Inside Out returns to in person presentations, with stream-at-home options – May 26 to June 4, 2022
The 32nd annual Inside Out Toronto 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival has revealed its full film lineup that will take place both in-person and virtually from May 26th to June 5th in Toronto, showcasing 128 films from 28 countries, including 38 feature films, 3 episodic series, and 7 world premieres.
The festival’s opening night film will be the Canadian premiere of Gabriel Martin’s critically acclaimed family drama MARS ONE, which opened the World Cinema program at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and topped several lists of best films seen at the festival. MARS ONE explores the hopes and expectations, the anxieties and foibles, of a Brazilian family against the backdrop of the 2018 election of Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro.
Closing the festival will be the world premiere of the first two episodes of Prime Video’s first Canadian comedy scripted original series The Lake created by Julian Doucet, which stars Jordan Gavaris (“Orphan Black”), and Julia Stiles (HUSTLERS) and Madison Shamoun, along with Declan Whaley, Emily Roman, Travis Nelson, Terry Chen, Jon Dore, Carolyn Scott, Natalie Lisinka, and Jared Scott. The episodic comedy follows Justin (Gavaris) as he returns from living abroad after a break-up with his long-term partner, in the hope of reconnecting with the biological daughter that he gave up for adoption in his teens. His plans to create new memories with his city-loving daughter Billie (Shamoun) at the idyllic lake from his childhood go awry when he finds out his father left the family cottage to his “picture-perfect” stepsister, Maisy-May (Stiles). The Lake will launch exclusively on Prime Video on June 17 in 240 countries and territories worldwide.
Tramps!, Fire Island, Compulsus, Out In The Ring, Stupid For You, Unidentified Objects
Full highlights below, and program guide here.
Program highlights from the lineup include three world premiere narrative features from new voices – including the sci-fi drama UNIDENTIFIED OBJECTS, a film about fighting for a place in a world that doesn’t respect your existence, Ashton Pina’s feature directorial debut NANA’S BOYS, an intimate drama about a Black couple who are confronted with the fragility of their once solid relationship, and the RE:Focus gala selection for 2022 – the contemplative Mexican film WE WILL NEVER BELONG, charting one queer teenager’s quest for finding their own truth amongst family drama.
Additional narrative premiere highlights from the program include Stefanos Tai’s debut WE DON’T DANCE FOR NOTHING – a photo-montage love letter to the Filipina domestic workers of Hong Kong and their passion for dance, and Tara Thorne’s bold and provocative COMPULSUS – a revenge drama about gender based violence.
Documentary highlights from the festival will include two films that illustrate the need for safe queer spaces for the community – the world premiere of Marcus Pontello’s FRIDAY I’M IN LOVE, a documentary about a beloved LGBTQ nightclub in Texas that demonstrates the importance of LGBTQ bars and nightclubs in providing safe spaces for queer people, and Jacquie Lawrence’s GATEWAYS GRIND – a documentary that revisits the colourful history of a legendary lesbian bar from across the pond called The Gateways Club, a cherished space that represented a haven for gay women.
Other documentary highlights include Ry Levey’s OUT IN THE RING, a documentary on the rise and history of LGBTQ+ professional wrestlers and representation in the sport, Kevin Hegge’s TRAMPS! (Inside Out’s Centerpiece Gala selection), a feature-length documentary that focuses on London’s iconic fashion and musical movement “The New Romantics”, and Maris Curran’s documentary JEANETTE – an intimate and inspiring film that profiles Jeanette – a survivor of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Notable narrative favorites that premiered at other top festivals around the world include C.B. Yi’s debut feature MONEYBOYS, a narrative that paints a rare picture of homosexuality in China, which premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, THE DIVIDE (winner of the Queer Palm at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival) from veteran French queer filmmaker Catherine Corsini, where actress Valeria Bruni Tedeschi delivers a tour-de-force performance as the high-strung half of a couple coming apart at the seams amid anti-Macron protests, and Aly Muritiba’s thoughtful and sensuous drama PRIVATE DESERT, Brazil’s submission for the 2022 Academy Award for Best International Feature Film, which also won the People’s Choice Award at last year’s Venice Film Festival.
