News: TIFF Expands Its Commitment To LGBTQ+ Community Through Exciting New Partnership With Inside Out

Today, TIFF announced a partnership with Inside Out that marries the passion, expertise, and resources of both charitable organizations to have a stronger impact on their shared mission of transforming the way people see the world through film. TIFF and Inside Out will work in tandem to bring fresh LGBTQ+ curated programming to TIFF Bell Lightbox, in addition to providing a space and resources for community events and access to programming for partner organizations.

This robust, year-round partnership kicks off with the opening of Queerskins: a love story, presented by Aurora. Created by artists Illya Szilak and Cyril Tsiboulski, Queerskins: a love story is a multisensory, virtual-reality experience anchored in an interactive and immersive installation. Both the VR experience and the installation explore the dynamic tension between the “real” and the virtual, fact and fiction, memory, and desire. The emotionally powerful story revolves around a complex relationship between a devoutly Catholic mother and her gay son who dies of AIDS, and explores the quintessential human desire to transcend ordinary reality through memory, belief, and imagination. The month-long installation will run from June 2 to 30. Tickets will be available for TIFF Members to book their experience beginning May 30 and for the public beginning May 31, here.

“It is incumbent on TIFF to underscore the importance of diverse voices and create a permanent platform for challenging narratives that help people reimagine contemporary society and everyday life,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director, TIFF. “As one of the city’s leading arts institutions, being a place that is inviting to all, with programming that our audience wants, is paramount to TIFF. Partnering with an established and knowledgeable organization like Inside Out gives us a platform to do that.”

Throughout the opening weekend, visitors to the gallery are invited to contribute an object related to their personal story of love and loss that will become a permanent part of the Queerskins project. In addition, Tagger Yancey, Queerskins’ collaborating artist — whose photos are featured in the installation, online, and on Instagram at @queerskins — will photograph visitors posing anonymously with an object from the installation that speaks to their own story.

"We are so excited to expand our partnership with TIFF beyond our festival at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and to explore new opportunities for collaboration that will serve our LGBTQ+ audiences and industry. Kicking off this partnership with Queerskins is a perfect example of how we can share our resources to bring innovative programming to Toronto year-round," said Andria Wilson, Executive Director, Inside Out.

As part of their year-round initiatives, TIFF and Inside Out will curate an ongoing series that explores the world through a kaleidoscope, giving audiences new and engaging ways to learn about the world around them and the communities with which they connect. Stage talks and special presentations, along with pop-up retail experiences inspired by storytellers, will come to life at TIFF.

TIFF will continue to work closely with other LGBTQ+ organizations including Pride Toronto, Planned Parenthood, Toronto People With AIDS Foundation, Supporting Our Youth, and Trans Workforce to provide facilities, support, and access to programming year-round. We are grateful for the community we are fostering with these amazing organizations and look forward to working with dynamic groups like Pride Toronto and all of our partners to keep TIFF progressive and in-tune with the intersectional landscape of Toronto.

"TIFF has continually demonstrated its commitment to Pride Toronto and the LGBTQ+ community through not only its work with us, but in its efforts to include our community in the work it does during Pride Month and year-round." Olivia Nuamah, Executive Director, and Andrew Murphy, Director of Programming, Pride Toronto.