INSIDE OUT Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival

Full Line-up and Schedule – May 14 to 24

19th Annual

Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival Announces Full Line-up and Schedule

May 14-24, 2009

(Toronto – April 24, 2009)  The Toronto film festival that champions the love that once dared not speak its name, has changed its name.

Reborn to a theme of Love!  Drama!  Sex!  Politics!, the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival (formerly the Inside Out Toronto Lesbian And Gay Film and Video Festival) has widened its tent and its thematic universe in its 19th year.

This year, Inside Out presents films from a total of 29 countries, and the spotlight shines on France with an eclectic mix of 15 Gallic features, docs and shorts. With more than 80 screenings, special events, parties, artist talks and panel discussions, Inside Out’s final “teenage year” will be a combination growing-up celebration and no-holds-barred creative outburst.

“As we strive to become the most comprehensive queer film festival in the world,” says Director of Programming, Jason St. Laurent, “we hope everyone will find something (or someone) to love at Inside Out.”

Opening Inside Out, Thursday May 14 at 8pm at the Bloor Cinema is Ella Lemhagen’s Patrik, Age 1.5, following a wildly successful run on the international festival circuit.  This twisted domestic drama follows the “perfect gay couple,” the solid and suburban Goran and Sven who are approved for adoption and believe baby Patrik, age 1.5, is en route. A decimal point later, they are saddled with a 15-year-old homophobe with a dodgy past.

Baby Love – the Toronto premiere of Vincent Garenq’s box office hit from France, about the trials of making a family – is the Centerpiece Gala, Tuesday May 19, 9:30 p.m. at the Isabel Bader Theatre.

Inside Out closes Sunday May 24, 7:30 pm at the Bloor Cinema with The Fish Child, the Canadian premiere of Lucia Puenzo’s visually stunning sophomore effort, balancing nail biting thrills and steamy lesbian romance. It’s an encore appearance for Puenzo, whose breathtaking debut XXY closed the Festival last year.

The International Focus this year is on France, the mecca of cinematic movements, and, in its intellectual public-square, a generator of ideas on themes of sexual identity.  Films include the lesbian-gayby flick The New World; Gael Morel’s New Wave starring 1980s It-Girl Beatrice Dalle (Betty Blue); and 1956’s Oscar-winning masterpiece The Red Balloon, along with myriad other features and shorts scattered throughout the Festival schedule.

Returning for a second year, the Icon Documentary Series features films about transcendant queer heroes and anti-heroes.  Films include Ferron: Girl On A Road, a concert film by Gerry Rogers (My Left Breast) about lesbian folk singer Ferron’s return to the stage; If One Thing Matters – A Film About Wolfgang Tillmans, showcasing the German photographer who embodied the ’90s with his cutting-edge gay-subculture images of fabulous friends, fashion and nightclub activity; Sex Positive which explores the life of politically-incendiary ex-S/M hustler Richard Berkowitz; Fairytale of Kathmandu, an endearing yet ultimately searing character portrayal of gay Irish poet Cathal O’Searcaigh; and Stubblejumper a docudrama about the life and work of Doug Wilson, an early pioneer for LGBT rights in Canada.

The Outsiders is the programming home to the most exciting and challenging works screened at Inside Out.  It brings together filmmakers, artists, performers and musicians.  Dykes on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown is a special screening with a mixed bag of vintage footage, performance art, and a dyke heavy metal band.  The Outsiders program will also include two seminal works from the queer canon; Isaac Julien’s groundbreaking feature Young Soul Rebels and Trent Harris’ The Beaver Trilogy.

The Canadian Artist Spotlight is on Dana C. Inkster – an influential Canadian documentary artist/filmmaker who incorporates an eclectic stylistic mélange of identity politics into her work.  This program features a short by Charles Lofton selected by Inkster, as well as a brand new video specially-crafted by the artist for the event, showcased Saturday May 23, 3:15 pm at the Royal Ontario Museum.

Inside Out’s Queer Youth Digital Video ProjectSaturday May 23, 4:45 Isabel Bader Theatre – this year brings together seven young and talented individuals who’ve spent the winter learning the A to Zs of no budget filmmaking, and are now ready to roar.  We’re celebrating the 11th year of this Project – proudly co-presented with Charles Street Video – which has become the creative heart of the queer Canadian film and video community.

The 19th edition of Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival is a true creative “coming out” party, with a world class line up of directors and actors from films like Disgrace (based on J.M. Coetzee’s Booker-Prize-winning novel by the same name and starring John Malkovich), a terrifying look into the lives of a philandering professor and his lesbian daughter as they navigate the playing field in post-Apartheid South Africa.  John Hurt reprises his role as Quentin Crisp in An Englishman in New York, which traces Crisp’s contentious “conquering” of America. The film also stars Swoozie Kurtz and Cynthia Nixon. The remarkable documentary The Beaver Trilogy features the entirely lovely Groovin’ Gary, and remarkable cameos of Sean Penn and Crispin Glover seeking the soul of Olivia Newton-John in their respective (and achingly sincere) drag performances.  Inside Out presents The Beaver Trilogy in honour of the late Groovin’ Gary who died on February 2, 2009.

And from the Festival’s perennial favourite, John Greyson, comes Fig Trees, the most visually and politically daring-work at this years Festival. This video opera/documentary received the Best Documentary/Essay Teddy Award at the recent Berlin International Film Festival. Toronto’s Tim McCaskell (founding member of AIDS Action Now) and Zackie Achmat (founder of Treatment Action Campaign) of South Africa are the central subjects of this important work. In Fig Trees, art cinema, documentary and opera create a complex and compelling essay on the continuing fight for treatment and justice for those everywhere living with AIDS.

“The main objective of Inside Out is to be able to offer something for everybody, showcasing the best LGBT films from Canada and around the world for Toronto’s enthusiastic film community,” says Executive Director Scott Ferguson. “With this year’s dynamic line-up of films, we’re confident we can and at the same time present stories of hope and heartbreak, repression and freedom, love and loss, sex and camp.”