LGBT films come out fighting for their rightful place in mainstream cinema at London art fest GFEST 2016.

gfest2016pic9LGBT Feature and short films line up to showcase at Rich Mix Cinema in Shoreditch on 12, 14 and 15 November. GFEST 2016 film screenings continue on 14 and 17 November at Arthouse Crouch End. An ‘African LGBTQ Community Cinema’ event with 2 screenings will take place at Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham on Sunday 13 November.

An annual platform for LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex) artists and organisations, the 9th GFEST – Gaywise FESTival ® runs Monday 7 – Saturday 19 November 2016 at venues across London. The films deal with GFEST 2016 theme, highlighting the contrast between ‘out and marginal’ identities.

The GFEST 2016 full film programme (from Saturday 12 to Thursday 17 November) details are live on the GFEST website: 

FILMS: ‘Crossing the Marginal’
GFEST 2016 films explore themes of fighting back from margins, with a line-up that includes recently completed LGBTQI works and some UK and London premieres of feature-length and short films.

A Still from GFEST 2016 feature film JONATHAN

The film programme opens on Saturday 12 November at Rich Mix with moving film Jonathan, a feature drama (Germany 2015, English subtitles) about a complicated father-son relationship and a long-kept family secret: a visually striking debut by director Piotr J. Lewandowski.

A Still from GFEST 2016 feature lenghth documentary Gender Troubles
A Still from GFEST 2016 feature film The Pearl

On 14 November GFEST 2016 shows feature length documentary Gender Troubles: The Butches (USA 2016) by director Lisa Plourde, which gives a voice to women who may look and or act in ways that society has decided is appropriate only for men; followed on 15 November by Jessica Dimmock and Christopher LaMarca’s The Pearl (USA 2016), a fascinating portrayal of the experiences of four middle-aged transgender women.

A Still from GFEST 2016 feature film Brothers of the Night
A Still from GFEST 2016 short film If I met a Magician

14 November will see the London premiere of Patric Chiha’s docudrama style feature film Brothers of the Night (Austria 2016, English subtitles), based on the lives of a group of young Roma men from Bulgaria who sell their bodies at gay venues in Vienna, will be unveiled at Arthouse Crouch End, along with Shaked Goren’s short film If I met a Magician (Israel 2015).

The 17 November screening of LGBTQ short films include a number of UK films: Denise by director Kenneth O’TooleOpen Plan directed by Daniel MurthaJake Graf’s film DawnMasterful Hermit directed by Reg Noyes and Oliver Mason’s Away with Me – showcasing the best and most vibrant of UK LGBT film talent in recent time.

A Still from GFEST 2016 short film Dawn
A Still from GFEST 2016 short film Denise
A Still from GFEST 2016 short film No Matter Who
A Still from GFEST 2016 short film The Mermaid and the Whale

A special event focusing on African LGBTIQ communities will take place at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham on 13 November.

A Still from African LGBTQ film Umunthu
A still from African LGBTQ feature drama OUTED: The Painful Reality

Under the themes of Pain and Resilience and Hope, a double bill will include feature length Outed: The Painful Reality (Uganda 2015) together with the latest short documentary film Police Raid on Pride Uganda 2016 at 5.30 pm, followed at 8.00 pm by documentaries And Still We Rise (Uganda 2015), a story of courage and resilience, Umunthu (Malawi 2013) which explores complexities of tolerance, acceptance, Being Unbound (UK/Tanzania 2015) which looks at rarely discussed African trans identities and music video Same Love – Remix (Kenya) which was banned in Kenya. Doors open at 4.00 pm to give ample time for intros and Q/A with filmmakers as well as discussions with community groups.

“A number of GFEST 2016 films deal with ‘Out, Proud and loud’ messages and narratives in a unique way from the margins of social identities,” says GFEST artistic director Niranjan Kamatkar. “We are proud to be promoting cinematic excellence being at the heart of LGBTQI future.”


Video: GFEST – Gaywise FESTival ® 2016 showreel released

London’s eclectic Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) cross art festival showcases film screenings, art exhibition and performance works by LGBTQI artists, for full programme details check:

GFEST – Gaywise FESTival ® 2016 showreel released now on Youtube:

An annual event in November also includes debate and talks.

GFEST 2016 dates: Monday the 7th November to Saturday the 19th November 2016.


Adjust your margins! LGBTQI artists showcase their artistic bent at London art fest GFEST 2016


gfest2016web3Monday 7 November – Saturday 19 November 2016

An annual platform for LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex) artists and organisations, the 9th GFEST – Gaywise FESTival ® runs Monday 7 – Saturday 19 November 2016 at venues across London.

The GFEST 2016 full programme details are live on the GFEST website: .

992_496_mayor_6379_may2016The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “As a Mayor for all Londoners, I want to say loud and clear that our city is open to everyone – regardless of background or sexuality.  We don’t simply tolerate each other, but respect, embrace and celebrate our differences. GFEST is a unique event in London’s cultural calendar, reaching out to the wider international LGBTQI community and celebrating the work of LGBTQI artists and performers. It showcases our diversity and highlights our reputation as one of the most LGBT friendly cities in the world.”

