Queer cinema as diverse as it gets: get ready to fall hard for #InsideOut17’s bold lineup of thought-provoking, heart-a-tugging, groin-a-tingling films that take you places while carving out new spaces to show off life uncensored on the big screen.
There is SO MUCH we want to see, but here are eight that we’re really itching for.
Woman on Fire, Saturday May 27 at 12:00pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox
In February 2015, The Village Voice heralded the arrival of “New York’s Bravest”— Brooke Guinan, the first openly transgender firefighter in New York City.
As a third-generation firefighter, Brooke possesses a passion for heroism that runs in her blood. Her father George is a respected lieutenant and a 9/11 survivor with a 35-year-long legacy in the FDNY. People always asked Brooke if she planned to follow in her father’s footsteps. When she transitions from male to female in her father’s workplace, this poses not only a challenge to the macho profession, but also to the customs of the people she cares about most—her conservative family.
Signature Move, Saturday May 27 at 7pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox
Zaynab, a queer Muslim Pakistani woman, walks into a bar and meets Alma, a Mexican woman. Their repartee is charming and their connection immediate, but that’s just the beginning.
Zaynab (Fawzi Mirza from the webseries Her Story) is stuck. She lives with her widowed TV-obsessed mother (Shabana Azmi) but takes great pains to hide everything from her, including her love of wrestling and her sexuality. Alma (Sari Sanchez), on the other hand, gives Zaynab’s routine a much-needed shakeup, and what starts as a casual affair begins to deepen. Zaynab’s discomfort with her sexuality and her dysfunctional relationship with her mother, however, threaten to drive the young women apart.
Black Boxes: 195 Lewis, Sunday May 28th at 4:45pm
“Black, queer, filled with activists, artists and other producers of culture – that is what makes Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn what it is” and what makes it the perfect backdrop to 195 Lewis, according to filmmaker Chanelle Aponte Pearson.
Created by and featuring a group of queer black women who were inspired to produce their own version of The L Word, 195 Lewis authentically captures this underrepresented group of interconnected lovers, family and friends.
The Untold Tales of Armistad Maupin, Sunday May 28, TIFF Bell Lightbox
For anyone who dreamt they were part of that magical chosen family at the heart of the beloved Tales of the City series, The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin is a poignant celebration of its author.
Rebels On Pointe, Monday May 29 at 5:15pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox
Rebels on Pointe is an affectionate and entertaining celebration of the world-famous Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, the all-male drag ballet that mixes high art with sharp humour as it parodies the conventions and clichés of classical ballet.
Established more than forty years ago from the social upheaval of post-Stonewall New York, and surviving through the worst years of the AIDS crisis, the company has developed a cult following around the world, performing in over five hundred cities and thirty-three countries.
Axotol Overkill, June 1 at 9pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox
My Wonderful West Berlin, Saturday June 3 at 11:45am
Between the end of WWII and the fall of the Berlin Wall, West Berlin was a melting pot of political activists, partygoers, hedonists, club owners, musicians and fashion designers. These are the stories of their lives, existing in gay communes and surviving the AIDS crisis.
Despite Germany’s sexual diversity and cultural advances, the era was marked by pronounced suffering, as an incongruous provision in German law made homosexual acts between men a crime until 1969. Raids and arrests in bars were common, but ultimately failed to suppress gay life in West Berlin. Instead, the city evolved into a gay capital.
Shorts LOL, June 3 at 4:30pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox
Yoga teachers, conservative politicians, virgins, bad stand-up comedians, ex-gays and blonds are pretty easy targets. These films hit the bullseye, with (mostly) respect and admiration for all.
Get outside to be moved by #InsideOut17. We promise you’ll walk away with something to think about, talk about, consider, and debate.