Lesbian and transgender movies come to the fore as the festival celebrates diverse storytelling
Ireland: once a heartland for anti-gay bigotry, now a more tolerant society where same-sex marriage is enshrined in law. And also, a hotbed for queer cinema.
Indeed, both the opening and closing night films for this year's Mardi Gras Film Festival are Irish – a testament to the quality of the local film industry.
Opening night film A Date for Mad Mary is a likeable coming of age story about a young girl released from prison who clicks with a spunky photographer. Closing night's is Handsome Devil, a comedy in which two outsiders at a sport-oriented boys' school find common ground.
In between there are gay, lesbian, bi and transgender stories, a Rainbow Families screening of Finding Dory, gay and lesbian shorts, documentaries, talks, and a sing-a-long screening of the Doris Day camp classic Calamity Jane (1953).
Festival director Paul Struthers notes that this year has seen an increase in the number of lesbian and transgender-themed films programmed – a welcome development.