The GAZE LGBT Film Festival has presented Dr. Mary McAleese, Former President of Ireland, with the festival’s inaugural Vanguard Award. The award was presented by filmmaker John Butler on the closing night of the hugely popular film festival in Light House Cinema, Smithfield.

The special Vanguard Award was created this year by the GAZE Film Festival for a person, organisation or ally who has contributed to the LGBT community through their humanitarian efforts or through the arts. GAZE, proudly supported by lead sponsor, Accenture, ran across the Bank Holiday at Light House Cinema, where multiple Irish premieres took place.

We are genuinely humbled that Dr. Mary McAleese has accepted our invitation to be the recipient of the inaugural Vanguard Award. Dr. McAleese’s unwavering support for the advancement of the LGBT+ community has been widely acknowledged and praised, and we felt very strongly that we wanted to present her with this award this evening to mark her achievements. The entire team behind GAZE were thrilled when Dr. McAleese informed us she was in a position to accept the award, and while the award is presented from the film festival, it is very much presented on behalf of the entire LGBT+ community to thank her for her outspoken commitment to all of us. We thank her most sincerely for her continuing efforts as a strong ally.
Sarah Williams, Chairperson of the Board – GAZE LGBT Film Festival

It’s an honour to present this award to a life-long hero of mine, what an inspiration and what a contribution to Irish life!
John Butler, Filmmaker

Throughout the festival, now in its 26th year, filmmakers discussed their work and met with audiences during Q&A’s following screenings of films that explored a broad range of subjects and stories. Audiences flocked to Light House Cinema over the weekend since the festival opened on Thursday night, resulting in another hugely successful event.

Vickey Curtis and Nick McCarthy announce the GAZE LGBT Film Festival Jury Prize winners

Vickey Curtis and Nick McCarthy announce the GAZE LGBT Film Festival Jury Prize winners

The Jury prize for Best Irish Short went to Breast Friends, with Best International Short going to Something About Alex, and Best Documentary to Tranny Fag.

The closing film of the festival was Love, Scott, the inspirational story of Scott Jones,which follows this young gay musician who was attacked and paralysed from the waist down. It captures both the trauma and triumph of its character’s journey in a respectful, loving and nuanced way.

The GAZE Film Festival is proudly sponsored by Accenture, funded by partners the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, and The Arts Council, and is supported by Venue Partner Light House Cinema, along with the Australian Embassy in Ireland. Other additional partners also provide valuable support.

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