Vacancies: Festival Director

GAZE is recruiting a Festival Director.

GAZE was founded as Dublin Lesbian and Gay Film Festival in 1992 before rebranding as GAZE in 2006, with the mission to celebrate the power of LGBTQ+ stories on film. For almost three decades, GAZE has brought strangers and friends together for breathtaking, mind-bending and life-affirming cinematic experiences. GAZE celebrates the finest LGBTQ+ cinema, developing the art form for artists and filmmakers, showcasing international cinema which would not otherwise be seen in Ireland, and creating an annual shared cultural space for the LGBTQ+ community. Each year GAZE present over 25 screenings, including features, documentaries and short film programmes, as well as panels, industry Q&As, workshops and social spaces, to discuss and celebrate film and the art of storytelling.

The Festival Director will curate GAZE Festival 2022 and is responsible for conceiving, developing, budgeting, and implementing the artistic and programmatic focus of the festival in consultation with the Festival Manager and subject to the approval of the GAZE Board of Directors.

Reports to:

GAZE Board of Directors


The role is offered as contract for services for GAZE 2022 with the possibility of extending to 2024 after a review of the 2022 festival. The nature of the workload is such that certain points of the year, in the build up to the festival and around funding deadlines, are busier than others. The successful applicant will be expected to manage this workload alongside any other commitments they have. The fee will be in the region of €10,000 for this part time role, depending on experience, and a workplan will be agreed between the Festival and the person appointed as Festival Director to provide clarity on expectations. The Festival Director will provide their own workplace throughout the year.

Applicants should prepare a CV and Covering Letter (each max 2 sides of A4), outlining their relevant experience and how they meet the requirements of the person specification, and send by email to [email protected] by 09:00AM on 14th February. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview during the week of 21st February, and should be available to start the contract as soon as possible thereafter.

Informal queries can be directed to Aifric Ní Chríodáin, by email to [email protected]

Key Deliverables:

Film Selection & Scheduling

  • Curate, coordinate and oversee the entire programme of the GAZE 2022 festival, including all shorts programmes, exhibition, panel discussions and speakers with support from film pre-selectors, Festival Board Programming Subcommittee and under the budgetary oversight of the Finance Subcommittee.
  • Select pre-film selectors or members of the board to contribute to the programming with an emphasis on programming for all members of the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Organise and coordinate all submissions for GAZE, including those through the submissions platform.
  • Screen both submitted and sought-out films and select as appropriate.
  • Liaise with other film festivals, distributors, broadcasters, film schools, film makers, the media, and others to solicit films for the festival’s programme, and other events.
  • Where possible, attend national and international events, conferences, markets and festivals on the company’s behalf to research films and film makers and to promote GAZE Film Festival and other GAZE events.
  • Represent GAZE at agreed film festivals and events, including programming and presenting curated programmes, subject always to approval from the Board of Directors.
  • Negotiate with filmmakers, distributors and sales agents for screening rights for films, negotiating hire fees where applicable, and issuing contracts. Actively negotiate for UK and Irish premieres for a substantial portion of the programme.
  • Ensure formats of films are compatible with Cinema’s projection facilities.
  • Select Opening and Closing Gala films in consultation with the Board Programming Subcommittee
  • Create the festival ‘grid’ – a plan for Cinema Screens and times.
  • Liaise with all filmmakers, sales agents and distributors, negotiating all fees and organising all logistics.
  • Secure and coordinate all assets for the printed and online programme (aside from advertising)
  • Proof the programme with the assistance of the board.
  • Bring the programme to completion alongside the Festival Manager and designer.
  • Research funding opportunities related directly to the film programme including embassies, government initiatives, foundations and other funders.
  • Ensure that expenditure in relation to the programme and other events is within budget.
  • Manage all programming budgets – including screening fees, guests and hospitality, print transfer.

Festival Brochure & Marketing

In support of the Festival Manager:

  • Work closely with the Festival Board to create a design brief and assist in managing graphic designer for the 2022 Festival.
  • Upload all festival programme content to the GAZE website pre-festival including images, copy, logos, ticket links etc.
  • Maintain and update of programming content on website.
  • Maintain GAZE social media accounts (outside of festival time)
  • Organise of all programming content for GAZE newsletters – copy, images, design etc.
  • Generate written information and copy for the full programme in adherence with agreed timeline for print and festival programme launch
  • Write a Festival Director’s welcome outlining the vision for the festival.
  • Formally monitor and track ticket sales of films programmed at the Festival.

Press & PR

  • Ensure the provision of marketing and press information on the film, filmmakers, and sessions for the festival; for example, the soliciting and collation of press materials and copy, photographic prints, trailer prints, video clips, web clips.
  • Write copy for selected films for the festival brochure and website and liaise with the brochure and website publishers regarding this content.
  • Represent GAZE Film Festival Ltd. in outreach, publicity, fundraising events and solicitations.


  • Conceive, plan and realise, in conjunction with the Festival Board of Directors and Festival Manager, a series of film-related events to be scheduled within and to complement the Programme, within annual operational budget.


In association with and subject to the management of the Festival Manager:

  • Invite Programme-led, press-friendly guests to the festival, ensuring relevance to the local and national LGBTQIA+ landscape.
  • Work alongside the Festival Manager on invitations to filmmakers and international guests for the festival, and conceiving and preparing events involving these guests.
  • In the eventuality of budget cuts and not having support staff, work with the festival producer on guest liaison to include guest travel and accommodation, booking flights, hotels, organising ground transfers, organising guest schedules and itineraries and guest packs.
  • Organise festival sessions and master-classes with guest filmmakers, producers, distributors or cast at the festival in consultation with the Festival Manager.
  • Programme all Q&A sessions at the festival and appoint and manage minders for festival guests.
  • Liaise with cultural organisations and film councils to support visiting filmmakers including fundraising for such.

Print Transport

  • Along with other team members, oversee the organising of all inward and outward film prints to cinema venues at which the Festival may take place.
  • Secure all of the short film files for the festival through individual filmmakers.
  • Liaise with festival print courier
  • Liaise with projection team at festival venues, including Light House Cinema and IFI.
  • Coordinate all tech checks on films with projection teams, and check each individual short and feature film with the Light House, the IFI, and any other venues.
  • Ensure the secure and punctual transport of prints for the festival, and the return of said prints to their distributors where appropriate

GAZE Awards

In association with the Festival Manager:

  • Invite and arrange festival juries and identify shortlists of films where necessary.
  • Coordinate audience award.
  • Coordinate all logistics in relation to jury – travel, schedule, negotiations

Festival and Technical Production

  • Liaising with festival videographer and editor regarding festival promo and on-screen festival slides for panel discussions.
  • Oversee the management of all technical details and requirements and cinema operators over the festival weekend.
  • Assisting in social media during the festival.


  • Provide monthly reports to the Board on progress
  • Where one-off expenses are to be incurred (e.g. for Travel to another film festival etc.), provide costed proposals to the Board for approval in a timely manner.
  • Where such proposals are approved, provide debrief to the Board on the outcome of the event.

Post-Festival Responsibilities

  • Arrange for print transport returns.
  • Programme Best of Gaze, Gaze on Tour/GAZE West and other year-round events if required, and arrange for licencing, print transport for such events, to be agreed in advance with Festival Board.
  • Manage the selection and announcement of GAZE award winners.
  • Prepare Festival handover documents.
  • Debrief Board on all activities.
  • Issue call out for Film Submissions for the next festival edition.
  • Co-ordinate British Council FiveFilms4Freedom screenings.
  • Prepare programming copy for funding applications to Arts Council and other stakeholders.

Next article