By Ami Powell
The ArQuives is thankful for a large and generous donation from Inside Out, Canada’s not-for-profit LGBTQ film festival. The first Inside Out festival was held in Toronto in 1991, and has grown considerably since then. Alongside year-round programming, the annual Toronto festival has occurred since its 1991 founding, and as of 2007 they have mounted an annual festival in the nation’s capital. The 29th edition of the Toronto festival runs May 23rd to June 2nd, and comprises of numerous fascinating film screenings, parties, and events.
The films hosted by Inside Out portray diverse and unique stories on screen, highlighting the work of LGBTQ artists and filmmakers around the world. Inside Out also participates in a number of community initiatives, including encouraging youth engagement, emphasizing accessibility, and selected free tickets for community organizations and newcomers to Canada. Inside Out’s significantly large donation to the ArQuives contains material dated throughout the entire lifespan of the festival. It includes pieces such as programs, film posters, tickets, flyers, and news articles, as well as internal operations and volunteer documentation.
Inside Out is such an important festival not only because of the transformative power of LGBTQ stories portrayed on screen, but also because of the community gathering that occurs at the screenings and events. This donation both preserves the history of the films and the space-making and connection-forming made possible through planning and attending the festival. The ArQuives does not simply focus on the finished project or polished event. Looking in between the distinct points on a timeline, LGBTQ archiving exposes how the everyday occurrances hold LGBTQ stories worthy of being preserved. Filmmaking is a valuable form of archiving that Inside Out’s history celebrates. This collection builds upon the film archives by documenting the many other ways that filmmaking contributes to LGBTQ community and history: through its power to connect people with stories on screen, and with each other.
The 29th Toronto edition of the Inside Out film festival runs May 23rd to June 2nd. More information can be found here. [link to https://www.insideout.ca/] This generous donation has not yet been processed, but is available at the ArQuives to researchers upon request.