Curtains close on another successful year of GFEST – Gaywise FESTival®

Looking back on the highlights of UK’s leading LGBTQI* arts festival GFEST 2014:

‘All Arts, All Welcome’

This November GFEST 2014 the UK’s premier festival for LGBTQI* culture hit venues across London with a stellar line up of art, film, dance performance and cabaret celebrating the rich selection of LGBTQI arts on offer in the UK today.  This year the festival responded to the theme Myths and Mythology.

Highlights of this year’s programme included a sell-out programme of films and talks at London’s premier independent cinema, Richmix in Shoreditch which featured acclaimed film makers Jake Graff, Jonathan Taieb, Justin McCarthy, Daniel Ribero, Richard Mansfeild and Erin Davies among others.

November 15th saw GFEST 2014 Cabaret raise the roof at Richmix with Mzz KimberleySh!T Theatre   and Bird La Bird presented an evening of laugh-out-loud LGBTQI comedy and satire.

Running throughout the festival was the GFEST 2014 Arts Exhibition at Menier Gallery, which featured new commissions from the UK’s premiere feminist artist Sadie Lee, Thread Needle Prize winner Renzo Marra and Matthew Stradling, in addition to some of the UK’s leading LGBTQI artists. Following the show’s success Lee and Stradling have been offered the chance to exhibit in Birmingham, in addition to gaining new commissions based on the works in show, demonstrating the important platform Gaywise FESTival® provides for gay artists working in the UK.

The festival reached a fitting crescendo on 20th November at RADA Studios, with two outstanding South Asian dance performances from Kali Chandrasegaram and Justin McCarthy. Both works explored the common held myths surrounding LGBTQI culture both here in the UK and in Asia.

Drawing on the mythical elements of GFEST 2014, Programme Curator, Subodh Rathod said of the dance performances: “Vishnu as Mohini, Lucretia, Jupiter in the guise of Diana capture the hearts and minds of audiences at Myths & Mythologies filled GFEST 2014”.

Dance critics who attended the RADA event also commented:

“…there’s a delicate charm to McCarthy’s presentation, coupling sensitive abhinaya mimes with bursts of lively footwork.” – Lise Smith, London Dance

Kali Chandrasegaram’s S(He)-dom: freedom versus he-or-she-dom explored several important issues for the LGBT community.” – Laura Dodge, Dance Musings

Feedback from this year’s festival goers suggest that’s 95% of visitors enjoyed the festival events and would like to see Gaywise FESTival® return bigger and better for 2015.

Festival Director, Niranjan Kamatkar said of this year’s festival, “It was a great joy to be able to showcase a huge variety of LGBTQI arts, films from diverse cultures and countries at this year’s GFEST- Gaywise FESTival”

Watch Kamatkar and Rathod discussing the importance of LGBTQI with London Live’s headline London present, Claudia-Liza Armah HERE.

GFEST – Gaywise FESTival® is London’s premier *Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) cross – art festival for all.


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