Inside Out 2slgbtq+ 34th Annual Film Festival Reveals Full Lineup

Inside Out Toronto 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival has revealed the full program lineup for its 34th edition. The festival champions 2SLGBTQ+ filmmakers from across the globe, and will showcase 106 films from 25 countries, including 30 feature films and 5 world premieres. The festival will take place May 24th to June 1st in Toronto, Canada at TIFF Lightbox as well as online. Inside Out’s Co-Head & Executive Director, Elie Chivi, and Co-Head & Artistic Director, Andrew Murphy, made today’s announcement. ​​

The festival’s opening night film will be Amazon MGM Studio’s My Old Ass – Megan Park’s sophomore feature, which premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival to standing ovations. Starring Aubrey Plaza, Maisy Stella and Maddie Ziegler, the queer comedy is about a woman who is visited by her future self and is told not to fall in love.

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Fresh from its World Premiere at BFI Flare London Film Festival, the Canadian premiere of Karen Knox’s sophomore feature We Forgot To Break Up will screen as the festival’s closing gala film. Adapted from the novel Heidegger Stairwell by Canadian author Kayt Burgess, the film was written by Pat Mills, Noel S. Baker and Zoe Whittall, and has an original soundtrack by Torquil Campbell of the rock band Stars. The cast includes Lane Webber, Daniel Gravell, June Laporte, Hallea Jones and Jordan Dawson, as a band of misfits who ditch their small town to chase their dreams as indie rock gods in the big city.

The World Premiere of Susie Yankou’s Sisters is this year’s 2024 RE:Focus Gala selection. Starring Kausar Mohammed, Anna Garcia, Sarah Khasrovi, and writer/director Yankou, the film is about two best friends who want to be sisters until one of them discovers she has a long lost half sister. The film is also a 2022 Re:Focus grant recipient.

The Centerpiece Gala selection this year will be the Canadian premiere of Anthony Schatteman’s Teddy award-nominated debut feature Young Hearts. This feel-good coming-of-age story is about gay teenagers discovering their identities and falling in love. It had its World Premiere earlier this year at the 2024 Berlin International Film Festival.

Highlights from the festival’s International Showcase program include the Canadian premiere of Julia Jackman’s directorial debut, Bonus Track, written by Mike Gilbert and story by Josh O’Connor, about a boy who dreams of being a rockstar. This coming-of-age romantic comedy stars O’Connor, Joe Anders, Josh Cowdery, Samuel Paul Small and Jack Davenport. Other notable titles are the international premiere of Extreme Unique Dynamic, award-winning meta-Asian-stoner-coming-of-age-bromantic-dramedy by Harrison Xu, Ivan Leung, and Katherine Dudas; the Canadian premiere of Hannah Pearl Utt’s festival darling Cora Bora starring Megan Salter and Jojo T. Gibbs, about a budding musician trying to make it in Los Angeles; and the SXSW hit documentary, A House is Not a Disco, a film by Brian J. Smith, which follows a year in the life of residents of Fire Island Pines, the world’s most homonormative community, as it finds itself in the midst of a renaissance.

Highlights from the Spotlight on Canada program this year include the World Premiere of Stories From My Gay Grandparents, an episodic series directed by J Stevens about a grandma and grandpa who reveal to the world their deepest secret; Caden Douglas’s genre comedy Mother Father Sister Brother Frank starring Mindy Cohn, Enrico Colanti, Iain Stewart and Melanie Leishman, about a normal suburban Sunday family dinner that is interrupted by the arrival of an unwanted guest; and nanekawâsis, a documentary about the acclaimed nêhiyaw artist George Littlechild.

Additional narrative premiere highlights include the World Premiere of Nicholas Giuricich’s Spark about a hopeless romantic reliving the same day over and over again after an awkward encounter; 2024 Berlin Official selection All Shall Be Well from Ray Yeung, which explores family dynamics after a sudden death; and the Canadian premiere of the transgender holiday film Carnage for Christmas from teenage filmmaker, Alice Maio Mackay. The festival will also include Dominic Savage’s Close To You, a homecoming drama about a strained family reunion that features a powerhouse performance from Elliot Page. 
Documentary highlights in the program include two World Premieres: Colette Johnson-Vosberg’s Unusually Normal, screening in the Icons program, which follows a TikTok viral family that has three generations of gay women, and Regan Latimer’s Bulletproof: A Lesbian’s Guide to Surviving the Plot, which is an insightful and personal look at current queer representation in entertainment and media. Additional films in the program include Adriana Yañez’s The First Women, also playing in the Icons program, which profiles a group of women who were part of the first-ever national women’s soccer team in Brazil, and Eduardo Aquino’s A Big Gay Hairy Hit! Where The Bears Are: The Documentary, which follows three older gay “bears” living in Hollywood who go about producing their own web series.

