Fifty years after the passing of Bill C-150, which partially decriminalized homosexuality in Canada, this world premiere event presents short films by five acclaimed Canadian artists — Michèle Pearson Clarke, Thirza Cuthand, Tiffany Hsiung, Vivek Shraya, and Michael V. Smith — who share their unique reflections on LGBTQ2+ lives and identities today. Presented in partnership with the National Film Board of Canada, the screening will be followed by a discussion with the filmmakers.

Five @ 50is produced by Justine Pimlott at the National Film Board of Canada, and executive producer Anita Lee. This conversation will be moderated by Rachel Giese.

The Films (Synopsis for each follows below)

The Hook-Up(2019), dir. Michael V. Smith

Reviving the Roost(2019), dir. Vivek Shraya

Woman Dress(2019), dir. Thirza Cuthand

The Bassinet(2019), dir. Tiffany Hsiung

Handmade Mountain(2019), dir. Michèle Pearson Clarke

Reviving the Roost

Filmmaker and bestselling author Vivek Shraya’s ode to a popular Edmonton gay bar that closed in 2007. With pulsating neon-light animation, Reviving the Roost is a story about community complexity and longing, and an elegy to a lost space. 

The Hook Up

The Hook Up is an experimental doc featuring four gay men from two different generations: two nearing age 70 and two 20-somethings. Striking close-up visuals create a powerful sense of intimacy and connection as the men discuss how hooking up has (and has not) evolved for gay men.

Woman Dress

Pre-contact, a Two Spirit person named Woman Dress travels the Plains, gathering and sharing stories. Featuring archival images and dramatized re-enactments, this film shares a Cuthand family oral story, honouring and respecting Woman Dress without imposing colonial binaries on them.

Handmade Mountain

In Handmade Mountain, Michèle Pearson Clarke explores the emotional fallout of being both early to gay marriage and early to gay divorce. Fifteen years after same-sex marriage became legal, she and friends reflect on its personal and political meaning in this experimental film.

The Bassinet

When a vintage bassinet appears at filmmaker Tiffany Hsiung and long-time fiancée Victoria Mata’s home, it sets off a chain reaction of emotions. The Bassinet is a gentle and affecting story about Tiffany’s personal struggle with the intersection of her sexual orientation and cultural identity, and the cross-generational burden of having a baby in the context of rigid social constructs of marriage and family.

Five @ 50: An Intimate Look at Contemporary LGBTQ2+ Lives and Identities

Tuesday November 12, 2019 – 7:30 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St W, Toronto


TIFF works to make our programming accessible, and have set aside a limited number of free tickets for this event. If cost is a barrier, please get in touch with them about accessing one of these tickets at least 72 hours before the event: Must include “access tickets” in the subject line so your request is clear, and direct any other questions about ticketing (e.g. prices, how to purchase, Membership) to


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.