Digital exclusives from the festival include Chase Joynt’s FRAMING AGNES, in which an all-star cast of transgender artists and performers (Angelica Ross, Jen Richards, Zackary Drucker, Silas Howard, Max Wolf Valerio and Stephen Ira) use re-enactment and genre-blurring storytelling techniques to tell the story of a young trans woman who took part in a sex-disorders study in order to receive the gender-affirming care she desperately needed; Rita Baghdadi’s SIRENS (Alumni project of the Finance Forum), a loving and complex portrait of the Middle East’s first all-female metal band and their complicated quest to become thrash metal rock stars in a country at war, and Ali Haapasalo’s GIRL PICTURE – a thoughtful, heartbreaking, yet joyous snapshot of two best friends faced with recognizing their truth, which screened at both Sundance and the Berlinale.
The festival will also host a special screening of Andrew Ahn’s hotly anticipated queer romantic comedy FIRE ISLAND – an unapologetic, modern day rom-com starring Bowen Yang and Joel Kim Booster that showcases a diverse, multicultural examination of queerness and romance, inspired by the timeless pursuits from Jane Austen’s classic “Pride and Prejudice”.
All in-person screenings at the festival will take place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, and all industry events, including the opening and closing night parties, as well as the activities for the LGBTQ International Financing Forum, will take place at Artscape Sandbox.
Individual tickets for digital screenings, ticket packages, and all-access passes are on sale at insideout.ca.
The full 2022 festival selections include:
MARS ONE, directed by Gabriel Martins. (Brazil / Narrative)
With keen affection and an understanding of its characters, Mars One explores the hopes and expectations, the anxieties and foibles, of a Brazilian family against the backdrop of the 2018 election of Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro.
“THE LAKE” – Episode 1 & 2, created by Julian Doucet and directed by Jordan Canning, Paul Fox. (Canada / Series)
Set in cottage country, the Canadian Amazon Original The Lake, follows Justin (Jordan Gavaris, “Orphan Black”) as he returns from living abroad, after a break-up with his long-term partner, with the hope of reconnecting with the biological daughter at the idyllic lake from his childhood.
GALAS AND SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS
SO DAMN EASY GOING, directed by Christoffer Sandler. (Sweden, Norway / Narrative).
So Damn Easy Going explores the absolute mess of love and relationships through the eyes of Joanna, an 18-year-old diagnosed with ADHD.
TRAMPS!, directed by Kevin Hegge. (Canada / Documentary).
TRAMPS! is a feature-length documentary focusing on London’s iconic fashion and musical movement, The New Romantics.
UNIDENTIFIED OBJECTS, directed by Juan Felipe Zuleta. (USA / Narrative).
In Unidentified Objects a misanthropic gay dwarf and a plucky sex worker go on a road trip to Canada in search of aliens, but what sounds like a wacky premise is actually a heartfelt story about finding your people.
WE WILL NEVER BELONG, directed by Amelia Eloisa. (Mexico / Narrative).
Adolescence can be tough, especially for young queer people who haven’t quite figured it out. We Will Never Belong charts one teenager’s quest for the truth with style and grace.
FIRE ISLAND, directed by Andrew Ahn. (USA / Narrative).
A pair of best friends set out to have a legendary week-long summer vacation with the help of cheap rosé and a group of eclectic friends.
CAMILLA COMES OUT TONIGHT, directed by Inés Barrionuevo. (Argentina / Narrative).
From the hallways of a conservative school to streets filled with demonstrators, Camila Comes Out Tonight is a coming-of-age film inspired by the impact of an Argentine generation that grew up fighting for women’s rights.
COMPULSUS, directed by Tara Thorne. (Canada / Narrative)
A staggering two-thirds of all Canadians know a woman who has experienced physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. Compulsus asks the question: what if women took matters into their own hands?
