What We’re Looking Forward @ Inside Out 2021

The 31st Annual Inside Out Film Festival is right around the corner and we are honoured that we will get to cover the Festival once again this year. With the pandemic and Toronto still being in lockdown, the Festival will once again take place online across Canada from May 27th to June 6th.

Both Arianne and Alex will be attending the Festival this year and have put together a list of their most anticipated films of the Festival. Be on the lookout for their coverage here but also on their (and our) Twitter account.

Arianne’s Most Anticipated

Leading Ladies (Directed by Ruth Caudeli)

I did not have the chance during Inside Out 2019 to watch Second Star to the Right but hearing Andres talk about it over and over again has told me that Ruth Caudeli is one to watch for. And to be able to watch her film now (even if I still wish I had been able to watch Second Star to the Right) will make up for the fact that I was stupid and missed the first time she was at Inside Out.

Leading Ladies sounds like the type of movie that will have me stressed but also will have me crying. Movies that are about a group of friends and secrets just make me stressed out, don’t know why but they simply do. The fact that the film is unscripted intrigues me a lot. Some of the best films I have watched are and they always find unique ways to deliver moments that just live with you afterwards.

[Editor’s Note: Hi friends, Andres here.  I just need everyone if you’re able to, focus on this title right here. If you’ve been following us for some time now, you’ll know that we were able to cover Inside Out back in 2019 soon after we’ve launched. Arianne and I had an incredible time at the festival, but there was one movie I watched that I haven’t stopped thinking about since I saw it on the big screen and that was Ruth Caudeli’s Second Star to the Right. I’ve been wanting to watch it again and show it to friends and family. That being said, seeing Ruth’s name with a new film at the festival has excited me immensely and I will not be missing out on this movie. I hope you don’t either.]

Sweetheart (Directed by Marley Morrison)

I love a good coming of age story but I also love dramatic as hell film where the main character just seems to be over the top. This is what Sweetheart sounds like to me. I always look for films that just sound to be something that a young me would have enjoyed, something that I wish I had seen. Sweetheart is exactly what I think my teenage self would have enjoyed so much. 

The film also looks to be one that I think will make me cry but also laugh and that is the perfect pairing for me. I love when a film goes from having me laugh to cry in the span of minutes. Again, I could be completely wrong and this film will simply devastate me but just from the description of this film, I look forward to watching it and be taken on an emotional roller coaster.

My First Summer (Directed by Katie Found)

Another coming of age story, but it seems to be so different from the others that are playing at the festival. What attracts me to My First Summer is the theme of isolation, because I think a lot of queer teenagers can feel that to their bones and those who are older can relate to that sentiment. Isolation is something that I understand and love seeing portrayed in films when it comes to queer stories because it is a big part of what most of us feel when we are coming to ourselves.

My First Summer looks to be a film that will make me emotional, a film that will make me remember my childhood and teenage years. I hope this film will bring me some memories, make me remember those days that seem so long ago now. 

Two (Directed by Astar Elkayam)

Two will probably break me. I just know it, everything about the description tells me that I will be angry but also broken inside. Stories that tackle motherhood are something that I can’t relate to, but Two seems to be more than that. It seems to be about the relationship itself, about the idea of what a child can do to a relationship but also the journey to get there. Queer couples don’t have it easy to become parents and this film will, for sure, be exploring that idea.

What I am wary of is the aspect of the film where it seems to be heading towards a cheating story. Now, I might be completely wrong and Two will surprise me, but I am tired of queer films being all about jealousy and cheating, so I hope this film will surprise me.

Walk With Me (Directed by Isabel Del Rosa)

Walk With Me seems to be about a coming-out story but late in life. Those stories are more and more seen in queer media and I think they are as important as a coming-out story from a teenager’s perspective. I always find it interesting to watch a film told from that perspective as someone who never had to deal with that idea of coming out so late in life. 

