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.

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.

London Gay Art Festival GFEST 2015 was a Success

GFEST – Gaywise FESTival ® 2015



FullSizeRender image5 image2 IMG_2065 image1 IMG_0907 GFEST 20151CTx8cG-W4AA5-aP

The 8th GFEST – Gaywise FESTival ® came to a close this weekend after a successful two week run. The festival enjoyed a good turnout for its week-long visual art exhibition ASIAN FUTURE, challenging perceptions of Asian LGBTQI identities at London’s Menier Gallery. This was matched by a good turnout for GFEST’s TONAL FUTURE evening dedicated to gay composers past and present, with their compositions performed in St Pancras Parish Church by LGBT musicians. The corresponding panel discussions were also successful and well attended.

GFEST’s CINEMA FUTURA film screenings at ArtHouse Crouch End was sold out. GFEST’s special LGBT tour of Tate Modern, led by artist Michael Petry, was another successful, sold out event.

Niranjan Kamatkar, artistic director of GFEST commented: “We got a fabulous response from both the artists and audiences, saying that they thoroughly enjoyed participating in the events. It was all due to high quality artistic contributions, not only by the artists but also by the guest curators and programme advisors.”

Festival organisers and artists took the opportunity of GFEST to make several important statements. On the eve of Diwali, India’s festival of light, an appeal was made to British Prime Minister David Cameron. In a letter to the PM, GFEST’s Subodh Rathod urged David Cameron to discuss LGBT rights in India with the Indian PM, whose visit to Britain coincided with Diwali and with GFEST’s ASIAN FUTURE visual art exhibition. With GFEST’s TONAL FUTURE music concert taking place exactly one week from the horrific events of Paris, and with extremists in the Middle East killing LGBT people and destroying art, GFEST took a moment during the concert to show solidarity with the people of Paris and with LGBT people in Syria and beyond.

With this year’s festival, GFEST challenged its audiences to question and not blindly accept the status quo, with the theme: (Complacent Present)… Fragile Future? It turned out to be an especially pertinent, timely theme that highlighted a promising future for the LGBTQI artistic community.

GFEST will return next year – 2016 dates to be announced.

GFEST 2015 LGBT art tour at Tate Modern

GFEST- Gaywise FESTival 2015 music concert



GFEST 2015: Why it’s important to present gay composers’ music at London’s LGBT art festival

GFEST2015PerfEventbriteWhen we planned for GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2015 music concert, it was vital to ensure that we have selected a range of artists and musical works that reflect the theme for this year’s festival – (Complacent Present..)..Fragile Future? There is an element of complacency amongst both the audiences and the artists of classical music, to acknowledge the sexuality of some of the most eminent composers from past. Composers such as Tchaikovsky, Schubert or Britten whose works that have enriched and shaped the musical landscape. In selecting the work we also wanted to remember and recognise the sufferings of those such as Vladimir Horowitz or Francis Poulenc who were either forced to deny their sexuality or face possible prosecution. And as they say – ‘without a past there is no future’.

GFEST2014logoIn these financially challenging times for smaller voluntary art organisations like Wise Thoughts, it is very difficult to resource the creation of new work that may not be commercially viable, hence the only way forward, for us, seems to be to try and support artists ourselves. We hope the concert will inspire both composers, musicians and institutions, to create new works and engage with Wise Thoughts (the arts charity that organises GFEST) to showcase the works via GFEST or our other platforms.

All the money raised from the sale of music concert tickets will go towards setting up a fund to commission new works. We have kept the ticket prices very low – only £7 or £5 to help ensure we are able to encourage greater access particularly by new audiences for classical music. Audiences are also able to make an online donation when booking the tickets, and these too will help contribute to the fund.

WT-CCHlogoWe aim to commission a range of music from diverse genres.  Commissioning artists to create works that will be showcased at the next GFEST also enables them to develop work without fear of not having their voice heard or their creations not shared to a broader audience.

So we appeal everyone to purchase tickets and come and support the wonderful musicians who are performing for Tonal Future : Gulliver Ralston, Liam Bryne, The Korros Ensemble, Miles Lallemant, and Duncan Day. Please visit;   We hope people will be generous and make additional donations either via the booking link or via our own website or on the day. It would be a great to help spread the word about the concert via social media using the #TonalFuture and @GFEST. We need all the support we can get to help promote not just the concert but more importantly the fact that we are trying support the commissioning of new work.

BOOK the tickets for GFEST 2015 music concert



London LGBTQI cross-arts festival GFEST announces 2015 dates

GFEST2015coverweb4GFEST – Gaywise FESTival, recognised as London LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgeder, Queer and Intersex) cross-arts annual event in November has announced 2015 dates: Monday the 9th to Friday the 20 November.

GFEST 2015 programme advisors names are also announced on the festival’s website:

GFEST 2015 programme advisors include Anna McNay, Gulliver Ralston, Michael Petry, Simon Tarrant, Subodh Rathod and Lois Keidan and the artistic director is Niranjan Kamatkar.

GFEST 2015 theme is ‘(Complacent Present) …Fragile Future?’ GFEST 2015 visual arts exhibition will explore Asian identities under the theme: Asian Future. The films are planned under the theme ‘Cinema Futura’, while the performance events will be falling under ‘Tonal Future’.

The festival event in London’s LGBT calendar consists of visual arts exhibition, film screenings, performances and talks and debate focusing on the works of young and established artists and practitioners. The festival is organised by arts charity WiseThoughts and is now in its 8th year.

Catherine West, the MP for Hornsey & Wood Green where Wise Thoughts is based, said in her message of support, “I am delighted to offer my support to this year’s GFEST, celebrating some of the brightest and best talent in the LGBTQI community here and abroad.  I am looking forward to coming along to one of the events in my constituency and send my best wishes to everyone taking part this year and to Wise Thoughts for organising such a fantastic diverse programme”

GFEST artistic director Niranjan Kamatkar said, “we are very pleased to receive the support of our local MP and we continue to profile LGBT art works due to the support of eminent people, artists and audiences. Irrespective of significant funding challenges, we are confident that we can deliver the full festival programme this year.”