6 things Not to be Missed at GFEST LGBTQI+ Arts Festival

The LGBTQ+ community hosts some of the UK’s most shining talent in the realm of arts – something that’s not celebrated enough (in our humble opinion)!

If you didn’t already know, London’s Gaywise Festival, AKA GFEST, has actually been acknowledging and showcasing the works of top creatives within our community for an entire decade now. With their 10th-anniversary festival running from the 13th to the 25th November, powered by the likes of Magnum, you’ve probably already guessed that this is set to be their most impressive year of exhibitions, performances and visual arts yet!

Don’t believe us? Check out these highlight events…

‘Singing Loud & Proud’ performance evening

Sat 25th Nov, St Pancras (New) Parish Church. Tickets start from £7.50


Divas. Dancing. Donations. This sound like your idea of fun? Ours too! GFEST’s fundraiser event will see the likes of award-winning Rosie Wilby, improv comedy troupe Short & Girlie Show and The Gay Men’s Dance Company slaying it on-stage – and, all in the name of Charities Aid Foundation.

A GFEST first – the festival will be awarding three outstandingly talented LGBTQI+ artists their 2017 Magnum Awards during this finale night, in partnership with luxury ice cream-eers Magnum to mark the celebration’s 10th anniversary. The Magnum Awards will be split into the categories of ‘art’, ‘film’ and ‘performance’.

“Resolve to Relate” film event

Wed 22nd Nov, ArtHouse Crouch End Cinema. Tickets start from £7


LGBTQI+ film-lovers, rejoice! We’ve found your home-away-from-home in Crouch End. Expect a rollercoaster night to top all emotional rollercoaster you’ve ever experienced, featuring Michael Stylianou’s hard-hitting short docudrama Ballroom Boys and Adam Garnet Jones’ breathtaking feature film, Fire Song – a film that previously premiered at Toronto Film Festival.

Women’s Voices! film showing

Tues 21st Nov, Rich Mix Cinema, Bethnal Green. Tickets start from £5


You guessed it – this thought-provoking evening of films explores themes surrounding women and the LGBTQI+ community. The night’s programme finishes with director Debslina Mujamdsr’s full feature drama, ‘If You Dare Desire’, which tells the tale of star-crossed female lovers who lose their own lives fighting to sustain a relationship that’s been shunned from their surrounding West Bengal society.

‘Arts Protest’ visual arts exhibition

Mon 13th – Sat 18th Nov. Menier Gallery. This event is free (no booking required)


Delving into a hugely pertinent topic amongst the LGBTQI+ community, not only in this day and age, but of course in decades gone by, the Arts Protest exhibition will showcase protest-inspired works from diverse artists including Jason Carr, Alice Boland-Rhodes and Simon Croft.

‘Fighting for LGBTQI rights’ film screening

Mon 20th Nov, Rich Mix Cinema Bethnal Green. Tickets start from £5


There’s bound to be something for all LGBTQI+ tastebuds at Bethnal Green’s Rich Mix Cinema next week: from a lesbian choir’s tale in short film ‘To Russia with Love’ to the Chechnya-investigating ‘Unchen’ by Stephen M Hornby. Goers will also get a chance to pick the brains of filmmakers Alexej Getmann and Diana Harders following the screening of their award-winning feature film I’m Not Sick! I’m Gay – offering a glimpse into the world of gay activists in Kazakhstan.

For more information on GFEST 2017 and to purchase tickets, visit the website here.

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Words: George Palmer