London’s annual LGBTQI cross-art and cultural event in November GFEST – Gaywise FESTival started on 7 November this year. There was a big visual arts exhibition ‘arty-party’ at Menier Gallery near London Bridge on Tuesday 8 November. A number of eminent people from arts and culture world of London attended and enjoyed the exhibition, which remains open to public until 12 November. The exhibition has already been seen by hundreds of people and the works of well known LGBTQI artists and fresh talent is showcased. Headlining the free entry visual arts events are Ajamu X and Khalil West, Jason Carr, Jose Gomez, Niranjan Kamatkar, Sarah Jane Moon, Simon Croft and Veronica Slater.

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GFEST 2016 artistic director Niranjan Kamatkar spoke at the exhibition, outlining the long term relationship that the festival enjoys in its 9th year with artistic and LGBTQ communities.

GFEST is organised by arts charity Wise Thoughts and one of the trustees, Dr Rainer Schulze spoke passionately about GFEST 2016 films line-up that  begins from Saturday 12 November. The film programme opens with feature drama Jonathan at Rich Mix in Shoreditch this weekend. The festival will showcase recently completed LGBT feature films and some UK and London premieres such as Brothers of the Night at Arthouse Crouch End on Monday 14 November, Gender Troubles on 14 November and The Pearl on 15 November at Rich Mix. The short films night at Arthouse on Thursday 17 November include some of the best UK LGBTQI short films made or exhibited in 2016: Denise, Open Plan, Dawn and Away with Me.

A special African LGBT cinema evening with 2 screenings will be at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham on 13 November with community group Q&A.

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GFEST 2016 performances evening details were outlined by Subodh Rathod, who has been one of the organisers from the beginning of the festival in 2007.

‘Marginal Play’– a double-bill evening full of LGBTQI music and dance will be on at RADA Studio in Chenies Street on Saturday 19 November.
gfest2016perfpic11The evening will start with composer Benjamin Tassie performing his music set for acoustic instruments and electronics.  He has also developed a new music piece for an original dance work ‘Marg – a pathway’ which will conclude the double bill. Specially commissioned for GFEST 2016, this dance work offers two narratives from the Indian epic Mahabharata, exploring the ageless nature of gender fluidity and sexual diversity. The dance work, choreographed by Subodh Rathod, is presented in collaboration with the University of Roehampton dance and music departments.

GFEST 2016 film, performances and visual arts events information and details can be found on the website: http://www.gaywisefestival.org.uk/

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