Alice Wu's "Saving Face" Among Honorees at Inside Out Gay Fest
by Brian Brooks
The 15th edition of the Inside Out Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival closed last week, screening queer work to an audience of 30,000. Alice Wu's feature, "Saving Face," a story of the cultural ramifications facing a lesbian Chinese-American daughter and her traditionalist mother, who are both reluctant to share secrets about their past loves, won the festival's Showcase Award for Best Feature Film or Video, an audience-voted prize.
Also taking an audience award, for best documentary, was "Fag Hags: Women Who Love Gay Men" by Justine Pimlott. Comedienne Margaret Cho gives her take on women who befriend gay men in this doc, narrated by Carole Pope, which focuses on two Torontonian couples as well as one in San Francisco. Fellow "fruit-fly" inspired doc, "Irene Williams: Queen of Lincoln Road" took the audience prize for best short film. The short captures the nine year relationship between the director, Eric Smith, and a self-described "hag fag," whose personality and style made her a local icon.
In juried prizes, Bill Marchant's "Everyone" took the best Canadian feature-length award, while Elle Flanders received an honorable mention for "Zero Degrees of Separation." Alex Flores' "Mexicano Refugiado" won best up and coming Toronto filmmaker, and "In the Dark" by Niko Blaxx took best female director.
Jurors for this year's Inside Out features competition included Toronto International Film Festival co-director Noah Cowan, photographer/filmmaker Pamela Gawn, and photographer Michael Chambers. Inside Out took place in Toronto May 19 - 29.
[ For more information, and a full list of winners, visit http://www.insideout.on.ca/15Annual/index.cfm ]