Toronto Inside Out LGBT Film Festival 2014


The 4th World Pride was successfully hosted for the first time in a North American city (Toronto, Canada) from June 20-29, 2014. If you missed out or just didn’t get enough, we can provide a bit of a fix with our review of the 24th edition of the Toronto Inside Out LGBT Film Festival, the largest such event in Canada.

Like World Pride, the Inside Out Film Festival is committed to celebrating and accurately portraying the LGBT community. From May 22 to June 1, 2014, Inside Out served as a preclude to the World Pride Festival showing over 175 films to over 32,500 people. After 11 days of screenings, panel discussions, and parties, awards were given out. Here are some of the notable ones:

TRU LOVE (Canada) received an Audience Award for Best Feature Film. Directed by Kate Johnston and Shauna MacDonald, it’s a Canadian Film making its Canadian Premiere. The film is about the unexpected romantic relationship that develops between 37-year-old Tru (Shauna MacDonald), a womanizing lesbian, and her friend Suzanne’s (Christine Horne) mother, 60-year-old Alice (Kate Trotter), who just lost her husband. Suzanne’s efforts to stop the relationship have catastrophic consequences.

MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE (USA) received an  Audience Award for Best Documentary Film. Directed by Michele Josue, it’s a US Documentary making its international premiere. The documentary is about the 1998 kidnapping and brutal murder of gay University of Wyoming freshman Matthew Shepard. The news of the murder and the subsequent international outcry helped lead to US President Barack Obama signing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act 2009.

LIVING IN THE OVERLAP (USA) Received an Audience Award for Best Short Film. Directed by Cindy Hill and Mary Dalton, it is a US film making its world premiere. The film is about Lennie Gerber and Pearl Berlin’s 46-year-old love affair and fight for gay rights.

52 TUESDAYS received the International Jury Bill Sherwood Award for Best First Feature. Directed by Sophie Hyde, it’s an Australian film making its Canadian premiere. The film is about sixteen-year-old Billie (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) who is forced to live full time with her father for a year as her mother under goes a sex change. She only sees her mother once a week on Tuesdays. While this proves to be a difficult transition for both mother and daughter, it eventually helps Billie to develop her independence.

If you missed out on this festival and all it had to offer, there is still a chance to check out Bent Lens: Pride on Screen, the joint summer program offered by TIFF and Inside Out. This major event of World Pride 2014  showcases a selection of films from June 12-August 17. Bent Lens includes Queer Outlaw Cinema, a free gallery exhibition at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, special guests and discussion panels, as well as free outdoor screenings.

Read on to discover what Kristine Sahagun thought of the Normal Heart, a theater adaption that played at the Inside Out Festival.

Esther Simera