Inside Out Film Festival Toronto

5 Things Not to Miss at the Inside Out Film Festival

The Inside Out Film Festival, Toronto's LBGT Yearly Celebration of Film and Video, is now officially old enough to drink in the USA! For it's 21st year the festival is undergoing a few venue changes, as the it embraces the shiny and new Tiff Bell Lightbox as the major destination for screenings this year. While community screenings and parties will still be present at Buddies in Bad Times and Goodhandy's, the real scene may be a King West one this year. Here are 5 things you shouldn't miss at the 2011 Inside Out Film Festival.

Gay Icons (Past and Present)

This category begins with Christopher and his Kind, a loose biopic about writer Christopher Isherwood and his personal and professional experiences while immersed in the Berlin cabaret scene in the early thirties.While the film also follows his writing and the politics at the time, it does not skimp on his original goal for being in Berlin, that is, boys boys boys! The film stars with Matt Smith, best known as the most recent Doctor on Dr. Who and Britain's current number one heartthrob.

Fashionable film-goers may be interested in L'amour Fou a documentary about the dynamic duo of the late Yves St Laurent and his business partner and lover, Pierre Berge. The documentary highlights their personal relationship and St Laurent's domination of the fashion scene from the sixties until the mid-2000s. Upon the death of Yves, Berge began the 'Auction of the Century' selling off pieces they had collected during their lives together.

The Advocate of Fagdom focuses on Toronto artist/director Bruce La Bruce, his career and its heavy influence on queer cinema, particularly in his graphic and unapologetic explorations and exploitation of sex, prostitution, violence and ...zombies. Most recently screened at Hot Docs, rush lines were turned away, so be sure to get your tickets nice and soon.

Award Winning Films

A recent addition to the festival is Circumstance, the audience award winner at the Sundance Film Festival. Part of the 24 Hours in the Middle East Program, Circumstance deals with two Iranian teenagers, Atafah and Shireen, as they begin experimenting with subversion in the arts scene as well as with each other. When Atifah gains an enemy in her brother who has recently returned from rehab and become highly 'moral' and suspect of her habits, the girls' friendship and burgeoning relationship becomes threatened and dangerous.

The Parties

My pick of the week would definitely be the Local Heroes Party on Wednesday May 25th at 10pm at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Tickets are $6 or free with any Wednesday screening stub. Featuring bands like 'electro-indie-disco' band Fitness, experimental-dub-hop crew Abstract Random and dj sets by Joe Blow and Steers and Queers organizer Sigourney Beaver! Click for a full list of the various parties at the festival. Also of note? The Sodom Hollywood Zombie party at Goodhandy's on Friday also looks like quite the bit of crazy fun.

Free Rush Tickets for Young'ns

As ever, the festival is very youth-oriented and friendly, offering discounted tickets, rush and otherwise to students. This year they've upped the ante with free tickets for youth in matinee rush lines. (18-21) Youth under 18 are also applicable granted the rating is appropriate. Here's a link for some of the eligible films.

Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same on Saturday May 28th at 10:15pm.

A greeting store clerk falls for a space alien. Need I say more?

Whatever you do, whichever films you see, be sure to keep your eyes open in the next ten days. The festival is very open and friendly, filmmakers and talent are often fully available for fans to meet before and after screenings or at parties. Check the news & events page on the Inside Out Website for more updates. Who knows, your favourite director could be at Buddies having a beer, just like you.

The Inside Out Film and Video Festival runs from May 19-29th, tickets can be purchased online, by phone or in person at the Tiff Bell Lightbox. Screenings will be held at the Tiff Bell Lightbox and at the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.

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