Challenging Attitudes. Changing Lives.
In 1991, a small group of people started a festival with the aim of promoting and exhibiting films by or about members of the LGBTQ community. From humble beginnings, the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival has since grown to become the largest film event of its kind in Canada.
While not as high-profile as TIFF (don’t expect to see many A-list celebs at these screenings), Inside Out has hosted hundreds of thousands of visitors. Taking place over 11 days in May, the festival draws crowds of close to 35,000 to screenings, artist talks, panel discussions, installations and parties that highlight more than 200 films and videos from Canada and around the world.
All films are screened at the TIFF Bell Lightbox theatre, a five-screen cinema complex that also boasts three learning centres, two galleries, a three-story public atrium, bistro, restaurant, and lounge. Grab a meal, catch a flick, and discuss with fellow film buffs all in the same state-of-the-art venue.
Featuring everything from sociocultural documentaries, to hard-hitting dramas, to laugh-out-loud comedies, the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival will get you thinking about what it means to be queer in the modern world.
Films for every taste
Inside Out represents a diverse range of genres, themes, and issues in the films it screens. Previous award winners include the following:
Margarita (2012): Canadian directors Dominique Cardona and Laurie Colbert won the RBC Royal Bank Award for Best Film or Video for this 2012 entry. When cash-strapped power couple Ben and Gail fire their teenaged daughter’s lesbian Mexican nanny, Margarita, they set off a chain of events that lead to her deportation, showing how certain decisions can have major consequences.
Animals (2013): Marçal Forés’ coming-of-age film about the relationship between a teenaged boy and his teddy bear won the Bill Sherwood Award for Best First Feature in 2013. Blurring the line between fantasy and reality, it explores themes of teenage love, loneliness, and sacrifice in a highly original way.
Bridegroom (2013): Recipient of the 2013 Best Documentary Film award, this moving motion picture by Linda Bloodward-Thomason’s examines the true story of Shane Bitney Crone and Tom Bridegroom. After California’s same-sex marriage law is passed, Shane’s plans to marry his partner of six years takes a tragic turn when Tom is killed and his family refuses him from attending the funeral. Devastating and powerful, the film shows the barriers to equality that still need to be overcome in the “land of the free.”
The schedule for the upcoming Inside Out LGBT Film Festival is announced every spring. Keep an eye on the Inside Out website to find out what will be playing and when. And be sure to book your tickets early to get a spot!
More than just movies
Inside Out isn’t just about the movies; it’s also about the parties. In between screenings and panel discussions, you can blow off some steam at a number of exciting events around the city.
Opening Gala Party: Kick things off right at the Opening Gala Party where the drinks are flowing and the bass is pumping. There’s nothing like a sexy dance party to get you in the mood for 11 days of film, panel discussions, and parties.
Women’s Gala Reception & After Party: Held shortly after the Opening Gala, the Women’s Gala Reception and After Party is a time to honour the ladies in our life. Raise a glass to all the fabulous female filmmakers and community members!
Centrepiece Gala Reception: The Centrepiece Gala marks the midway point of the festival. Rub elbows with Inside Out guests and staff as you discuss the films you’ve seen and the films you have yet to see.
Local Heroes Party: As the festival starts to wind down, celebrate heroes big and small at the Buddies in Bad Times theatre. In the past there’s been cineoke (think karaoke but better!), a video dance party, and more.
Closing Gala Party & Awards: Inside Out wraps up with the presentation of awards and – of course – another party to celebrate. Let loose with all your new friends as the DJ lays down the track into the wee hours of the morning.
Whether you’re interested in independent films, queer issues, or both, the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival will not disappoint.
For more information, visit InsideOut.ca.