IN FROM THE SIDE, directed by Matt Carter. (UK / Narrative)
Come for the beefy guys and sweaty scrums, stay for the nuanced relationship drama unfolding among the players of a gay rugby club in South London
PHANTOM PROJECT, directed by Roberto Doveris. (Chile / Narrative)
A charmingly gay urban ghost story, The Phantom Project follows meandering millennial Pablo as he attempts to get his life together.
THE FIRST FALLEN, directed by Rodrigo De Oliveira. (Brazil / Narrative)
The First Fallen offers a sensitive look back at the early days of the AIDS epidemic in Brazil through the eyes of three friends: Suzano, a biologist; Rose, a trans singer; and Humberto, a student filmmaker.
WE DON’T DANCE FOR NOTHING, directed by Stefanos Tai. (USA / Narrative)
Captured amid the Hong Kong protests, We Don’t Dance for Nothing is a photo-montage love letter to the Filipina domestic workers of Hong Kong and their passion for dance.
FIONA CLARK: UNAFRAID, directed by Lula Cucchiara. (New Zealand / Documentary).
Artist Fiona Clark, a misfit in society and a fearless storyteller, has spent a lifetime championing the unseen—fighting for individuals, hidden communities and the land she inhabits.
FRAMING AGNES, directed by Chase Joynt. (Canada, USA / Documentary).
Director Chase Joynt and an all-star cast of transgender artists and performers use re-enactment and genre-blurring storytelling techniques to breathe new life into the previously untold stories of the mid-century trailblazers who redefined gender.
FRIDAY I’M IN LOVE, directed by Marcus Pontello. (USA / Documentary).
Bars and nightclubs have long been an essential gathering place for queer communities and Numbers nightclub was one such place for LGBTQ patrons in Houston, Texas.
JEANNETTE, directed by Maris Curran. (USA / Documentary).
“I will never, ever, forget seeing the barrel of the gun,” says Jeannette Feliciano, a survivor of the Pulse Nightclub massacre, in the opening moments of this emotional tribute to one woman’s astounding resilience.
SIRENS, directed by Rita Baghdadi. (USA, Lebanon / Documentary).
Growing up in the shadow of their parents during the war in Lebanon, guitarist Lilas Mayassi and her bandmates, Shery, Maya, Alma, and Tatiana (Slave to Sirens) have big dreams but few opportunities.
BEYOND ED BUCK, directed by Jayce Baron, Hailie Sahar. (USA / Documentary).
From Jayce Baron and Hailie Sahar, Beyond Ed Buck follows the tragic murders that took place at the hands of a well-known Democratic political donor. This film comes with a content advisory please click here for more details.
BLOOMING ON THE ASPHALT, directed by Coraci Ruiz, Julio Matos. (Brazil / Documentary).
Blooming on the asphalt offers a unique perspective on Jack, a young Brazilian trans man whose life is dramatically changing as his country faces a global pandemic and an intolerant government.
DEATH AND BOWLING, directed by Lyle Kash. (USA / Narrative).
In a fractured, dream-like world, a transgender actor struggles with the death of the much-beloved captain of a lesbian bowling team.
GATEWAYS GRIND, directed by Jacquie Lawrence. (UK / Documentary).
The memory of so many lesbian bars, whose stories are integral to lesbian history, is in danger of slipping away. But filmmaker Jacquie Lawrence is determined to not let that happen to one of Britain’s most storied meeting places.
GIRL PICTURE, directed by Alli Haapasalo. (Finland / Narrative).
Over three consecutive Fridays, best friends Mimmi and Rönkkö’s friendship is put to the test as each embarks on an individual journey to ask the hard questions about who they are.
HOMEBODY, directed by Joseph Sackettt. (USA / Narrative).
Johnny loves his babysitter Melanie but, upon further reflection, is he really in love with her or does he just want to be her? There’s only one way to find out.
LA QUEENCIAÑERA, directed by Pedro Peira. (Mexico / Documentary).
