Each year, a swell of creative content from LGBTQ+ filmmakers or films with queer themes come to the festival. Jason Beaudry, program director, has helped compile a list of films that will appeal to and connect with a queer audience.
In sequential order by screening, here is your LGBTQ+ guide to 2019 FIN.
Portrait Of A Lady On Fire
This film tells the story of two women in 1770 France. Marianne is commissioned to paint a wedding portrait of Héloïse. The intimate portrayal of female attraction was a hit at Cannes and lauded at TIFF. It is one of the most anticipated of FIN, and has a prime slot on Friday night.
It plays September 13, 2019, at 9:30 p.m. at Park Lane Cineplex.
Entropic is an incredible feature film out of New Brunswick about the most beautiful man in the room, who hatches an experiment with his shy college friend to rid himself of others’ eyes and affection. It’s one of the weirdest films I saw at the festival, but the sensual, incredible filmmaking here makes it hard to ignore. Lead Khalid Klein gives a sensitive performance, and this one will be difficult to forget.
It plays September 13, 2019, at 9:40 p.m. at Park Lane Cineplex.
Standing On The Line
This heavy exploration of what it is to be queer in mainstream sports was an eye-opener for me. It is one of the best-paced and most fleshed out documentaries I’ve seen thus far in the festival. It is a testament to the support queer athletes get, but also how far we still have to come.
It plays September 14, 2019, at 1:30 at Park Lane Cineplex
Drag Kids was a hit at the Inside Out Fest, and has had praise heaped on it for its depiction of four young children entrenched and loving drag culture. With questions of whether this is some sort of child abuse or the sexualization of children, it’s not all fun and games. But Drag Kids, for the most part, takes the glamourous road.
It plays on September 14, 2019, at 4:30 p.m. at Park Lane Cineplex
Killing Patient Zero
This documentary about the AIDS epidemic, and the lasting effect it would have on gay culture, is difficult, if necessary, watch. It’s told through the lens of Gaetan Dugas, a flight attendant who wanted to help research the disease. However, he ended up being known as the man who gave the world AIDS.
It plays September 15, 2019, at 8:50 p.m. at Park Lane Cineplex
My Dads, My Moms And Me
This documentary is about the many changes that have taken place within the modern family over time. With same-sex marriage legal in Canada, and adoptions and surrogates, the conventional family is no more, making way for more diverse households. It follows three families filmed twice, twelve years apart, and shows what it’s like to be a queer parent.
It plays September 16, 2019, at 7:20 p.m. at Park Lane Cineplex
This Spanish-language film follows main character Pablo, a married father of two in his 40s, living in Guatemala. He’s a practicing Christian, but when he falls for another man and reveals he’s gay, his life begins to change. Repression and anxiety surround him as his family and the church try to “fix” him, and he has to fight for his sexual freedom.
It plays on September 16, 2019, at 9:40 p.m. at Park Lane Cineplex
GRÂCE À DIEU (By The Grace Of God)
This French-language drama won the Grand Jury Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival. It’s directed by prominent LGBTQ+ international filmmaker Francois Ozon. It follows Alexandre, who learns that the priest who abused him as a child is still practicing with kids. He forges forward to stop him with the help of two other victims. They tell their story, refusing to be silenced, but the cost may be too great for them to bear.
It plays on September 17, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. at Park Lane Cineplex
Being Impossible (Yo, Imposible)
This Spanish film follows Ariel, a dressmaker who loses her virginity, and finds the experience with a boy painful. After a visit with a doctor, she finds out about a difficult diagnosis. It is revealed she actually underwent several surgeries to become a female, and she must cope with this news.
It plays September 18, 2019, at 9:00 p.m. at Park Lane Cineplex
Before You Know It
This film is about two sisters living and working in the New York theatre community with their dad. When tragedy hits the family, issues between the sisters and father lead to new discoveries and open wounds for everyone.
It plays on September 19, 2019, at 4:00 p.m. at Park Lane Cineplex
- Local LGBTQ+ actor and filmmaker Taylor Olson has three shorts in the festival, though they aren’t explicitly queer-themed. His shorts Hope and Masc play during the Atlantic Shorts Program 2 on both September 14 and 16, 2019, at 1 p.m. and 9:10 p.m., respectively. His third, The Date, is playing in the Atlantic Shorts Program 5, on September 15 and 19, at 3:30 p.m. and 4:10 p.m., respectively.
- Two-Spirit filmmaker Bretten Hannam’s Wildfire plays during the Reel East Coast Shorts Gala on September 18, 2019, at 6:30 p.m.
- Director Rachel Bower’s I Am Skylar chronicles a transgender girl’s journey as the community and family support her. It plays in the Atlantic Shorts Program 3 on September 14 and 17, at 3:30 p.m. and 8:50 p.m., respectively.
- New Brunswick production Noah, 18 Years Old is about a transgender teen and his difficulties with prejudice and finding his way. It plays in the Atlantic Shorts Program 3 on September 14 and 17, at 3:30 p.m. and 8:50 p.m., respectively.
- Welcome – Ahlan Wa Sahlan is a queer fantasy romance about Shadia, a Syrian refugee who moves to coastal Nova Scotia and falls for a mermaid. It’s part of the Atlantic Shorts Program 4, playing on September 15 and 18, at 1:00 p.m. and 6:10 p.m., respectively.
- Erica Meus-Saunders director The Dreamers, a short about the lives of three young women and their attempt to answer the question, “what’s your dream?” It’s part of the NextGen Shorts Program, and plays September 17, 2019, at 6:10 p.m.
Did we miss you? Mistakes happen. Email me at email@example.com to get your flick added to the list!