Inside Out is a great opportunity to see a plethora of gay films in a short period of time. It’s also a fantastic time to party. For every major film and moment of this year’s festival, there’s an equally exciting party to go along with it. Here’s our guide to the best.
The kick-off party is an endurance test — survivors will be enjoying 11 days of LGBT film. The evening begins with a reception on a sixth floor terrace, with award-winning composer Bryce Kulak giving a performance. Cheerful and perhaps a bit hazy from the view, music and open bar, attendees then head down to the international premiere of the film Grandma, starring Lily Tomlin. Then it’s back up to the terrace for an eclectic after-party, with Bruce LaBruce and JD Samson providing the music and Storefront Theatre doing brief, impromptu performances based on iconic films. Those lacking in gusto can choose to attend only part of the evening if they wish.
Thursday, May 21; 5:30pm pre-screening reception, 8pm screening, 10pm after party. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St W
Tab Hunter Confidential Reception
Tab Hunter shared the screen with such greats as Rita Hayworth, John Wayne and Gary Cooper, but it was his drool-inspiring, boy-next-door looks that made him famous. In public, he paraded about with famous actresses; in private, he paraded with a limp wrist. Before the Toronto premiere of the documentary Tab Hunter Confidential, there will be a reception in honour of this star from Hollywood’s golden era. Amid posh surroundings, the party is complete with an appearance by 83-year-old Hunter and the film’s director, Jeffrey Schwarz, who also gave us I am Divine.
Friday, May 22, 6:30pm. The Spoke Club, 600 King St W
Women’s Gala Reception
Because enthusiasm for lady filmmakers can’t be contained by a brief pre-screening gala, this celebration takes place later on. From the director of But I’m a Cheerleader and one of the writers of Portlandia, Fresno is a comedy about a former sex addict who becomes an accidental murderer. When she asks her younger sister to help her hide the body, she has to face up to the fact that she’s not very responsible. After the film, the reception includes drinking, mingling and music by Vee Stun, lead singer of Vag Halen.
Saturday, May 23, 9pm. The Richmond, 477 Richmond St W
Centrepiece Gala Reception
Adam is a blue-collar guy whose routine includes spending a lot of time doing guy things with his bros, Chris, Nick and Ortu. That is, until Adam accidentally comes out. Chris assures him things won’t change, but some things do change. When Adam has a disastrous double-date with Chris, it threatens to destroy their bro-ski time. Before the world premiere of the comedy Fourth Man Out, film buffs will sip cocktails with the movie’s stars in an elegant gallery space.
Tuesday, May 26, 6:30pm. Abbozzo Gallery, 401 Richmond St W
Local Heroes Party
It’s up to the queens. To mirror the theme of the Local Heroes screening, a selection of locally-produced short films, the after-screening party’s entertainment is also locally sourced. This year, the drag trio the B-Girlz host Drags to Riches, a competition where a handful of queens — Fay Slift, Judy Virago, Leelando Calrissian and others — compete to win $1,000. The categories are costumes and talent, and DJ Fluffy Soufflé provides the music.
Thursday, May 28, 9:30pm. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W
Transplanetarium After Party Decadence
From Denmark, Boy is a film about 16-year-old Emilie, whose emerging trans identity meets pushback from family. The Canadian film Passing profiles three trans men of colour. Transplanetarium, an annual program of trans-related short films, includes these and other hard-hitting works. Afterward, the party-hungry head over to Church Street for dancing to music by DJs Nik Red and San Fran.
Saturday, May 30, 10:30pm. Club 120, 120 Church St
Film enthusiasts can mingle with (or peer seductively over the rims of their mimosa glasses at) their favourite filmmakers at this glamorous brunch. New this year, the Canadian and international juried awards are given out during a sunny, noontime event. This intimate gathering is meant to facilitate fans meeting award winners and programmers. It’s also a pleasant way for those who’d rather not attend the late-night closing gala party to conclude their festival experience. And it’s a great excuse for a mimosa-induced nap later on.
Sunday, May 31, 11:30am. TIFF Lounge, TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St W
Closing Gala Party
You made it. It’s over. Tonight’s your final chance to celebrate the 25th anniversary festival and a great opportunity to toast to the next quarter century of LGBT film. The lucky and talented winner of the Drags to Riches drag queen contest provides the evening’s entertainment. Following the announcement of the audience award winner (based on audience ballots), DJs Phil V (who is also Daily Xtra’s arts editor) and Wei Back spin tunes for those inclined to kick back sleep with their dancing feet.
Sunday, May 31, 10pm. The Fifth Social Club, 225 Richmond St W
For more info, visit insideout.ca