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10 Must-See LGBTQ Films at TIFF 2018

The ten films we’re most excited to see at TIFF 2018…
Now that the fervour of the first weekend of TIFF is over, it’s time to catch a few movies that may not open nationwide. If you still haven’t made up your mind to attend the festival or decide to spontaneously see a film or two, we’ve got a 10 recommendations to add to your list.

Boy Erased
Director: Joel Edgerton
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Joel Edgerton and Lucas Hedges
Based on the memoir by Garrard Conley
The teenaged son of a baptist preacher is forced into a gay-conversion program by his parents. Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges is Jared, who lives a quiet life in Arkansas until he is outed by a college friend. His parents send him to Refuge, a camp where homosexuality is a treated as a sin. Jared starts wanting to be healed but as the program continues, he wonders if it’s others who need healing.

If Beale Street Could Talk
Director: Barry Jenkins
Starring: Stephen James, KiKi Layne
Moonlight director Barry Jenkins returns to TIFF with an adaptation of iconic queer author James Baldwin’s book, If Beale Street Could Talk. KiKi Layne is 19-year-old Fonny, who is fighting to free her falsely accused husband from prison before she gives birth to their child.

Director: Wash Westmoreland
Starring: Keira Knightely, Dominic West
The Colette books were a scandal when they were first published and are now regarded as classics that challenged the social and gender conventions, and sexual taboos of the time. Keira Knightley stars as Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, the celebrated French writer and gay icon, who wrote the books but credit was given to her husband, Willy.

Bulbul Can Sing
Director: Rima Das
India just legalized homosexuality days before TIFF. (See more on India’s top court decriminalizing gay sex here) Director Rima Das is back with a story about teenagers Bulbul, Bonny and Sumu who are trying to come to terms with their sexual identities in rural India.

Director: Lukas Dhont
Fifteen-year-old Lara, who was assigned male at birth, desperately wants to become a ballerina. She is admitted on a probationary basis into one of Belgium’s most prestigious ballet academies and the film follows her not only as she trains but also as she transitions to the person she wants to be.

Director: Wanuri Kahiu
Starring: Samantha Mugatsia, Sheila Munyiva
Wanuri Kahiu’s film is about the precarious love story between two young Kenyan women in a society where homosexuality is banned. Samantha Mugatsia and Sheila Munyiva play young couple, Kena and Ziki, who have to navigate their relationship in an environment that forces them to keep it private.

Vita & Virginia
Director: Chanya Button
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Elizabeth Debicki
Virginia Woolf is known for her classic novels but in this film, director Chanya Button looks at the affair and the friendship of authors Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West, and how Woolf’s relationship with Sackville-West led to one of Woolf’s greatest works.

Giant Little Ones
Director: Keith Behrman
Starring Kyle MacLachlan, Maria Bello, Josh Wiggins
Canadian director Keith Behrman brings Giant Little Ones, a film about Franky, a teenage boy with divorced parents. His father (played by Kyle MacLachlan) left his mother (Maria Bello) for a man and now Franky’s life is thrown into upheaval after an unexpected sexual encounter at his birthday party.

Director: Thom Fitzgerald
Starring: Sofia Banzhaf, Shelley Thompson
Director Thom Fitzgerald goes back to small town Nova Scotia in this dysfunctional family drama about a young lesbian at odds with her traditional mother. Adapted from the play by Lee-Ann Poole.

Papi Chulo
Director: John Butler
Starring: Matt Bomer, Alejandro Patiño
Matt Bomer is Sean, a Los Angeles TV weatherman who has an on-air meltdown in the midst of predicting a heat wave. Forced to take time off and told to find someone to talk to so he can deal with his break-up, he instead chooses to focus on home repair and hires Ernesto. What started as a business relationship turns into one where Sean uses Ernesto as a sounding board despite neither of them understanding each other.

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