Boy Culture is the candid confessions of "X", a wildly successful male escort who describes his tangled romantic relationships with his two roommates—one of whom he's in love with—and an enigmatic older client who challenges him to find his heart before he will consent to sex.
Based on the critically-acclaimed novel by Matthew Rettenmund, the film takes on issues of sexual mores and emotional risk with a witty and incisive voice, revealing the leap of faith that love demands.Director: Q. Allan Brocka
Between receiving a standing ovation at Cannes and being banned in its home country for its positive representation of lesbian women, Rafiki has secured its place in cinema history as a brave and beautiful depiction of queer life in Kenya.
Growing up in a culture that believes “good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives”, teenagers Kena and Ziki share a dream of making more for themselves. Despite a political rivalry between their families they manage to grow that shared dream into a deep friendship. However, when they can no longer ignore the fact that their relationship has blossomed into love, the two young women are forced to choose between happiness and their own safety.
Born in a nation where no constitutional protections exist for LGBT people, Rafiki is a shining example of what is possible when artists take remarkable risks.Director: Wanuri KahiuCast: Samantha Mugatsia, Neville Misati, Nice Githinji & more
The teenaged son of a Baptist pastor is forced into a gay-conversion program by his parents, in actor-director Joel Edgerton’s emotive drama starring Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, and Lucas Hedges.
Everyone wants to belong — but what good is belonging if you can't be yourself? Starring Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges (also at the Festival in Mid90s and Ben is Back) and Oscar winners Nicole Kidman (at the Festival in Destroyer) and Russell Crowe, actor Joel Edgerton's second feature as writer-director plunges us into the cloistered world of conversion therapy and tracks a young man's uphill journey from ostracization toward self-acceptance.
Jared (Hedges) belongs to a loving middle-class Arkansas family, with his mother, Nancy (Kidman), and Baptist minister father, Marshall (Crowe). Jared gets good grades, plays basketball, and is in a steady — but chaste — relationship with a girl from school. Everything in his life is going according to plan, until a college friend outs Jared as gay.
Surprised, but attempting to be supportive in their own way, Jared's parents send him to Refuge, a church-supported program predicated on the notion that homosexuality is an affliction, curable through confession, and the reinforcement of gender stereotypes. Overseen by Victor Sykes (Edgerton, in a superbly cagey performance), the program's bullying and bigotry fosters an environment that is anything but a refuge. Though Jared begins the program desperate to be healed, he begins to wonder if it's really others who need healing.
Boy Erased, which is based on Garrard Conley's eponymous memoir, doesn't take potshots at religious conservatives. Bolstered by uniformly superlative performances — including memorable supporting turns from Flea and Xavier Dolan — the film considers what it means to reconcile one's upbringing with one's own self-respect and moral truths. In so doing, Edgerton contributes to a larger conversation that might help heal us all.Director: Joel EdgertonCast: Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Joel Edgerton
Love has a way of finding us when we least expect it. Directed by Annabel Jankel, this tender period drama, set in small-town, postwar Scotland, depicts the emergence of a love that while rescuing two women from isolation, also places them in danger.
Abandoned by her philandering husband, Lydia (Holliday Grainger) is in an increasingly desperate situation: emotional turmoil aside, her earnings from factory work are not sufficient to pay the rent. Lydia’s son, Charlie (Gregor Selkirk), meanwhile, is getting bullied at school. Injuries from one such altercation send him to Dr. Jean Markham (Academy Award winner Anna Paquin), who has recently returned to town and found the welcome lukewarm. Charlie is curious about the bee colonies Jean maintains in her yard and the two form a bond. Bees, Jean explains, make an excellent repository for one’s secrets. When Lydia and Charlie are evicted, Jean invites them to stay in her home, an act of generosity that raises eyebrows throughout the village. Lydia soon learns why Jean is regarded with hostility — and she begins to see something in the kind doctor that takes her by surprise. Based on the novel by Fiona Shaw, Tell It To The Bees is a story of courage in the face of terrifying intolerance.
Love comes in myriad forms here: romantic love, the love between parent and child, the vocational love that a caregiver feels for their community – even when that community turns on her. Beautiful to look at, suspenseful, sexy, and deeply touching, Jankel’s film remind us that opening our hearts to the possibility of love can be reward enough.
– Synopsis written by Kerri Craddock, Toronto International Film Festival, TIFFDirector: Annabel Jankel
Ray Winter (Kyle MacLachlan) leaves his wife, Carly (Maria Bello), for another man. Ray's popular, athletic son, Franky (Josh Wiggins), refuses to talk to his father despite Ray's pleas.
Franky Winter (Josh Wiggins) and Ballas Kohl (Darren Mann) have been best friends since childhood. They are high school royalty: handsome, stars of the swim team and popular with girls. They live a perfect teenage life – until the night of Franky's epic 17th birthday party, when Franky and Ballas are involved in an unexpected incident that changes their lives forever.
Franky begins to piece his life back together by befriending potentially transgender friend Mouse (Niamh Wilson). He also rekindles his friendship with Ballas' sister, Natasha (Taylor Hickson), whom everyone (including Franky) ostracized some time ago as a "slut" after she had sex with another boy. Franky finds himself romantically involved with Natasha. Franky realizes that being pushed into a straight relationship is just as bad as being bullied for being gay, and that he should put off a serious relationship or sex until he's ready. The insight helps Franky come to terms with his father's homosexuality.
Giant Little Ones is a heartfelt and intimate coming-of-age story about friendship, self-discovery and the power of love without labels.Director: Keith BehrmanCast: Maria Bello, Taylor Hickson, Kyle MacLachlan
When veteran drag queen, Jackie Collins, receives a diagnosis with six weeks to live, all he wants to do is perform his long-running act, and behave as if all is normal. But between a surprising new friendship with a rising young queen and unfinished business with his estranged daughter, he may just have the most eventful month and a half of his life. A feel-good film with charm and humor as well as surprising insight into our evolving understanding of gender identity across generations, this marks the first queer film from prolific young British director Jamie Patterson.
Winner! Outfest 2018 Audience Award and Jury Prize for Best International Film
“The tale of two performers helping to heal each other may have been told before, but the details are fresh, and the actors shine.” – Stephen Farber, The Hollywood ReporterDirector: Jamie PattersonCast: Derren Nesbitt, Jordan Stephens, April Pearson