29 Apr 2008

wilde fundraiser on may 13 to benefit singapore gay pride festival

Banned a decade ago in Singapore, Wilde which depicts the rise and fall of the widely known gay Irish-born playwright, Oscar Wilde, will be shown at a Gala Fundraiser on May 13 to benefit Indignation, Singapore's gay pride season.

Fridae.com, in support of Indignation 2008, is organising the Singapore premiere of the film Wilde on May 13, 2008.

Indignation 2008 will be held in August, more details will be available at a later date.
Wilde, which stars Stephen Fry in the title role, then-newcomer Jude Law as his lover Lord Alfred Douglas, chronicles the rise and fall of one of the geniuses of English literature, Oscar Wilde, whose plays, including Lady Windermere's Fan and The Importance of Being Earnest, are now classics.

Even as Wilde enjoyed his celebrity status, he was madly in love with a succession of young men, at a time when the law against "gross indecency" had only recently been passed by Parliament. This law was the precursor of Singapore's infamous Section 377A.

When Wilde was charged under this law in 1895, it was a huge scandal and his conviction made him a martyr to the hypocrisy and persecution represented by such a law.

The film, Wilde, was made in 1997, the centenary of Wilde's release from prison after serving two years in horrid conditions. It was banned by the Singapore Board of Film censors when it was first released but has now been re-rated R21 without cuts.

Net proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit Indignation - an annual festival consisting of talks, art exhibitions, readings of plays and poetry, together with some social events, scheduled for August 2008. All Indignation events are open to the public and are traditionally free of charge, in order to be accessible to everyone.

"Fridae is pleased to continue to support Indignation since its inception in 2005. Throughout history, and continuing today, gays and lesbians struggle to fulfill their full potential because of societal stigma and discrimination. We hope that this movie will continue a dialogue on gay issues, and allow the wider society a chance to understand them." Says Dr Stuart Koe, CEO of Fridae.

The events are intended to be celebratory and are designed to serve the goals of learning and informing, affirming LGBT identity and highlighting creative works whose gay authorship is often erased.

"Indignation serves to keep the issue of gay (in)equality on the agenda," says Alex Au, one of the organisers of the festival. "Without a concentrated gay pride season, it is very easy for the gay cause to disappear beneath other news events. At the same time, Indignation addresses the issue in people-friendly ways - through forums, exhibitions and very accessible social events, the aim being to raise awareness and to build a sense of community. I hope people see this as something worth supporting."

Tickets are priced at S$20 and S$50 (which includes a reception) are available on www.fridae.asia/wilde. Donations will be accepted online and at the door.

For a brief review of Indignation 2007 and a montage of pictures, visit www.plu.sg.

Fridae, Shaw and Crocodile co-present
The Wilde Indignation Fundraising Gala Premiere (R21)
Date: May 13, Tuesday
Time: 9pm (Reception from 8pm for VIP ticket holders)
Venue: Lido 2, Shaw House, 350 Orchard Road