#INSIDEOUT: A PREVIEW TO TORONTO’S 2013 INSIDE OUT FESTIVAL
Running May 23 through June 2, 2013, the Inside Out Festival presented by RBC, delivers to us 170 Films (54 Features and 116 Shorts) from 31 Countries. Raising awareness about the LGBT Community, it delivers upon its promise to challenge attitudes and change lives through Cinema.
Focusing on International LGBT Rights this year, a Series of Documentaries and Narrative Films aim to elicit reaction and provoke thought and discussion including:
…And The Unclaimed which centers around two young Women from a small village in India who fall in love, yet are faced with the prospect of having to marry Men. They decide to die in eachother’s arms. Details here.
Born This Way, a Documentary about two young LGBT People in Cameroon, where Same-Sex Relations can mean a five-year Prison Sentence. No Lady Gaga Cameos, unfortunately! Details here.
Taboo Yardies, a Documentary exploring Jamaicans and their varying perceptions on Homophobia. Details here.
And let’s not forget about the Premiere of eagerly-awaited Behind the Candelabra starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, airing simultaneously as the HBO Premiere! Details here.
I’ve had the pleasure of previewing a few Titles to screen at this year’s Festival already and found particularly interesting:
If there is one Film that you must see at Inside Out this year, it would be this chilling Documentary about Lawrence King, a grade eight Student who in 2008 was shot in the head after declaring his feelings for a Classmate, Brandon McInerney. Director Marta Cunningham gets first-hand access from King‘s Classmates who witnessed his Murder, Friends, McInerney‘s Family to the Jurors in the Case. Although sympathetic to King, she manages to get a complete picture from the Accused’s Supporters, helping us understand why there is so much gray matter in this Case.
Under Cunningham‘s patient handling, the 90-minute Valentine Road takes us on a real education without ever polarizing the Viewer. It takes a grim situation and making something uplifting of it. This is an important Film which begs to be seen by Students and Adults and should find a life even beyond the Festival Circuit. Details here.
Interior Leather Bar
After dropping some jaws at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, this 60-minute Documentary teams Filmmaker Travis Matthews with Megastar James Franco, as they re-imagine 40 minutes of footage cut from the 1980 Film Cruising, in order to prevent a “X” rating. That William Friedkin Film had Al Pacino playing an Undercover Cop investigating Murders in New York’s Gay S&M/Leather Underground.
Although at points like the Cast you find yourself wondering about its intentions, ultimately Interior Leather Bar becomes an exploration about the freedom of Self-Expression in Film and socially-defined “rights” and “wrongs” in Sex. Heterosexual Actor Val Lauren (portraying Al Pacino‘s role) really goes on a journey, challenging himself not only as an Actor, but really has his mind opened to a World which he at times seems squeamishly uncomfortable with initially.
Edgy and graphic, Matthews and Franco visually create a few magical moments in this Film when it finally gets rolling, successfully setting-out what originally they intended to do and more. Learn more here.
Meet the Glamcocks
A fun, visual Escape, this 55-minute Documentary follows the Story of a group of Men from allover the World known as The Glamcocks, who are granted their own Theme Camp at the annual Burning Man Festival held just outside Reno, Nevada. The Festival takes placed in a temporary location coined Black Rock City, where inhibitions are unlocked and imaginations run wild.
Set against a neon-coloured, Electronica-infused Backdrop, Director Vincent Rommelaere takes us on a ride through the personal challenges The Glamcocks face and along the way we feast our eyes on the scintillating Art, which is the driving spirit behind the Festival. And if you can’t appreciate that, feel free to gawk at copious serving of scantily-clad Men!
We genuinely feel like we’ve made some Friends here and this Australian Documentary does a fine job exposing (pardon the pun) this group of Men and the Festival. Learn more here.
Peaches Does Herself
I’ve always been fascinated by Toronto-born Performance Artist PEACHES (Merill Nisker) and this Film gives us a rare chance to experience her self-created Show Peaches Does Herself, which she performed in Berlin. The Experimental Bonanza comprised of Peaches’ most recognizable Tracks, is semi-autobiographical and tells her storied rise to Fame. We learn about her inspiration in a 65-year-old Stripper (Sandy Kane) and her love for a She-Male (Danni Daniels). I was hoping v. much to catch the Film at TIFF last September, but unfortunately never got around to it due to hectic scheduling.
Peaches Does Herself visually and sensually is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced: positively hypnotic costumes, sets, styling and choreography, accompanied by her revered edgy beats. It’s a Party, really. Peaches drop-kicks the walls of what we understand about Sexuality, introducing us to a world of Pansexuality, venturing on her road to Self-Discovery. “There’s only one Peach with the hole in the middle”, indeed. Learn more here. The Film opens at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema on Friday, June 7, 2013.
Click here to learn more about Inside Out and to plan your Festival Experience!
(Photo credit: Rabbit Bandini Productions)