ally pankiw inside out festival

New movie featuring Toronto's Comedy Bar is getting its Canadian premiere

Of the many films showcasing at this years' Inside Out 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival,  Ally Pankiw's, I Used to be Funny is one to look out for.

Pankiw, an acclaimed Toronto writer and director, will make her Canadian feature directorial debut with this humorous yet heartbreaking narrative of a stand-up comedian grappling with sexual violence, trauma, and recovery, all set at Toronto's Comedy Bar.

Though the dramedy made its world premiere at the SXSW Film & TV Festival in March, its Inside Out appearance will be the first showing in Canada.

Pankiw's impressive career credits so far have both fans and film lovers waiting in anticipation for her first long form work. 

To date, she's directed and produced music videos for international artists like Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea, Janelle Monáe, Lil Jon, and The Arkells.  

Her many TV credits include her role as director and executive producer on the first season of the Netflix comedy series, Feel Good, starring local comic, Mae Martin and Friends star, Lisa Kudrow.

She also worked on a block of episodes for the second season of Hulu's Emmy-winning, The Great and an episode of the newest season of Black Mirror.

Pankiw also served as a story editor on Schitt's Creek and has gone on to create an original animated comedy series called Standing By with the series' star and creator, Dan Levy.

That series will star Levy, Glenn Close, Poppy Liu, Samira Wiley, David Tennant and Natalie Palamides.

Now showcasing her first feature film, Pankiw has returned to her Toronto roots.

I Used to be Funny circles Toronto's stand-up comedy community, following the story of fictional character, Sam Cowell, an aspiring stand-up Comedian struggling with PTSD, who must decide whether the join the search for Brooke, a missing teenage girl she used to nanny.

This screening is made even more exciting by some familiar names in the cast, like American actress, Rachel Sennott who starred in Shiva Baby and Bodies, Bodies, Bodies, Toronto comedian, Sabrina Jalees from Roast Battle Canada, and Canadian actress, Dani Kind who is best known for her role as Anne Carlson in Workin' Moms.

I Used to be Funny will screen Friday the 26th at 9:15 p.m. at TIFF Bell Lightbox. It is co-presented by Toronto comedy theatre, The Second City.

The InsideOut Film Festival will run May 25th to June 5th, 2023.

Lead photo by


Latest Videos

Latest Videos

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Film

Huge movie festival under the stars coming to the Distillery District

Win over $1,000 worth of Hallmark pop culture gifts

Oscar-winning actress coming to Toronto this summer

Here are all the movies you can see for free during the Toronto Outdoor Picture Show

Arnold Schwarzenegger spotted riding bike in Toronto

Watch movies for free under the stars in Toronto parks this summer

One of Toronto's biggest green spaces hosting free outdoor movie nights this summer

Canadians vow to cancel Netflix subscriptions over end of cheapest ad-free plan