The Toronto Queer Film Festival showcases contemporary, innovative, queer and trans film and video art. We are especially interested in supporting formally experimental films and/or social justice themed projects that center the experiences of Indigenous people, people of color, people with disabilities, transgender people, sex workers, porn makers, and other communities often marginalized in contemporary LGBT cultural programming and spaces.

TQFF is a volunteer-run, artist-centered festival that is entirely supported by donations. There are no submission fees, and proceeds from the festival will be prioritized to pay artists screening fees at or above the IMAA and CARFAC minimum rates.

Tickets for each program are PWYC with a suggested donation of $5-$20 (no one will be turned away for lack of funds). There will be a cash bar to purchase drinks before and after each screening. Please note there is no ATM on site, but there will be an option to use credit cards (no debit) for an extra $.50 charge.

DAY ONE: JUNE 14

Leaving the Nest (doors open at 6:30, screening starts at 7:00)

Co-presented with: Cinema Politica

Tom and Elizabeth live in a quaint suburb of Jacksonville, Florida, with two children and another on the way. Early on they notice a developmental delay in two of their sons, Mark and Tim. Medical investigations didn’t lead to any successful treatments and soon they were both diagnosed as physically and mentally disabled, limited to walkers and wheelchairs for the rest of their lives.

At the age of fifty, Tom starts to break through the fog of depression and religious oppression, comes out as gay, and leaves for New York, throwing the family into turmoil. But despite all the obstacles, Tom and Elizabeth reunite as friends and manage to accumulate enough funding for Mark and Tim to eventually move into a permanent group home housing facility.

Preceded by the short films “Lessons for Polygamists” and “Ana.”

Total running time for this program – 1hr22min

View descriptions for each film here.

Freedom to Move, Freedom to Stay (doors open at 8:30, screening starts at 9:00)

Co-presented with No One Is Illegal Toronto.

Passages, bridges, and borders can be ambiguous spaces. They are slippery in betweens where the rules seem to always be changing. There are those that are porous, and those that are closed. Some migrants cross with hope, while others are do so reluctantly, or by force, with no access to return. These imagined (yet enforced) borders and boundaries in the real, the digital, or spiritual worlds mark those who make the voyage and transform them – for better or worse. The films in Freedrom to Move, Freedom to Stay trace migratory queer stories and bring into question the concept of borders, passages, and crossings.

Total running time for this program – 1:08:35

View descriptions for each film here.


DAY TWO: JUNE 15

Porn is *SO* Boring (doors open at 6:30, screening starts at 7:00)

Yawn. Porn is SO Boring. Queer porn included. It’s prescriptive and predictable. We’ve come to just expect less from it as a cinematic genre. Why can’t anyone get it right? This short program invites you to get off – and maybe rethink the artistic possibilities of the genre while doing so.

Total running time for this program – 1:06:59

View descriptions for each film here.

FUCK THEM ALL (doors open at 8:30, screening starts at 9:00)

Maria Beatty has concocted an expansive experimental porn that blurs dreams and reality – disorienting, and completely otherworldly. It’s languid movements build to climactic and *HOT* episodes that play with the audiences patience, expectations and desires.

Total running time – 1:10:49

More info on this program here.


DAY THREE: JUNE 16

Hookers on Davie (doors open at 6:00, screening starts at 6:30)

Co-presented with: Queer Media Database, Butterfly: Asian Migrant Sex Worker’s Network, and the Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives

Filmed after eight months of research about sex work in large cities, the cheekily named Hookers on Davie paints a portrait rarely seen of the “prostitution capital of Canada.” Exploring the streets of Vancouver, documentarians Janis Cole and Holly Dale turn their lens onto the culture and lives of the sex workers of Davie Street, located in the heart of the city’s residential West End. Candid, one-on-one interviews mesh with scenes filmed on the job, in this burgeoning hot spot for women and trans sex workers. One of several Cole/Dale collaborations, this enduring classic has earned its canonical place in Canadian queer/feminist film history with the rare and inspiring focus on by-and-for sex work organizing.

Preceded by “Prowling by Night,” a collaboratively made animated short film directed by sex workers.

Total running time for this program – 1:38:00

More info on this program here.

Queer Geographies, Resistant Histories (doors open at 8:30, screening starts at 9:00)

Co-presented with: Pleasure Dome & CaribbeanTales

Queer Geographies maps the layered and resistant histories of liminal queer spaces: psychic spaces, ancient ruins, traveled cityscapes and highways. These films intimately trace what it means for queer bodies to navigate inherently hetero spaces – the architecture and cultural structures. Through personal essay-style address, they traverse space and time – beyond points on a map – in their resistant retelling of personal and family histories that layer and push up against other ghosts.

Total running time for this program – 58:14

View descriptions for each film here.


DAY FOUR: JUNE 17

Transform, Transcend, Transpose, Transgress (doors open at 6:30, screening starts at 7:00)

This program celebrates queer reslience and strength in the way histories are honoured, throughtfully re-read, and re-written. These films are about creating space within ourselves and in our communities to thrive, while also holding space to recognize the traumas we carry. The films tease out in dfferent ways that queerness is phoenix-like: transforming, adapting, cycling-through experiences toward newer incarnations of ourselves and our relationships to the world.

Total running time for this program – 1:23:06

View descriptions for each film here.

Play Is a 4-Letter Word + filmmaker roundtable (doors open at 8:00, screening starts at 8:30)

Co-presented with: CFMDC and LIFT

Play is an integral part of queer resistance. The act of playing and being playful is a cornerstone of subversion: pushing, flipping, stomping on norms with language, satire, beautiful wigs, and gigantic stuffed penises (you’ll see). Play is needed to lift us up and recharge ourselves as we push to agitate, resist and revolt. This program celebrates queer playfulness in all its forms, as playful resistance keeps our hearts soft and helps to shield our resilient minds.

Total running time for this program – 1:15:42

View descriptions for each film here.

Note on accessibility: this space is wheelchair accessible. There is a ramp to access the main entrance to the building. At the main entrance, there are 5 steps down into the reception area, and an additional 4 steps into the main event space. There are 2 sets of chair lifts to help people navigate the staircases. Once in the event space, the bar, washrooms (gender neutral), and screening space are all on the same level. Films will be captioned in English, and ASL interpretation will be available each evening. If you require ASL interpretation, please let us know when you arrive so we can seat you in the appropriate area. Finally, this is a scent free space – please be mindful when you’re getting ready to come to the event.

Closing Night Party, Co-Hosted with RUDE: 10:30pm

There are a few advance ticket options for this party that you can take advantage of online:

  • Both night’s programs + party = $30
  • 2nd program only + party = $20
  • Just the party = $15

Prices at the door will be:

  • 2nd program + party = $25
  • Party Only = $20

* Please note: if these prices are too high for you, please get in touch with the organizers and they will make an accommodation for you. They want everyone to be able to attend and have a good time!

For more information about each program, visit  “schedule at a glance.”

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About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.