of gay filmmaking in Ireland. At the first festival, a symposium was held, entitled ‘Into Celluloid,’ to discuss the potential of lesbian and gay filmmaking in Ireland. In its first twenty years, OutLook has endeavoured to feature the work of Irish lesbian and gay and filmmakers. In 2008, OutLook programmed a retrospective of great Irish gay filmmaking. “Mise Aerach” was a programme of shorts featuring the best of Ireland’s gay filmmaking to date, including the award-winning films of Ken Wardrop and Barry Dignam.
OutLook 2010’s programme speaks of the many realities of the LGBT community across the world. We have films from England, Germany, Italy, Poland, Israel,USA, Canada, Chile, Australia and, of course, Ireland. This year’s features explore the pressures and strains of family and tradition, the loneliness of city life, and the search for love and the pursuit of art. Our documentaries examine the Stonewall riots, the recovery from childhood sexual abuse, and the radical activism of the LGBT community across Europe.
In our two shorts programmes, filmmakers address the blurring of gender in the 21st century, adolescent love and infatuation, the challenges of living transgendered on an American trailer park, the risks and rewards of playing rugby as an out gay man, the Gay Games 2010, and much more. We also welcome visual artist Qasim Riza Shaheen, who presents a special three-part tale of the Filipino transgendered community in Dublin.
All are welcome to the Official Launch of OutLook 2010 and the celebration of the 20th anniversary: Thursday 11th, 6.00pm, The Other Place, South Main St., Cork.