SIZE DOES MATTER: New York's NewFest versus Toronto's Inside Out 09 October 2017.
New York's LGBT Film Festival (NewFest) is celebrating 29 years of queer programming with this year's festival showcasing 140 films over six days. Considered a go-to for film distributors, the festival continues to be a launching pad for many looking to break into the industry and with sponsors such as HBO, ShowTime and NBC it's no wonder they are so revered. But how does Toronto's Inside Out LGBT Film Festival stack up? Inside Out is currently accepting submissions which means their 2018 line-up has yet to be announced but based on recent years we can expect 200+ films over an impressive 11 days, bigger than NYC on both counts.
While Toronto has enjoyed many celebrities like controversial filmmaker and DJ, Bruce La Bruce who in 2015 had already achieved a retrospective of his work at New York's Museum of Modern Art, New York just has way more celebrities living there so it's no comparison. It's not uncommon to be watching a film at NewFest and find you're sitting next to a big name star. For this year's centrepiece, NewFest brings Alan Cumming to the screen in After Louie, the story of an artist and activist from ACT UP who lived through the early years of the HIV epidemic and struggles with survivor's guilt. The opening night for Suzanne Bartsch: On Top features RuPaul, Micheal Musto and Amanda Lepore. While Toronto may not have the same concentration of people (or celebrities), our festival attracts close to 35,000 people who'll watch films, go to parties, attend artist talks and panel discussions, and by sheer numbers our impact puts us on par with the big players.