“We are thrilled to welcome audiences back for the 34th annual Inside Out 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival,” says Elie Chivi, Co-Head and Executive Director. “As the film festival landscape continues to evolve, we are incredibly grateful to our members, donors, and partners as well as our queer filmmaking family, for their continued loyalty and support, and without whom, this festival would not be possible. On the eve of Inside Out’s 35th anniversary in 2025, it’s a privilege  to continue to bring the community together to share in the magic of queer cinema.”

“We are honored and humbled that Inside Out continues to provide a space for celebration of 2SLGBTQ+ stories, a space for professional development opportunities for queer creators, and a space to share experiences and network so that we can help foster future creative collaborations with our alumni and future alumni,” says Co-Head and Artistic Director, Andrew Murphy. “Through our ever evolving creative pipeline from the inception of an idea, to development, to financing to exhibition of a dream realized on screen, we are ecstatic to host a fantastic lineup of films and key industry programming including our 3rd FREE Industry Day as well as our 8th edition of the B2B Finance Forum where, since 2017, we have seen a success rate of over 40% of participating projects including this year’s Sundance hit Sebastian.” 

“Gathering to watch a film, whether at home with friends or immersed in the vibrant energy of a cinema filled with strangers, can be a profound communal experience. Queer cinema can affirm us and create a space for us to learn, reflect, grow, and connect. As we eagerly announce the festival slate, we are honoured to present the work of over one hundred incredible filmmakers, giving the Inside Out audience across Ontario the opportunity to carve out their own curated space – a space built on the love of great film,” added Director of Festival Programming, Jenna Dufton.

The selected participants and participating executives for the 8th edition International Financing Forum will be announced in the coming weeks. One of the films screening in this year’s festival is an alumni of the 2022 finance forum –  the Canadian premiere of Mikko Makela’s Sebastian, which world premiered earlier this year at Sundance 2024.  Director of Festival Programming Jenna Dufton heads the programming team with Lu Linares (Programming Coordinator), and programmers Ferdosa Abdi, Rasheed Bailey, Ashley Bodika, Ferrin Evans, Claire Jarvis, Allia McLeod, Emma Pitters-Fisher, Nik Redman, Raphael Sanchez, and Scott Smart.

Individual tickets for screenings, ticket packages, and all-access passes are on sale today at

We Forgot to Break Up, directed by Karen Knox (Canada – Narrative) 
Within Toronto’s vibrant bar scene, a diverse group of musicians come together to form a band with a mission: to ignite a musical revolution. As they channel their individual struggles and experiences into their music, The New Normals create a dynamic rock sound that transcends gender and sexuality. But as they rise to fame, personal and romantic entanglements complicate their journey. Canadian Premiere

Sisters, directed by Susie Yankou (United States – Narrative)  
Lou and Esther are the best of friends. They do absolutely everything together, speak their own language through inside jokes and code words, and share a dreamy curiosity about what their lives would be like had they grown up with a sister. When Lou’s father unexpectedly passes away, she discovers that she has a very real, and very chic, long-lost half-sister, Priya. World Premiere. Re:Focus grant recipient 2022

Young Hearts, directed by Anthony Schatteman (Belgium/Netherlands – Narrative) 
When Alexander moves in next door, Elias is intrigued. Their budding friendship blossoms amidst after-school escapades, exploring abandoned homes and hidden swimming spots, but when Alexander reveals his romantic past a revelation is triggered in Elias. Canadian Premiere

All Shall Be Well, directed by Ray Yeung (Hong Kong/China – Narrative) 
Angie and Pat have lived together for over three decades in their flat in Hong Kong – a flat that often hosts friends and family for dinners and get-togethers. When Pat unexpectedly passes away without a will, Angie learns that she has no legal right to the home they shared and finds herself at the mercy of a once supportive family displaying dwindling goodwill toward her. Canadian Premiere 

