Ottawa’s LGBT film festival, Inside Out, runs from October 22 to 25 this year and you’re not going to want to miss the incredible line-up of films by talented writers, directors and actors from all over the world. For titles, check out the festival’s calendar. Apt613 will also be posting reviews of certain films in the upcoming days and weeks leading up to the festival so make sure to check back often! We caught up with Andrew Murphy, Director of Programming to get the scoop on this year’s event.
Can you tell me a little bit about the line up this year and what you personally cannot wait to see?
This year, we are celebrating our ninth edition of Inside Out here in Ottawa and we are very much looking forward to bringing some of the year’s best award-winning LGBTQ movies to our nation’s capital. From our Toronto Film Festival’s Audience Award-Winners like Fourth Man Out and Game Face, to one of my favourites this year from acclaimed UK director Peter Greenaway: Eisenstein in Guanajuato.
Our opening night film, The Girl King, just won an Audience and an Acting Award at the Montreal World Film Festival where it had its World Premiere last month. The film delves deep into the life of one of European history’s most controversial figures, Queen Kristina of Sweden. The Girl King focuses on her passions as much as it does on her political aspirations. We can’t wait to open the Festival with such a thrilling, complex portrait of a lesbian icon. The script was penned by legendary Quebecois playwright Michel Marc Bouchard, known for his plays, Tom at the Farm and Lilies, both of which were turned into movies.
We also have more short films this year featured at both the Bytowne and SAW screenings. They are lovingly curated mixed programs we’ve named, ‘Matters of the Heart’ and ‘Family Matters.’
Can you tell me if there are any special events or directors/actors that will be coming to speak and meet with audiences?
Our opening night celebration will kick off with a welcome reception at The Bourbon Room (with your opening night film and reception ticket) before we head over to The Bytowne Cinema for The Girl King. On Saturday night, after the screening of the sexy and touching Venezuelan film Liz in September, we’ve partnered again with the folks at The Queer Mafia for their ever-popular OHMYJAM. Inside Out ticket holders get a discount at the door if you arrive before 11:30 p.m. Keep checking the site for other guest speakers.
Are you featuring any filmmakers or movies from or about the places in the world where it is still dangerous to be a member of the LGBTQ community?
We are always researching movies and documentaries that are upcoming for consideration in our festivals and a big part of that is not just the entertainment value (although that is important!), but also what stories are we not seeing onscreen that need to be told. As a film festival, of course you are at the mercy of the content that is out there and it will vary from year to year, however, we always try to ensure Inside Out offers a safe place to see, to inspire, to engage and solicit dialogue around how our stories are represented onscreen.
For example, in the documentary Game Face, we see what happens when transgender MMA pro fighter Fallon Fox has her identity revealed without her consent before a final championship. Yes, more and more athletes are coming out and applauded for it, but here we see the ramifications not of a white cismale rugby player, rather a trans woman MMA fighter who was outed not on her terms, and how it throws the rules of the sport into question because people just don’t have the correct information. View the trailer below:
Finally, what role do you think movies have in LGBTQ communities today?
The way people access their media content is continuously changing. You no longer have to go to the cinema to see movies or to see yourself represented in programs; we have Netflix, Apple TV or the Internet. However, what makes a festival like Inside Out so unique is that our community still sees the significance in coming together in a safe space to see themselves onscreen in documentary and narrative stories. Be it a Queer genre movie, a documentary about the persecution of LGBT people in Russia, or just a romantic comedy about two women who fall in love amongst the necessary high jinx, we want to celebrate that together. It’s like an alternative pride!
In the western world, we are seeing the emergence of what can be termed ‘post-gay’ films where the struggle of coming out is no longer the central issue. We are seeing more stories—such as with the award-winning and hilarious Fourth Man Out—where the coming out to one’s friends is only a small piece of the narrative. It’s what happens after where our narrative lies, and that can be very exciting!
The Inside Out Film festival runs from October 22-25, 2015. For more details check out their website.