Limerick film festival wants to open doors for diversity

'Where Do All The Old Gays Go' featuring Limerick's Dan Lawless and Clive Cooke will be screened at the Catalyst Film Festival.

A LIMERICK based film festival aims to open doors to people who have previously not been seen or represented on the big screen.

The Catalyst International Film Festival will return to the city this week for its fourth year, marking the first time the event will be held in person after having to go online during the pandemic.

The festival was founded by Dr Susan Liddy, a director and lecturer in the Department of Media and Communications Studies at Mary Immaculate College, who says that she wanted to ensure that people from all sections of society would be represented in cinema.

“If you come from a particular area where there’s probably not a lot of money, or your parents don’t have a lot of money, that closes doors for you. Similarly, across the board, we didn’t have stories from the travelling community, we didn’t have a lot of LGBTQ stories.

“Catalyst was a festival designed to try to get that representation of the multitude of voices, both nationally and internationally. The whole thrust of the festival is diverse stories, diverse storytellers. Everything is about creating a more equitable industry,” she said.

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Catalyst will feature a wide assortment of films, from short documentaries to Irish and international short films and feature length productions.

Dr Liddy says the festival is designed to be an enjoyable time with something to interest everyone.

The festival will take place in various across the city from this Friday, March 30 to Saturday, April 1, which Dr Liddy says is an important factor in showing that Limerick is a vibrant place for the arts.

“I think it’s great, I think we need that sort of focal point for the arts. It’s good for Limerick business I think,” she added.