Carnage for Christmas, directed by Alice Maio Mackay (Australia – Narrative) 
When true-crime podcaster and sleuth Lola visits her hometown for the first time since running away and transitioning, the local urban legend, The Toymaker, is the least of her worries. A transgender holiday film by prolific teenage filmmaker Alice Maio Mackay and edited by ‘The People’s Joker’ filmmaker, Vera Drew. Canadian Premiere

Join the Club, directed by Kip Andersen, Chris O’Connell (United States – Documentary) 
Dennis Peron is San Francisco’s biggest pot dealer. But when the AIDS epidemic sweeps through his community, he realizes that marijuana is more than a good time – it’s medicine. In the wake of his lover’s death, Peron opens the Cannabis Buyers’ Club, a five-storey dispensary complete with rainbow murals, drag shows, and onsite doctors. North American Premiere

Langue Étrangère, directed by Claire Burger (France/Belgium/Germany – Narrative) 
Fanny, a 17-year-old student from France, goes on a language exchange trip to Germany where she will stay with her pen pal, Lena. Willing to do anything to impress Lena, Fanny sees her time in Germany as an opportunity to invent a different life for herself, but as she and Lena grow closer, she runs the risk of becoming caught up in her own web of lies. North American Premiere

Spark, directed by Nicholas Giuricich (United States – Narrative) 
Aaron, a hopeless romantic, finds himself reliving the same day after an awkward but intense encounter with the mysterious Trevor. His excitement at the opportunity for a do-over soon turns sour as Aaron suspects Trevor may be the cause of his time loop. World Premiere

A Mother Apart, directed by Laurie Townshend (Canada – Documentary) 
How do you raise a child when your own mother abandoned you? In a remarkable story of healing and forgiveness, Jamaican-American poet and LGBTQ+ activist Staceyann Chin, renowned for performances in Def Poetry Slam and hit solo shows like MotherStruck!, radically re-imagines the essential art of mothering.

Dalton’s Dream, directed by Kim Longinotto, Franky Murray Brown (United Kingdom – Documentary) Singer Dalton Harris’s dreams came true when he won The X Factor in the UK in 2018. But the joy of winning was mixed with pain when people back home in Jamaica threatened boycotts and violence against him, perceiving Dalton to be gay after seeing a photo of him sitting on a man’s lap. Canadian Premiere

Teaches of Peaches, directed by Philipp Fussenegger, Judy Landkammer  (Germany – Documentary) Filmed during The Teaches of Peaches anniversary tour in 2022, this documentary seamlessly weaves together exclusive archival gems with dynamic tour footage, capturing the transformative journey of local superstar Merrill Nisker into the internationally acclaimed cultural powerhouse Peaches.

The First Women, directed by Adriana Yañez (Brazil – Narrative) 
The First Women follows a group of women nearing their 60s who live in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro and share a common past: they were a part of the first ever women’s soccer team in Brazil. North American Premiere Re:Focus grant recipient

Unusually Normal, directed by Colette Johnson-Vosberg (Canada – Documentary) 
Have you had the pleasure of meeting Canada’s gayest family? Unusually Normal (Our Gay Family) follows three generations of women in one family who, get this, are all gay. Set against the backdrop of their loving and wholly authentic household, this family, with over 165,000 devoted TikTok followers, invites you into their world – a world where normal takes on a whole new meaning. World Premiere

Bulletproof: A Lesbian’s Guide to Surviving the Plot, directed by Regan Latimer (Canada – Documentary) Filmmaker Regan Latimer takes an insightful, immersive, and deeply perso nal look at Queer representation in television, and the power of the media to shape how we see ourselves. World Premiere

Close to You, directed by Dominic Savage (Canada/UK – Narrative) 
Elliot Page delivers an emotionally resonant performance in this honest and moving drama that follows Sam as he decides to visit his childhood home in Coburg for the first time since his transition.

