TORONTO — “Leaving Metropolis,” from playwright and director Brad Fraser, has been selected to open the 13th Inside Out Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival, which kicks off Thursday.
Pic is an adaptation of Toronto-based Fraser’s play “Poor Superman,” about an artist with painter’s block who turns to waiting tables — a move that’s good for the owner’s business but trouble for his marriage.
Director of programming Kathleen Mullen says the lineup of 70 features and 227 shorts from 29 countries is, “by, for and about” gay, lesbian or transsexual issues and filmmakers.
Fest includes an international spotlight, this year on France. Called French Kisses, the slate features 25 films, including “Ma vraie vie a Rouen” (“My Life on Ice”) from Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau.
World preeming at the fest are “THIS obedience,” from Jamie A. Lee and Dawn Mikkelson, about lesbian Anita C. Hill’s attempts to become and remain a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America; Sara Millman’s “Robin’s Hood”; and “Secondary High,” from Canadians Pat Mills, Emily Halfon and Hazel Bell-Koski.
Made-for-TV films have become more common at the festival in recent years, and this year’s slate includes “You’ll Get Over It,” a French film from Fabrice Cazeneuve, as well as Showtime’s “Bobby’s Girl,” from Jeremy Kagan.
Director highlights will include past works of Lynne Fernie (“Forbidden Love,” “Fiction and Other Truths: A Film About Jane Rule”) as well as her latest, “Apples and Oranges.” Fest will also feature a retrospective of the experimental work of the late Michael Balser, and a look at the work of Ellen Flanders, whose latest film is “Zero Degrees of Separation,” a documentary focusing on gay Palestinians and Israelis enmeshed in the Middle East conflict.
Daniela Fejerman and Ines Paris’ “A mi madre le gustan las mujeres” (My Mother Likes Women) is the closing night film.
Fest, which runs through May 25, last year drew about 23,000 people.