“In 2016 some artists and some LGBTQI people still feel that aspects of their ‘Out & Proud’ identities can be seen as marginalised and this contrast is explored in this year’s GFEST theme,” says GFEST artistic director Niranjan Kamatkar. “Despite all the fundraising challenges, we are still carrying on, putting forward a message that GFEST is there for the celebration of all LGBT artists and practitioners, promoting artistic excellence being at the heart of LGBTQI future.”

gfest2016web4FILMS: ‘Crossing the Marginal’
GFEST 2016 films explore these themes with a feature-length line-up that includes recently completed LGBT works and some UK and London premieres: Jonathan, Brothers of the Night, Gender Troubles. Short films include a number of UK films: Denise, Open Plan, Dawn and Away with Me. The film events will take place at the Rich Mix cinema in Shoreditch and the Arthouse Crouch End cinema in from 12 to 17 November and will include filmmakers Q&A with the audience.
A special African LGBT cinema evening is planned at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham on 13 November with community group Q&A.

gfest2016web1PERFORMANCES: ‘Marginal Play’

This double-bill evening full of LGBTQI music and dance is at RADA Studio in Chenies Street on Saturday 19 November.
The evening starts 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 concludes 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. Choreographed by Subodh Rathod and presented in collaboration with the University of Roehampton dance and music departments.

This is a fundraiser event for GFEST 2016 and GFEST 2017 new commissions to ensure that GFEST becomes an even stronger platform for LGBTQI artists.

gfest2016vajointdetail2VISUAL ARTS: ‘Beyond Margins’ 
A series of challenging and insightful works can be seen at GFEST 2016 visual art exhibition at Menier Gallery, (Upper Gallery), from 7 November to 12 November. This year’s line up of artists include: Ajamu X and Khalil West, Jason Carr, Jose Gomez, Niranjan Kamatkar, Sarah Jane Moon, Simon Croft and Veronica Slater. Free entry.

A panel discussion OUT [in the Margins] will take place on Saturday 12 November at the Menier Gallery exploring how the work presented at the exhibition relates to or contrasts with preconceived notions.

On Sunday 13 November, Sara Wajid, the renowned museum professional will take us on the GFEST 2016 queer art tour at the Tate Modern public exhibition in the new Switch House.



London Gay Art Festival GFEST 2016: Images Released

GFEST – Gaywise FESTival ®

9th GFEST – Gaywise FESTival ® 2016 , which is recognised as London’s “All Arts, All Welcome” festival has release some images from this years programme at the announcement of full programme.

GFEST 2016 films, performances, visual arts and debates events will take place from 7 to 19 November in venues across London.

See the exclusive GFEST 2016 preview images as below.

GFEST 2016 films:gfest2016pic9

GFEST 2016 performances:gfest2016perfpic11

GFEST 2016 visual arts: gfest2016vajointdetail2










GFEST 2016 on social media:gfest2016pic8

GFEST – Gaywise FESTival ® 2016 programme to be announced soon on GFEST website.

Pictures from London Pride 2016: Wise Thoughts / GFEST

North London based Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender issue based arts charity Wise Thoughts, organisers of GFEST – Gaywise FESTival in London, took part in London Pride Parade on Saturday the 25th June 2016.

Some pictures from London Pride Parade 2016 participation: IMG_2936 Cl3qkbqXIAADsKF Cl36bdtWMAEAxvC Cl36emlXEAAvKlo IMG_2889 IMG_2892 IMG_2897 IMG_2904 IMG_2911 IMG_2919 IMG_2924 IMG_2930

Indian Gay Artist Bhupen Khakhar Exhibition Opens at Tate Modern in London

Posted by Niranjan Kamatkar

A Landmark exhibition of paintings, watercolours and some 3 dimensional work by Indian gay artist Bhupen Khakhar (1934-2003) was launched at Tate modern last night.

A number of figurative works that include portrayals of gay relationships are showcased. It is a rare opportunity for Londoners to see a large body of his work under one roof .

Detail from some works
Detail from some works

Bhupen Khakhar was known globally to the art world and a number of high profile people attended the opening night on the 31st May.

The show is open to public from 1 June – 6 November 2016.

Please check for any further information about the exhibition.


GFEST presents South Asian LGBT identities at Southbank Centre’s Alchemy 2016.


See ‘Towards Marg’, an exhibition exploring South Asian LGBT identities in political and cultural scenes.

‘Towards Marg’ features the photographic and image work of four artists: Charan Singh, Raisa Kabir, Sushil Mangaonkar and Balbir Krishan. ‘Marg’ is Sanskrit for pathway, and the exhibition looks at the various journeys South Asian LGBT people take through life.

The dates for the mini-series exhibition are from Wednesday the 18th May to Monday 30th May 2016. It will be open for Alchemy 2016 visitors from 10am – 11pm on Level 2 Foyer (Blue Side) at Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre.

Wise Thoughts artistic director Niranjan Kamatkar, who presents the exhibition ‘Towards Marg’ said, “I am excited to highlight the work as part of Alchemy 2016 at the Southbank Centre, which also marks IDAHOT (International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia) on 17th May. It is about time that we encourage greater visibility and platform the artistic excellence within South Asian LGBT identities.”

Alchemy, Southbank Centre’s annual festival celebrating the cultural connections between South Asia and the UK. Now in its seventh year, Alchemy is also the largest South Asian festival outside of the subcontinent.

Wise Thoughts is a London-based arts charity dedicated to creating and showcasing LGBTQI arts and culture. Established in 1999, they work on projects involving LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) and BAME (Black, Asian Minority Ethnic) artists, filmmakers and practitioners. They also organise multidisciplinary art events such as GFEST- Gaywise FESTival, London’s annual LGBT cross-art festival, held in November.