Daniel Ribeiro’s Teddy Award winning debut feature “The Way He Looks” will open the 24th annual Inside Out LGBT Film Festival, while Ira Sachs’ “Love Is Strange” will serve as the festival’s Centerpiece Gala. The festival — which runs May 22 to June 1st — also announced a slew of programming centered around its international focus on Latin American. The full lineup comes at the end of the month, but until then here’s what Toronto audiences can already look forward to at the city’s main cinematic LGBT event.
THE WAY HE LOOKS (Hoje eu quero voltar sozinho)
Daniel Ribeiro (Brazil) Canadian premiere
Leonardo is a blind teenager struggling to break free from his well-meaning friends and family. At home, his over-protective mother doesn’t trust him to be on his own. His wisecracking best friend, Giovana, attentively looks out for him even though Leo’s blithely unaware of the torch she carries. When new student Gabriel arrives at school, he befriends Leonardo and Giovana and the trio become inseparable. Leo gravitates towards Gabriel, excited to be friends with someone who acts differently from everyone else. Meanwhile, Giovana begins to feel jealous that she is no longer the sole caretaker to her BFF.
LOVE IS STRANGE
Ira Sachs (USA) Canadian premiere
After 39 years together, Ben (John Lithgow) and George (Alfred Molina) finally tie the knot in a quiet ceremony attended by family and friends in lower Manhattan. But when the Catholic school where George works as choir director learns of their nuptials, he is fired from his longtime job. Suddenly, with no real savings to count on, the couple find that they can’t afford the rent on their Chelsea apartment and they lose their home. As a temporary solution, George crashes with gay cop neighbours (Cheyenne Jackson and Manny Perez), while Ben moves in with his workaholic nephew, Elliot (Darren Burrows), Elliot’s write-from-home wife, Kate (Marisa Tomei), and their teenage son, Joey. As Ben and George struggle to secure a new apartment, the pain of living apart and their presence in two foreign households test the resilience and relationships of everyone involved.
MY STRAIGHT SON (Azul y no tan rosa)
Miguel Ferrari (Venezuela) Toronto Premiere
Diego, a successful fashion photographer in Caracas, is finally ready to commit to his partner Fabrizio when his life is turned upside down. First, his teenage son Armando, who hasn’t seen his father in five years and who doesn’t know Diego is gay, comes to stay with him. Then, tragically, Fabrizio becomes a victim of a violent homophobic attack that leaves him clinging to life. Coping with grief and anger, Diego must try forging a new relationship with his son. Winner of the Goya Award for Best Ibero-American film.
THE THIRD ONE (El Tercero)
Rodrigo Guerrero (Argentina) Canadian Premiere
This sexy Argentine three-hander begins where many intriguing encounters begin these days—in Internet chat rooms, where flirtation, dares, exposed flesh and typos run rampant. When nervous young Fede finally shows up for dinner at the home of Franco and Hernán, a settled older couple, fantasy gives way to reality—and reality has its own charms. The film possesses a refreshing realism and honesty as the story slowly unfolds and the characters relax and become comfortable with each other.
PRAIA DO FUTURO
Karim Aïnouz (Brazil/Germany) Canadian Premiere
PRAIA DO FUTURO is a seductive, atmospheric meditation on loss, love and the search for self-discovery. Donato works as a lifeguard on Praia do Futuro Beach. When he dives in after two men who are caught in the undercurrent, Donato saves Konrad, a vacationing German, but Konrad’s friend is lost to the sea. While waiting for the body to be found, a bond grows between Donato and Konrad, and the initial sexual sparks give way to a deeper emotional connection. Following Konrad to Berlin, Donato is both confused and liberated by the cold but vital German capital. Years later, a visitor from Donato’s past arrives in Berlin in search of Donato and demands answers to a long-simmering question.
EVERYBODY’S GOT SOMEBODY…BUT ME (Todo el mundo tiene a alguien menos yo) Raul Fuentes (Mexico)
When Alejandra, a publishing editor who lives in her own insular world, encounters Maria, a carefree private-school student, sparks ignite. Maria becomes an inspiration to Alejandra, and something of a muse. Alejandra becomes an opportunity for Maria: an escape from frivolous school friends into an exciting new world. Soon the couple become involved in an all-consuming love affair in which they push and challenge each other intellectually and emotionally.
THE BITCHHIKER (A Caroneira) Otavio Chamorro and Tiago Vaz (Brazil)
A mysterious woman seeks revenge against her archrival.
WOMAN (La Donna) Nicolas Dolensky (Argentina)
A light-hearted evening playing ‘The Name Game’ evolves into a different type of entertainment as a couple and their friend flirt with desire and seduction.
THE CROSS-EYED (O Olho e o Zarolho) Juliana Vicente (Brazil)
Matheus has two moms. Mom #1 goes into a crisis when she sees Matheus’ drawings and his rather unique colour choices.
THE BEST FRIEND (O melhor amigo) Allan Deberton (Brazil)
On the first day of their summer vacation, Lucas and Felipe decide to spend the day at the beach.
THE PACKAGE (O Pacote) Rafael Aider (Brazil)
On the outskirts of Sao Paulo, teenage Jefferson befriends Leandro, the new student at school. Their relationship is threatened when Jefferson reveals a secret he has been hiding from Leandro.