INSIDE OUT Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival

Inside Out collage
20th Anniversary Year - May 20 - 30, 2010 -

Presenting Sponsor –  RBC Royal Bank

Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival

Announces 20th Anniversary Full Line-up and Schedule  

May 20-30, 2010

From Brandon Teena to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to Matthew Shepard to “civil unions” to gay icons like Lady Gaga, the last two decades of LGBT culture and concerns have played out at a dizzying pace.  And the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival has been a vibrant barometer of queer culture’s evolution every step of the way.

Now celebrating its 20th Anniversary, Inside Out has provided a world-class platform for filmmakers around the world to tell their stories for the past two decades. One of the largest LGBT festivals in the world, Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival will present more than 100 screenings, exhibitions, performances, panels, concerts and social events.

“The 20th anniversary Festival will be an opportunity to look back on two decades of LGBT film while celebrating the latest and best queer cinema from Canada and internationally,” explained Inside Out Executive Director Scott Ferguson. “The Festival has evolved from a small, community-based event into an influential showcase that attracts filmmakers, industry professionals, media and distributors from around the world.”

Opening Inside Out, Thursday May 20 at 8pm at the Isabel Bader Theatre is the Canadian premiere of Howl.  Academy Award-winning documentary filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (The Celluloid Closet, The Times of Harvey Milk, Paragraph 175) make a bold leap into narrative storytelling with Howl, an unconventional and thoroughly engrossing examination of a renegade poet, his artistic masterpiece and the obscenity trial that sparked the counter-culture. The film centres on Allen Ginsberg (portrayed by James Franco in an ardent and sublime performance) and his timeless poem “Howl,” first published in 1957 by City Light Books in San Francisco. The tiny print-run of 520 copies was subsequently seized by police, and publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti found himself in court, having to defend against the charge of “distributing obscene literature.” Directors Epstein and Friedman will be in attendance for the Opening Gala screening.

Inside Out closes Sunday May 30 at 7:30pm at Bloor Cinema with The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne ListerThe bold and passionate true story of Anne Lister (1791-1840), a Yorkshire landowner and industrialist who detailed her life and Sapphic loves in a four-million-word diary. The BBC-produced The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister brings the title character’s detailed journals to life, deciphering the coded language in which Anne wrote, and provides an intimate glimpse into the life of a woman who has been called Britain’s first modern lesbian.

“The galas at our 20th anniversary Festival are significant premieres for Canada and we’re absolutely thrilled that the directors will be coming to Toronto to celebrate with us,” stated Jason St-Laurent, Inside Out’s Director of Programming. “2010 is an important milestone for the Festival and we’re treating our audiences to 20 per cent more programming, including retrospective screenings, live performances and exhibitions. We’re celebrating the best of queer culture over 11 action-packed days.’’ 

The International Focus this year is on South America with evocative films from Colombia, Paraguay,

Brazil, Argentina and Peru. The Centrepiece Gala presentation of director Javier Fuentes-León’s celebrated first feature, Undertow, will anchor the Focus, and he will attend the 20th anniversary celebrations. Undertow was an audience award winner for best feature at Sundance.  Throughout the Festival, short works by emerging South American directors have been added to give an even more diverse taste from a region of the world that never fails to surprise.

Returning for a third year at Inside Out, the Icon Documentary Series features films on larger-than-life queer icons. From Rufus Wainwright to Warhol superstar Candy Darling, this series sheds light on some of the most important cultural icons of our time. Featuring some of the best documentaries from Sundance and the Berlin Film Festival, Inside Out’s Icon Series will also include Q and As with directors, and many premieres, to highlight these remarkable films. Documentaries in the series include: Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work; Prima Donna: The Story of Rufus Wainwright’s Debut Opera, Little Joe (on Warhol star Joe Dallesandro who will be in attendance), It Came From Kuchar, Beautiful Darling: The Life and Times of Candy Darling, Warhol Superstar and the Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls. These provocative portraits cast a unique perspective on their work, their play, and their private lives. At once educational and entertaining, the films in this series will cement your admiration of queer icons and introduce you to cult figures you never knew existed.

Directors and past programmers will introduce some of the best of queer cinema from the past 20 years as part of our retrospective Flashback series. Go back in time with films from queer renegades like Todd Haynes (Poison), John Greyson (Lilies) and Cheryl Dunye (The Watermelon Woman), and experience some of the most groundbreaking works from these directors in a cabaret-style setting. 

The Outsiders is Inside Out’s permanent home for experimentation in film and video, bringing a wide rage of practitioners together to redefine notions of the moving image. This year is the first collaboration with the internationally-recognized Arsenal Institute for Film and Video Art in Berlin presenting the multidisciplinary event Live Film! Jack Smith!, a tribute to the lasting influence of this singular American artist. Inside Out has forged ties with Toronto’s premier contemporary art space, The Power Plant, along with the screening collective, Pleasuredome, to bring art star Ryan Trecartin to Toronto for a screening and a talk. The program, Hidden in Plain Cite, will feature the world premiere of a performance by feminist art star, Allyson Mitchell, in a tribute to Mama Cass. Also screening is Mike Hoolboom’s latest opus, Mark, on the life and death of Toronto artist and activist, Mark Karbusicky. In collaboration with Trinity Square Video, Inside Out will be mounting a brand new installation work by our very own Steve Reinke and London-based phenom, James Richard.

In celebration of Inside Out’s 20th anniversary, the Legacy Video Project is a special multi-generational edition of the Queer Youth Digital Video Project. Consisting of three seniors and four young artists, this year’s participants are passionate new artists with a vision. Over the past five months, they have journeyed together uncovering the skills, joys and trials of video and filmmaking to create short videos that both challenge and touch us. This program, now in its 12th year and proudly co-presented by Inside Out and Charles Street Video, is the heart of the queer Canadian film and video community.