Documentaries are coming out of the closet for Inside Out. Toronto’s 2SLGBTQ+ film festival unveiled the full line-up today for its 2022 event, which includes both in-theatre and online components. Inside Out screens 38 feature films this year from Canada and around the world. 14 of them are documentaries.
Non-fiction works playing at Inside Out this year include the Canadian doc Tramps!, directed by Kevin Hegge. The film recently screened at BFI Flare in honour of its portrait of the London fashion and musical movement it depicts, the New Romantics. Tramps! premieres among Inside Out’s slate of Galas and Special Presentations.
“Emotions are at the forefront seeing team Inside Out return to their festival home at the TIFF Bell Lightbox two years on,” said Interim Co-Heads Andrew Murphy and Elie Chivi in a statement from the festival. “As we ease back into our physical screenings, receptions, and expanded industry programming, we continue to express our gratitude to our sponsors and stakeholders, members and donors, and our queer filmmaking family, for their loyalty and support on our journey back into cinemas. 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.”
Canadian Docs at Inside Out
The festival’s Spotlight on Canada stream offers three documentaries among its quartet of features. Pat Rocco Dared is Morris Chapdelaine’s portrait of the iconoclastic gay Canadian film pioneer and the doors he opened. Dave Rodden Shortt profiles Vancouver Drag queen Oliv Howe in The Empress of Vancouver, and Sharon Lewis’s With Wonder gets a Toronto encore for its study of faith and queerness. Other Canadian docs screening at the festival include Ryan Bruce Levey’s Out in the Ring, which explores the careers and lives of out-and-proud LGBTQ+ professional wrestlers, and Chase Joynt’s acclaimed Framing Agnes fresh off its run at Hot Docs.
Framing Agnes is one of five documentaries in the Icons series, which spotlights the stories of 2SLGBTQ+ trailblazers, like the titular Agnes who inspires Joynt and company to revisit and correct trans history. Also screening in the series is Lula Cucchiara’s Fiona Clark: Unafraid, which profiles the titular musician; Marcus Pontello’s study of a Texax nightclub in Friday, I’m in Love; Rita Baghdadi’s Slave to Sirens portrait Sirens; and Marris Curran’s Jeanette about Pulse Nightclub shooting survivor Jeannette Feliciano.
International Work and Dramas
Docs premiering in the international spectrum bring colours of the rainbow from the USA, Mexico, Brazil, and the UK. LA Queenciañera, directed by Pedro Peira, profiles Latina trans activist Bamby Salcedo, while a portrait of a Brazilian trans activist appears in Blooming on the Asphalt, directed by Coraci Ruiz and Julio Matos. Gateways Grind, meanwhile, sees director Jacquie Lawrence unpack the storied history of a London lesbian bar. Beyond Ed Buck, finally, revisits a tragic incident wrought by a Democratic donor in this film by Jayce Baron and Hailie Sahar.
On the dramatic front, Inside Out opens with the Brazilian drama Mars One, directed by Gabriel Martins, which offers a family drama amid the political turmoil of the Jair Bolsanaro government. The festival also includes a special screening of Andrew Ahn’s Fire Island, which has one of the mostly notably gay film casts ever for a major distributor (Searchlight/Hulu). Matt Carter’s In from the Side offers a sports movie for the gay crowd, while Craig Boreham’s Aussie drama Lonesome is an edgy road movie about a drifter looking for love. Catherine Corsini’s acclaimed Cannes 2021 premiere The Divide, finally, gets an overdue Toronto premiere after winning the Queer Palme at the Croisette. The film stars Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, whose latest directorial work Les Amandiers screens in competition at Cannes this year.
Inside Out runs May 26 to June 5.