Toronto’s Inside Out film festival, Canada’s largest celebration of LGBTQ cinema, is making a return to its prepandemic self – albeit with interim leadership after the surprise departure of its executive director.
On Friday, organizers for the Inside Out Toronto 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival announced the lineup for the organization’s 32nd edition, which will include both in-person screenings at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and online programming geo-blocked to Ontario residents.
Highlights include the opening-night Canadian premiere of Mars One, an acclaimed Brazilian drama set against the backdrop of the 2018 election of far-right president Jair Bolsonaro; Andrew Ahn’s buzzy U.S. rom-com Fire Island starring Saturday Night Live breakout Bowen Yang; a digital-exclusive screening of Canadian director Chase Joynt’s Sundance award-winning documentary Framing Agnes; and the world premiere of the first two episodes of The Lake, Prime Video’s first original Canadian comedy scripted series, starring Julia Stiles and Orphan Black’s Jordan Gavaris.
With 128 films (both full-length and shorts) plus three episodic series set to screen, this year’s festival aims to bring much-needed real-world buzz to Inside Out – especially in the wake of executive director Lauren Howes’s departure earlier this year.
Howes, who took over from the trail-blazing Andria Wilson, joined Inside Out in March 2021. According to a statement from Inside Out, Howes made a decision to “change course … in pursuit of new personal goals.” Andrew Murphy, Inside Out’s long-time director of programming, and Elie Chivi, previously the organization’s director of development, are now interim co-heads until the board can find a “permanent leadership solution.”
“Emotions are at the forefront seeing team Inside Out return to their festival home at the TIFF Bell Lightbox two years on,” Mr. Murphy and Mr. Chivi said in a joint statement. “We’ve missed you all so much and cannot wait to share our stories, our talents, and forge new collaborations both in cinema and via our Digital Screening Room available across Ontario.”
This year’s Inside Out runs from May 26 through June 5.
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