As Los Angeles-based Latina trans activist Bamby Salcedo points out, the average life expectancy of a trans woman is a mere 35 years. In LA Queenciañera, this sobering statistic makes Bamby’s life and her impending 50th birthday something to truly celebrate.
LONESOME, directed by Craig Boreham. (Australia / Narrative).
In this sexually explicit drama, a scandal drives a young gay man from his small Australian town to Sydney.
MONEYBOYS, directed by C.B. Yi. (Austria, France, Belgium, Taiwan/ Narrative).
Moneyboys follows a Chinese hustler as he struggles to cope with the disapproval of his rural family.
NANA’S BOYS, directed by Ashton Pina. (USA / Narrative).
With subtle, vulnerable performances, Nana’s Boys focuses on the intimate life of a couple who are confronted with the fact that their relationship is not as solid as they thought.
NEPTUNE FROST, directed by Anisia Uzeyman, Saul Williams. (Rwanda, USA / Narrative).
Neptune Frost, one of the most visually striking films of the last several years, is an unmistakably queer, anti-capitalist, sci-fi musical created by Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman.
OUT IN THE RING, directed by Ry Levey. (Canada / Documentary).
Out in the Ring explores the rise and history of LGBTQ+ professional wrestlers and representation in the sport.
PRIVATE DESERT, directed by Aly Mritiba. (Brazil / Narrative).
Brazil’s submission for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film is a canny act of defiance against the homophobic jingoistic nastiness of the country’s current government and, unlike President Jair Bolsonaro, the film is thoughtful, nuanced, sensuous and affirming.
SUBLIME, directed by Mariano Biasin. (Argentina / Narrative).
Being a teenager in love can be hard. But being a teenager in love with your lifelong best friend is definitely harder. Sublime takes a look at a friendship that is facing the test of longevity.
THE DIVIDE, directed by Catherine Corsini. (France / Narrative).
The astounding Valeria Bruni Tedeschi delivers a tour-de-force performance as the high-strung half of a couple coming apart at the seams amid the anti-Macron “yellow vest” protests.
WAKE UP, LEONARD, directed by Kat Mills Martin. (USA / Narrative).
Part comedy, part self-help nightmare, Wake Up, Leonard follows one man’s quest for wellness while failing miserably to stay on his vibe.
SPOTLIGHT ON CANADA
PAT ROCCO DARED,directed by Morris Chapdelaine, Bob Christie. (Canada / Documentary).
Whose movies include a naked man dancing on a freeway, a gay couple at Disneyland, and the world’s first Pride march? Pat Rocco, a trailblazing gay independent filmmaker who is given well-deserved recognition in the charming documentary, Pat Rocco Dared.
STUPID FOR YOU, directed by Jude Klassen. (Canada / Narrative).
Jude Klassen’s musical feature, Stupid for You, asks the knotty question: what’s a shy, awkward queer teen to do when the opportunity to be noticed by her crush presents itself? The answer? Whatever it takes.
THE EMPRESS OF VANCOUVER, directed by Dave Rodden Shortt. (Canada / Documentary).
She may not be a household name outside of her tight-knit Vancouver community, but make no mistake, maverick drag diva and performance artist Oliv Howe is a star.
WITH WONDER, directed by Sharon Lewis. (Canada / Documentary).
With Wonder takes an intimate look at members of the queer, Christian community of colour and their attempts to answer the question: Can you be both Christian and queer?
BRIDESMAN, directed by Julian Buchan, John Onieal (USA / Series).
The first-ever series produced by Grindr, Bridesman follows a self-absorbed bridesman on his quest to steal his best friend’s husband-to-be.
MY TRIP TO SPAIN, directed by Theda Hammel (USA / Series).
Alexis, a successful trans woman, is heading to Spain for cosmetic surgery. Her embittered old friend Charlie arrives to house sit while she’s away. During the handoff, he tries his best to convince her to cancel, while simultaneously pursuing a sexual liaison with her brooding gardener Bruno.
The full shorts lineup can be found here.
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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.