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John Cameron Mitchell, Laverne Cox and Lee Daniels Heading To Toronto To Celebrate World Pride With Epic Queer Film Program

John Cameron Mitchell, Laverne Cox and Lee Daniels Heading To Toronto To Celebrate World Pride With Epic Queer Film Program

The Toronto International Film Festival and the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival are partnering up for a very impressive summer film program to coincide with their city being the first in North America to host world pride next month. Talks from Laverne Cox and Lee Daniels, special appearances by John Cameron Mitchell (hosting a sing-a-long to “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”!), Isaac Julien, Bruce LaBruce, Jonathan Caoutte and Scott Treleaven, and a retrospective on Derek Jarman are just some of the events planned for “Bent Lens: Pride on Screen,” which launches June 12th.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of the first WorldPride celebration in North America, taking place right here in Toronto,” said Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF. “As an organization with a long history of championing queer filmmakers, we are proud to take part in this international celebration of both the local and global LGBTQ communities, and the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival is the perfect partner with which to do so.”

“Inside Out is excited to partner with TIFF to highlight even more great LGBT film with Bent Lens: Pride on Screen, just three weeks after our annual Toronto LGBT Film Festival,” added Inside Out Executive Director, Scott Ferguson. “Inside Out has a long and rewarding relationship with TIFF and we are proud to work with the preeminent cultural leader in the exhibition of film to present a diverse, informative and entertaining programme of events.”

The full program — which is wonderfully endless — is below with descriptions provided by the folks behind them:

Film Programmes 

Film programmes include: Queer Pagan Punk: The Films of Derek Jarman (June 12 – July 5), a retrospective of legendary New Queer Cinema director Derek Jarman and the most complete retrospective of Jarman’s work ever mounted in Canada; Skin Flicks: The Films of Bruce LaBruce (June 19 – July 3), an homage to Toronto’s own queercore treasure, which includes a number of TIFF-restored digital prints of his films including Hustler White, Super 8. and No Skin Off My Ass; Broken Hearts Film Club: Inside Out Favourites (June 24 & 26), a series of audience favourites of past Inside Out festivals including a 10th anniversary screening of the powerful documentary Tarnation, with director Jonathan Caouette present and a best-of Inside Out’s Local Heroes program, which showcases the talent of Toronto short filmmakers; International LGBT Rights on Screen (June 25 – June 26), a series of documentary screenings at the Miles Nadal JCC in conjunction with the WorldPride Human Rights Conference which highlights the struggles for equality in regions of the world where LGBT individuals continue to face violence, persecution and death; and Under the Stars: Free Outdoor Screenings (June 20 – June 23), a series of free family-friendly screenings at David Pecaut Square with special guests, live performances, music and audience participation. 

Special Events 

Two special events complement the programme. In Conversation With…Laverne Cox, takes place on June 25 at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Cox, an actress and a GLAAD Award recipient, will discuss international transgender advocacy, her groundbreaking role as Sophia Burset on the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black, and her documentary project Free CeCe, which chronicles the arrest and trial of a trans African-American woman who defended herself against a violent, racist and transphobic attack. Director Lee Daniels, Out100‘s 2013 Artist of the Year, will also be in attendance for an In Conversation With… event on June 22, and will discuss his 

impressive career spent crafting some of the most arresting social dramas of the last decade: Lee Daniels’ The Butler, The Paperboy, Precious and Shadowboxer

Also screening is artist and filmmaker Ulrike Ottinger’s 1979 feature Ticket of No Return; director John Cameron Mitchell will lead a special sing-along version of his queer classic Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Other special guests confirmed to date who will introduce various screenings include Isaac Julien, Bruce LaBruce, Jonathan Caoutte and Scott Treleaven. 

Get Bent!, a fundraising event in celebration of Bent Lens: Pride on Screen, will take place the evening of Tuesday, June 17, with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, music, performances and art installations on the TIFF Bell Lightbox rooftop patio and Malaparte, overlooking the Toronto skyline. Proceeds from this event will support film, education and community programmes at both TIFF and Inside Out. 


Opening in conjunction with the Derek Jarman retrospective is Queer Outlaw Cinema, a free exhibition running from June 13 to August 17 at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Co-curated by Noah Cowan, Executive Director of the San Francisco Film Society, and Kathleen Pirrie Adams, Assistant Professor at Ryerson University, Queer Outlaw Cinema is comprised of media artworks that celebrate the possibilities and origins of contemporary queer identity, and features a work of Derek Jarman’s as well as artists Bruce LaBruce, Isaac Julien, Ulrike Ottinger and a new TIFF-commissioned piece from Scott Treleaven. 

