Inside Out kicks off its 24th annual Toronto LGBT Film Festival on May 22, delivering 10 days of screenings. Daily Xtra has an inside look at some of the hottest films. Below are links to director and actor interviews to help you decide what screenings to hit and which you might want to avoid.
The Normal Heart, based on Larry Kramer’s 1985 Tony Award–winning play about the AIDS epidemic, is directed by Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story). It features an all-star cast, including Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo, Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer and Taylor Kitsch. In an interview with Daily Xtra done during the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, Ruffalo explains why the film makes him nervous and why the story is relevant today.
The Case Against 8 is a behind-the-scenes documentary that follows two couples through their journey as plaintiffs against Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage. Directors Ben Cotner and Ryan White discuss the film and the unlikely bed partners that the fight against Prop 8 created.
Xavier Dolan’s film Tom at the Farm is a dark, psychological thriller about a man who travels to rural Quebec after the death of his partner. In an interview with Daily Xtra, Dolan discusses the film’s unsettling mix of violence and desire.
Another heart-pounding feature is Eastern Boys, directed by Robin Campillo, who tells Daily Xtra how he drew from personal experiences when creating the story. It’s a sexually charged film about a middle-aged business man who decides to pick up a young hustler.
Wham, Bam, mr Pam explores the life of bisexual porn auteur mr Pam, who has spent the past 15 years making explicit gay porn. Being a female videographer with a love for gay porn makes this woman a rare and intriguing gem. Daily Xtra produced this short, which makes its world premiere as part of Inside Out’s Scruff Riders shorts program.
Kate Bornstein Is a Queer & Pleasant Danger is an intimate documentary about Bornstein’s personal and public life. In an interview with Daily Xtra from 2012, Bornstein talks about why she joined Scientology, being L Ron Hubbard’s first mate and why she left Scientology. She also reveals the heart-wrenching reason for writing her since-published memoir.
Abdellah Taïa took his own memoir and created Salvation Army, a semi-autobiographical film about a young man growing up in Morocco. Taïa exposes his 15-year-old self, who explored the streets of Casablanca looking for anonymous sex. Then, a decade later, we meet him again, studying and navigating life in Europe. In an interview with Daily Xtra, Taïa talks about his passion for film and the advantages of filmmaking over writing.
Visit Inside Out for more information. In the above video, programmer Andrew Murphy gives his picks for this year’s festival.