Highlights of those films honoured include audience favourite and winner of Best Narrative Feature, Angry Indian Goddesses (India); the winner of the Best Canadian Feature, Closet Monster; and Spa Night (USA) which was selected by the international jury as the winner of the Bill Sherwood Award for Best First Feature. This year’s Festival also marked the inaugural Inside Out BravoFACT Pitch Competition. The $50,000 prize was won by Kyle Reaume for What About Shelley.
Inside Out presents three award categories including the Audience Awards, Canadian Juried Awards and International Juried Awards. RBC Royal Bank returned this year as the Festival’s Presenting Sponsor with CTV returning as Premier Sponsor.
Following is the complete list of winners at the 26th annual Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival:
Best Narrative Feature Award:
ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES (India), directed by Pan Nalin
This generous $2,500 cash award will be presenting to the audience’s favourite feature-length film.
Best Documentary Film Award:
MAJOR! (USA), directed by Annalise Ophelian
In recognition of Elle Flanders
This $500 prize is named in recognition of the contribution of Elle Flanders, Inside Out Executive Director from 1996 to 1999.
Best Short Film Award:
OH-BE-JOYFUL (UK), directed by Susan Jacobson
Sponsored by Michael Leshner and Michael Stark (in honour of Mikey/Schmikey), this $1,500 cash award is presented to a short film under 50 minutes in length.
Canadian Juried Awards: This year’s jury members are director/writer Mark Pariselli (director, writer), Berwyn Rowlands (Festival Director, Iris Prize Festival) and filmmaker Sonia Hong.
Best Canadian Feature Award:
CLOSET MONSTER, directed by Stephen Dunn
Sponsored by EP Canada/Canada Film Capital, this $2,000 cash award is presented to an established Canadian artist for their short or feature-length narrative or documentary film. *Honourable mention: ALMOST ADULTS, directed by Sarah Rotella
Emerging Canadian Artist Award:
PYOTR 495, directed by Blake Mawson
Sponsored by RBC Royal Bank, this $2,500 cash award funded by the presenting sponsor is awarded to an emerging Canadian filmmaker who is in the early stages of his or her career. The recipient must have directed no more than two fiction narrative short films, or no more than one fiction narrative feature-length film.
Best Canadian Short:
NEVER STEADY NEVER STILL, directed by Kathleen Hepburn
Sponsored by HARDtv, this $750 cash award is presented to a Canadian filmmaker for their short form narrative or documentary film.
International Juried Awards: This year’s jury consists of filmmaker Michele Josue, actor Jonathan Nathaniel and Artistic Director of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre Evalyn Parry.
Bill Sherwood Award for Best First Feature:
SPA NIGHT (USA), directed by Andrew Ahn
Named in honour of the gay American film director, who stepped boldly onto the international film stage in 1986 with his first feature, Parting Glances, this $2,500 cash award is an international prize presented to a first time feature director.
BravoFACT Pitch Competition:
This year marks the inaugural Inside Out BravoFACT Pitch Competition. Five teams were selected to pitch their short narrative film projects in front of a jury of industry experts and a live audience at this year’s Festival. The winning team is presented a cash prize of $50,000 from BravoFACT to complete the project and it will screen at the 2017 Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival.
BravoFACT Pitch Competition Winner: WHAT ABOUT SHELLEY, by Kyle Reaume