May 23 – June 2, 2013
Now in its twenty-third year, Inside Out brings the entirety of the queer spectrum to the big screen — joy and sorrow, sex and love, youth and old age. Although over its lifetime our wider society has moved the experienced of lesbians and gays further from the isolated margins, stories by and for the community still need to be told.
Inside Out brings a very inclusive atmosphere, welcoming to all and worthy for anyone to attend. It's also one of the most fun festivals in town, and you're guaranteed to make new friends in line while waiting for screenings in the comfortable and classy TIFF Lightbox. I've already seen a few things and will have reviews online starting tomorrow (advance hint: you'll want to see the Divine bio-doc!), but here's a few comments just as a general overview.
It looks like a bumper crop of documentaries at this year's festival. I saw Valentine Road and God Loves Uganda at Hot Docs and recommend both (check out my full reviews for them here and here). Valentine Road is especially tragic and anger-inducing — bring your tissues — but an excellent, must-see film. I missed Continental at Hot Docs, but I hears uniformly good things about it, and expect to catch it here. Otherwise, Inside Out brings us dispatches from Jamaica and Cameroon to remind us there are places where the struggles for safety and respect are less advanced than in Canada, while Before You Know It looks at issues of elder care in the LGBT community.
Look beyond docs, the shorts programmes are always a good place to head for those who can't settle on a single movie. You'll usually find a surprising new fave or two, even if you go in expecting to like a specific short. Besides various boy-boy and girl-girl themed programmes, look for curated selections on the black and trans experience, as well as art and horror, plus an international showcase.
As for the slate of features, the best advice I can give is that you head over to this youtube playlist, where you can check out trailers for a whole lot of the festival's films.
Most screenings (except galas) are $13, with some $10 matinees and discounts for youth and seniors. If you're seeing a bunch, 8-Ticket Vouchers are available for $91. Members help support the festival year-round and get deals on tickets, too.