The exhibition includes LaBruce’s award-winning Pierrot Lunaire (2014), a silent black-and-white film set in 1970s Toronto which is an experimental adaption of composer Arnold Schoenberg’s original 1912 song cycle, complemented by a photo display and a five-minute excerpt of LaBruce’s short film Offing Jack (2011). Also featured is work from Turner Prize-nominated artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien: his Dungeness (2008) was filmed at Derek Jarman’s cottage in Kent and features Jarman’s muse Tilda Swinton as well as rare Super 8 footage of Jarman himself. Other highlights include Jarman’s own short film Imagining October (1984), a dreamlike piece incorporating Super 8 footage shot on the streets of Moscow and a soundtrack by Genesis P-Orridge (formerly of the band Throbbing Gristle) and David Ball (formerly of the band Soft Cell); and two major works from German filmmaker Ulrike Ottinger: Freak Orlando (1981), a retelling of Virginia Woolf’s gender-bending fantasia; and Superbia – The Pride (1986), a section of the Seven Women, Seven Sins (1986) compilation, which will be shown alongside the artist’s workbooks and visual materials, providing unique insight into Ottinger’s creative process. Specially commissioned by TIFF for Queer Outlaw Cinema is Picture Yourself in a Burning Building (2014), a new work from Toronto-born artist and filmmaker Scott Treleaven. Inspired by a life-changing encounter with Jarman, this single-channel video projection utilizes a combination of fireworks, “flash frames” and degraded images to meditate on questions of queer mentorship and queer historical continuity. 


Queer Pagan Punk: The Films of Derek Jarman June 12 – July 5 

Sebastiane (Derek Jarman and Paul Humfress, 1976) 

Jubilee (Derek Jarman, 1978) 

The Tempest (Derek Jarman, 1979) 

Caravaggio (Derek Jarman, 1986) 

The Angelic Conversation (Derek Jarman, 1987) 

The Last of England (Derek Jarman, 1987) 

Aria (Robert Altman, Bruce Beresford, Bill Bryden, Jean-Luc Godard, Derek Jarman, Franc Roddam, Nicolas Roeg, Ken Russell, Charles Sturridge, Julien Temple, 1987) 

War Requiem (Derek Jarman, 1988) 

The Garden (Derek Jarman, 1990) 

Edward II (Derek Jarman, 1991) 

Blue (Derek Jarman, 1993) 

Wittgenstein (Derek Jarman, 1993) 

Glitterbug (Derek Jarman, 1994) 

The Salivation Army (Scott Treleaven, 2002) 

Derek (Isaac Julien, 2008) 

Queer Outlaw Cinema Exhibition Opens – June 13 

Ulrike Ottinger’s Ticket of No Return June 14 

Ticket of No Return (Ulrike Ottinger, 1979) 

Get Bent! Fundraising Event – June 17 

Skin Flicks: The Films of Bruce LaBruce June 19 – July 3 

No Skin Off My Ass (Bruce LaBruce, 1991) 

Super 8. (Bruce LaBruce, 1994) 

Hustler White (Bruce LaBruce and Rick Castro, 1996) 

Skin Flick (Bruce LaBruce, 1999) 

The Raspberry Reich (Bruce LaBruce, 2004) 

Otto; or, Up with Dead People (Bruce LaBruce, 2008) 

L.A. Zombie (Bruce LaBruce, 2010) 

Bruce LaBruce Carte Blanche: Act of the Heart (Paul Almond, 1970) 

Bruce’s Bits: Short Films by Bruce LaBruce 

Give Piece of Ass a Chance (Bruce LaBruce, 2007) 

The Bad Breast (Bruce LaBruce, 2010) 

Weekend in Alphaville (Bruce LaBruce, 2010) 

Offing Jack (Bruce LaBruce, 2011) 

Under the Stars: Free Outdoor Screenings June 20-23 

Paris is Burning (1990, Jennie Livingston) 

A League of Their Own (Penny Marshall, 1992) 

Rope (Alfred Hitchcock, 1948) 

But I’m a Cheerleader (Jamie Babbit, 1999) 

In Conversation With… Lee Daniels – June 22 

Broken Hearts Film Club: Inside Out Favourites June 24 and June 26 

Sing-along Hedwig and the Angry Inch (John Cameron Mitchell, 2001) 

Tarnation (Jonathan Caouette, 2003) 

Inside Out Encore Screening: 2014 Audience Favourite 

10 Queers in 10 Years: A Decade of Local Heroes 

Shaolin Sisters (Mishann Lau, 2005) 

Black Men and Me (Michele Clarke, 2007) 

Rock Garden: A Love Story (Gloria Kim, 2008) 

Falling for Caroline (Chris Chew, 2009) 

5 Dysfunctional People in a Car (Pat Mills, 2010) 

52 (Josh Levy, 2011) 

Akin (Chase Joynt, 2012) 

Liar (Adam Garnett Jones, 2013) 

For Dorian (Rodrigo Barriuso, 2013) 

Sebastian (Rickey Bryant, 2014) 

In Conversation With… Laverne Cox – June 25 

International LGBT Rights on Screen June 25 and June 26 

God Loves Uganda (Roger Ross Williams, 2013) 

Taboo Yardies (Selena Blake, 2012) 

Tickets for the film programmes and special events are on sale May 21 for TIFF and Inside Out members and May 28 for non-members. Admission to the exhibition is free. 

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