I hope Walk With Me is positive and brings me a story that is different then what we are used to. It seems to be this type of film that will bring on an emotional journey but also be sweet. I love films that can balance both and I hope this one just does that

Alex’s Most Anticipated

I Carry Me With You (Directed by Heidi Ewing)

I Carry You With Me follows a chef who makes the hard decision to leave his partner in Mexico in order to pursue a successful culinary career in New York, promising to return for his lover and his son one day.  

This film caught my eye around awards season when it was heavily talked about and praised. I’ve always been a sucker for love stories that span over decades and showcase the hardships and romance that unfold throughout an epic tale. I Carry You With Me is a feature directorial debut from Heidi Ewing that I’ve been anticipating for quite some time now (since Sundance 2020 to be precise) and a film that I am very positive will not let me down when I finally get to view it. 

Beyto (Directed by Gitta Gsell)

Adapted from a novel by Yusuf Yesilov, Beyto is the story of a competitive swimmer who falls for his coach Mike. Being the beloved son of Turkish immigrants who are widely beloved in their community, Beyto struggles to not only come to terms with himself but also come out to his family. 

The reason this film caught my attention amongst a strong festival selection this year is that it is a queer drama that takes place within the world of sports, at least somewhat. There are truly not enough sports dramas or films in general that feature gay leads in their stories. While there are a few that have balanced queer storytelling within the sports genre – Boys and Handsome Devil come to mind – a new addition with timely aspects is always welcomed. 

Boy Meets Boy (Directed by Daniel Sanchez Lopez)

Seemingly following a Weekend (2011) style of structure, Boy Meets Boy follows Harry, a UK resident on his last day in Berlin before flying back home, who meets Johannes. Their undeniable chemistry is sparked by a kiss in the club on Harry’s last day and Johannes decides to accompany him through his final moments in the country. 

Stories that take place all in one day and are very dialogue/conversation-heavy intrigue me due to the fact that I enjoy seeing what sort of topics filmmakers like to focus on when giving their characters a limited time frame to talk about them and bring them up. I’m going to try and put my love of Andrew Haigh’s masterpiece aside and enjoy Boy Meets Boy for what it is, and merely see what influences Weekend may have had on this. I also just think the title of this film is extremely sweet and that is another random but delightful draw-in for myself. 

A Distant Place (Directed by Park Kun-Young)

A Distant Place is about Jin-Woo, a man who has kept himself away and isolated from the stressful city life, where he now lives on a sheep ranch with his chosen family when all of a sudden he receives an unexpected visit from his ex-lover and longtime friend as well as his twin sister whom he has had years apart from. 

I feel confident stating that this is my most anticipated film of the festival for the simple reason that I love family drama movies and this seems like it will deliver with its twin story. On top of that, it seems to be a relationship drama blended together with the family drama which should ultimately give us an emotional story of love in many different forms. South Korea has continuously delivered many incredible stories from their country in all genres, and I’m extremely excited for a queer story in the mix this year. 

How To Fix Radios (Directed by Casper Leonard and Emily Russell)

Evan is a seemingly narrow-minded teen who starts a new job where pink-haired and queer teen Ross works as well. Filmed and taking place on location in a small rural Ontario town, the two characters become closer over time spent at work and Evan being intrigued by Ross and the name he’s made for himself in the community. 

I actually heard about this film earlier this year through TikTok where it’s an incredibly small budget and the use of local actors was being highlighted. This will be Casper Leonard and Emily Russell’s feature debut and our introduction to some new and exciting queer voices. As an aspiring filmmaker myself, I will one hundred percent be checking this out and supporting this small indie feature with beautiful scenery and a different point of view of what it’s like to grow up in an extremely small town when you stand out amongst everyone else.

So what are you looking forward to during the Festival? Let us know!

Inside Out 2021 takes place online across Ontario from May 27th to June 6th. Be on the lookout for our coverage on the Festival during those dates.