Mother Father Sister Brother Frank, directed by Caden Douglas (Canada – Narrative) 
The Jennings family are having a regular suburban Sunday dinner. Mother wants everything to be perfect. Father wants everyone to drink, which Sister refuses to do. And Brother keeps texting his husband, even though no phones are allowed at the table. Just as tensions reach a boiling point, an unwanted guest arrives: Frank, Father’s wayward brother.  Ontario Premiere

nanekawâsis, directed by Conor McNally (Canada – Documentary) 
nanekawâsis follows the acclaimed nêhiyaw artist George Littlechild as he invites audiences into his storied career spanning over four decades. Using archival footage and newly filmed 16mm interviews, the film provides previously unheard insights about his life and work. Ontario Premiere

Stories from my Gay Grandparents, directed by J Stevens (Canada – Narrative Episodic, episodes 1-6) After a near-death experience lights a flame within both Grandma and Grandpa, they decide to grab life by the boas and tell the world their deepest secret: they’re gay. Having lived under the guise of a straight relationship for decades, they’re coming out of the closet, ditching their small-town life, and going after their big gay dreams. World Premiere

A Big Gay Hairy Hit! Where The Bears Are: The Documentary, directed by Eduardo Aquino (United States – Documentary) This hilarious and touching documentary tells the story of three older, gay “bears” working in Hollywood, who, tired of having their gay-themed ideas rejected by the mainstream, decide to self-produce their own web series.  Canadian Premiere

A House is Not a Disco, directed by Brian J. Smith (United States – Documentary) 
A year in the life within the world’s most iconic homonormative community: Fire Island Pines. Situated 50 miles from New York City, this storied queer beach town finds itself in the midst of a renaissance, as a new generation of millennial homeowners reimagine The Pines for a new, more inclusive era. Toronto Premiere

Bonus Track, directed by Julia Jackman (United Kingdom – Narrative) 
In the screenplay written by Mike Gilbert, the year is 2006 and George, a small-town sixteen-year-old who’s convinced he’s a gifted musician, can’t seem to get anyone’s attention long enough to prove it. When the son of a famous rock star enrolls in his school, George experiences a clarity of passion and a road to success.  Canadian Premiere

Chuck Chuck Baby, directed by Janis Pugh (United Kingdom – Narrative) 
As Helen goes back and forth between working at the chicken factory and taking care of everyone at home, her dreary routine begins to take its toll. A bright spot appears in her otherwise mundane life when her high school crush, Joanne, returns to town.

Cora Bora, directed by Hannah Pearl Utt (United States – Narrative) 
A few things about Cora: she is a budding musician trying to make it in Los Angeles, she is determined to make her long-distance open relationship work, and she is extremely chaotic. In a moment of desperation, she heads back to her hometown of Portland, Oregon on a mission to fix her shaky relationship. Canadian Premiere

Desire Lines, directed by Jules Rosskam (United States – Documentary) 
Past and present collide as an Iranian American trans man time-travels through an LGBTQ+ archive on a dizzying quest to unravel his own sexual desires. Toronto Premiere

Extreme Unique Dynamic, directed by Harrison Xu, Ivan Leung, Katherine Dudas (United States – Narrative) In the (likely) first-ever and (possibly) award-winning meta-Asian-stoner-coming-of -age-bromantic-dramedy, two best friends who will soon be living in different countries decide to make a movie about two best friends making a movie about two best friends making a movie. International Premiere

León, directed by Andi Nachon, Papu Curotto (Argentina – Narrative) 
For Julia, facing life after the loss of her partner seems like an impossible task. But León, their son, is the fuel to keep going. Nothing is easy after Barby’s death, between the return of León’s biological father, Barby’s mother’s distant attitude, and the struggle to keep their restaurant open. Canadian Premiere

Rookie, directed by Samantha Lee (Philippines – Narrative) 
Ace’s first day at her new school starts out on the wrong foot and ends up with her becoming the newest member of the volleyball team against her will. Jana, the team captain, sees Ace as a threat, and a rivalry is born. But love and hate are two sides of the same coin, and little by little, they will discover their feelings for each other.  North American Premiere

Sebastian, directed by Mikko Makela (UK/Finland/Belgium – Narrative) 
Young Max is determined to make a name for himself in London’s literary circles, but his work as a freelance writer isn’t quite getting him there fast enough. In order to gain on the job experience to inspire his first novel, he poses as Sebastian, an online sex worker. Canadian Premiere

Toll (Pedágio), directed by Carolina Markowicz (Brazil/Portugal – Narrative) 
Suellen, a Brazilian toll booth attendant and mother, is willing to do almost anything to keep her family afloat. When the opportunity to case drivers passing by her toll booth presents itself, she falls in with a gang of thieves promising a chance at a better life.

The full shorts lineup can be found here.

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