The winners of the 2019 Inside Out LGBT Film Festival were announced in Toronto on June 2 at the annual awards ceremony honouring LGBTQ filmmakers. Top honours went to Garin Nugroho for MEMORIES OF MY BODY (Inside Out Special Award for Innovation), Xiang Zi for A DOG BARKING AT THE MOON (Best First Feature), Megan Wennberg for DRAG KIDS (Best Canadian Feature), Justine Stevens for SOFT SPOT (Best Canadian Short) and Lysandre Cosse-Tremblay for SKIES ARE NOT JUST BLUE (Emerging Canadian Artist).

The Audience Award winners included Samantha Lee’s BILLIE AND EMMA for Best Narrative Feature, Linda Goldstein Knowlton’s WE ARE THE RADICAL MONARCHS for Best Documentary Feature and Jamie Dispirito’s THRIVE for Best Short Film.

The festival, which launched the first ever annual LGBTQ Finance Forum, has become an international home and incubator for LGBT filmmakers, both emerging and established. The 2019 Inside Out LGBT Film Festival ran from May 23 to June 2 in Toronto at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and screened 153 films from 30 countries. The feature film program included 6 world premieres, 6 international premieres and 14 Canadian premieres.

The festival was proud to announce the winner of its annual “Pitch, Please” contest to director Rain Valdez for RE-LIVE: A TALE OF A 30-YEAR-OLD CHEERLEADER.

The full winners and awards are as follows. So take note and find the chance to view them:



The jurors for the 2019 Canadian jury were Luis De Filippis, Lisa Donato and Nick McCarthy.

Best Canadian Feature – sponsored by Entertainment Partners Canada

DRAG KIDS – Director, Megan Wennberg

Emerging Canadian Artist – sponsored by RBC Royal Bank and William F. White International

SKIES ARE NOT JUST BLUE – Director, Lysandre Cosse-Tremblay

Best Canadian Short – Sponsored by Accenture

SOFT SPOT – Director, Justine Stevens

Honourable Mention

TERMINALLY IN LOVE – Directors, Emily Jenkins and Justin Black



The jurors for the 2019 International jury were Tricia Hagoriles, Allison Tate and Curtis Wong.

Inside Out Special Award for Innovation

MEMORIES OF MY BODY – Director Garin Nugroho

Best First Feature – Sponsored by Netflix




Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature – Sponsored by Suzy Zucker

BILLIE AND EMMA – Director, Samantha Lee

Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature – Sponsored by Jo-Ann Chiam

WE ARE THE RADICAL MONARCHS – Director, Linda Goldstein Knowlton

Audience Award for Best Short Film – Sponsored by Michael Leshner and Michael Stark

THRIVE – Director, Jamie Dispirito

About The Author

CEO: Chief Entertainment Officer

René Samulewitsch @ReneandI is a globetrotter with a hunger for adventure, but at heart, he will always be an urban tourist with big love for Toronto. When not busy with his day job as a PR strategist, he spends his time exploring the city’s culture and entertainment venues. Rene has a passion for sharing experiences, and truly believes in the power of word of mouth. Favourite place in Toronto: Kensington Market in the Summer as there’s always something new to discover. Queen Street for the urban vibe and King Street to let loose and party.

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