The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is finally here and this year’s program is chalk-full of festival firsts and anticipated titles – the 2019 schedule features 333 films from 80+ countries across the globe!

“2019 marks the first year as Co-Heads of TIFF,” says Artistic Director Cameron Bailey and Executive Director Joana Vicente in the TIFF Festival Director’s Welcome message. “We’re especially thrilled to begin this journey with our new generation of film programmers working alongside our veteran curators to continue to bring you the very best content from around the globe.”

Fitting, considering TIFF is one of the most prestigious film festivals on the planet! Year after year, the who’s who of cinema clamour to get their films showcased at TIFF, and many of them have gone on to bask in Golden Globe and Academy Award glory (including queer-centric films like Brokeback Mountain, A Star Is Born, Call Me By Your Name, and Moonlight.)

This year, Toronto will once again host some of the biggest stars in Hollywood (Antonio Banderas, Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lopez, Joaquin Phoenix, Renée Zellweger and Jamie Foxx, to name a few), and they’ll all be descending onto our beautiful Canadian city to preview screenings of buzz-worthy films they’re starring in, directing, and/or producing.

The city of Toronto will transform into an 11-day movie marathon; from daily press conferences, premiere screenings, VIP after parties, media galas and – if you’re lucky – celebrity sightings at some of the city’s most swanky event spaces, hotels, and theatres!

No tickets? Go for a stroll in and around Yorkville or King Street West for a potential celebrity sighting!

But if you’re into the movies like I am, I’ve compiled a list of the 10 most queer-friendly/centric films at TIFF 2019, accompanied with the festival’s official synopsis.

Check the schedule for film times and locations, then grab your tickets before they are all sold out!

Have a gay ol’ time and Enjoey the show!

Pain And Glory

An aging gay filmmaker (Antonio Banderas) grapples with an uncertain future and the circumstances that shaped his successful but troubled life, in Pedro Almodóvar’s self-reflexive consideration of identity and desire.

The Obituary of Tunde Johnson

A gay African American teenager is forced to relive, over and over again, the day he is shot and killed at the hands of the police, in Ali LeRoi’s incisive and urgent feature debut. Likely to be one of the best gay TIFF films of the year, an absolute must-see for fans of Moonlight.


A terminally ill mother (Susan Sarandon) invites her family to their country house for one final gathering, but tensions quickly boil over between her two daughters (Kate Winslet and Mia Wasikowska), in Roger Michell’s remake of the award-winning 2014 Danish film Silent Heart.

The Capote Tapes

Newly discovered interviews with friends of Truman Capote made by Paris Review co-founder George Plimpton invigorate this fascinating documentary on the author (and socialite) behind Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood. One unexpected interview is with Capote’s assistant Kate Harrington whose father was his lover.


Visionary Catalan filmmaker Albert Serra returns to TIFF 2019 with another period-piece provocation, which follows an ensemble of libidinous 18th-century French aristocrats who embark on an extended night of woodland cruising to live out their sexual fantasies and explore their philosophy of libertinage.


Naive Shani helps his transgender friend and crush audition for the lead in an erotic dance show. In this whimsical drama, Saim Sadiq depicts the guileless ambition and inevitable compromises of two young adults daring to imagine bolder roles for themselves than society has envisioned.


A queer teenage boy takes his little sister on an adventure through the city for her birthday, but their celebration comes at a cost, in Joseph Amenta’s vital and unflinching drama.

I’ll End Up In Jail

A bored stay-at-home mom gets into trouble after speeding away from her small-town life, in this wildly unpredictable, madcap multi-genre effort from Canada’s own Alexandre Dostie.

The Bite

Pedro Neves Marques’ speculative short weaves a story of a polyamorous, non-binary relationship struggling to survive an epidemic of genetically modified killer mosquitos.


Anchored by a note-perfect performance from Oscar winner Renée Zellweger, this heart-rending adaptation of Peter Quilter’s stage play End of the Rainbow presents an intimate portrait of the great Judy Garland 30 years after she played Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz which was also the final year of her life.

About the Author

Joey Viola is the Co-Founder of MoJo Toronto and an LGBTQ community leader who utilizes his passion and flair for the art of writing by bringing a fresh perspective in reviewing entertainment and advocating for equality, tolerance, and social/political justice.