Inside Out 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival Announces International Recipients Of The 2021 RE: Focus Fund

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EXCLUSIVE: Inside Out, the largest promoter and distributor of 2S (2 spirit) LGBTQ+ content in Canada, revealed thirteen recipients for its annual RE:Focus Fund.

The Fund was initially launched in 2018 and started as a travel grant program recognizing that trans, non-binary and women filmmakers were underrepresented in international festival attendance. The of the RE: Focus Fund was to address industry inequities through providing direct financial support to women, non-binary, and/or trans filmmakers telling 2SLGBTQ+ stories. 

“Through our annual RE:Focus Fund post-production grants, we are directing resources to address historic inequities for women, trans, and QPOC filmmakers”, adds Inside Out’s Executive Director, Lauren Howes. “Now, more than ever, it is important to continue our work of breaking down access barriers and offering support to our global community of creatives, to amplify their voices and celebrate the diverse range of queer and trans-positive stories on our screens.” 

This year’s selections include both features and short film projects from Canada, USA, Australia, United Kingdom, Turkey, Lebanon and Italy. 

“From a Turkish experimental film to an Afro-Futurist animation, this year’s RE:Focus recipients highlight the multitude of incredible queer and trans talent creating unique films around the world,” says Inside Out’s Programming Manager Jenna Dufton, who has overseen the fund since its creation in 2018. “We are so proud to support these thirteen projects with the RE:Focus Fund, and can’t wait for audiences to enjoy the completed films at Inside Out and beyond.”

Here is the full list of projects selected for the RE:Focus Fund:

Afro Algorithms (USA)
Anatola Araba

In a distant future, an artificial intelligence named Aero is inaugurated as the world’s first AI leader. However, she soon finds that important worldviews are missing from her databank, including the stories of the historically marginalized and oppressed.

Casa Nostra (Italy/USA)
Francesca de Fusco

Life for Fede, a high school student living in Nun-run housing in Italy, is reliably routine until a new visitor arrives, inspiring her to go out of her way to make a connection.

Chaac and Yum (USA)
Roberto Fatal, XAV S-F

Inspired by the sacred and ancient relationship between Chaac, the Mayan deity of Rain, and Yum, the Mayan deity of corn, this short erotic drama tells a story about two queer, Mayan-descended Two Spirits who meet at a queer San Francisco bar.

Child of Polycritus (United Kingdom)
Lauren John Joseph

A humorous, effervescent historiography in which a mythological baby, a nail salon, and cinematic portraits combine to show both timely and atemporal tales of gender nonconformity.

The Sarah Hegazi Documentary (Lebanon/USA)
Director: Nicole Teeny

Sarah Hegazi was an Egyptian-Canadian LGBTQ, feminist, and political activist. At a Cairo concert in 2017 she was among the first ever to publicly raise the rainbow flag in Egypt but the act cost her imprisonment, torture, exile, and ultimately her life. Dear Friend is a documentary told through animation, interviews, archival news, video and photos, and Sarah’s journal entries in prison through death in exile.

Fresh Meat (Canada)
Lu Asfaha

A young writer is excited to start a staff writing job at a cutthroat media company until she discovers their terrifying secret to success: they’re eating people.

I Was A Ghost Myself (Turkey)
Müge Yildiz

I was a ghost myself is a film following a ghost’s footsteps, psychogeographically trailing through a city where the ancient intertwines with the modern.

Lucky Fish (USA)
Emily May Jampel

Two Asian-American teenagers meet in the bathroom of a Chinese restaurant while having dinner with their families.

Right Here (Australia)
Claudia Bailey

After coming out as non-binary to their parents, Grace materializes at their future selves’ birthday party and realizes everything they want to be is inside of them, right here.

Ripples (Canada)
Dylan Mitro

Four friends are reunited to have a picnic on the beach, a break from the chaos of the city. The plan to have a day at Hanlan’s Point, a gay nude beach on Toronto Island, has each character addressing their own personal complicated relationship to the beach and to the party culture that surrounds it.

Simón Was Born (Puerto Rico/USA)
Pati Cruz

Lis is a single mother of two during the day and drag king Simón at night. When the COVID-19 pandemic eliminates every possibility of having drag shows, we are left with the question, where does Simón exist during the quarantine?

Valentine (USA)
Chris McNabb, Beck Kitsis

With gender and identity in flux, Corey and Mia struggle to redefine their relationship.

Work (USA)
April Maxey

Unable to move on from a breakup, Gabi, a queer Latina editor, impulsively drops into an old job at an underground lap dance party, where she unexpectedly runs into a friend from her past


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