Inside Out 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival Sets Fifth-Year Recipients For Its RE:Focus Fund

The Inside Out 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival on Monday revealed 11 new recipients for its annual RE:Focus Fund, celebrating its fifth year of supporting filmmakers identifying as women, non-binary and/or trans.

This year’s selections come from seven countries — Canada, the U.S., the UK, Chile, Singapore, Brazil and Sweden — and comprise four feature films and seven shorts. See more details about the recipients below.

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Since its inception, the fund has been designed to respond to the immediate needs of filmmakers, and works to eliminate barriers to career advancement. It started as a travel grant program recognizing that trans, non-binary and women filmmakers were underrepresented in international festival attendance, and has expanded the number of projects awarded each year. The fund has distributed more than $250,000 in festival travel grants and professional development programs for filmmakers since its creation.

“The 2023 RE:Focus cohort represents an array of voices, each with a unique perspective on the 2SLGBTQ+ experience,” said Jenna Dufton, Inside Out’s director of festival programming. “Their exceptional work promises to entertain and inspire, forging connections and a more inclusive future for the film industry. We have been honored to witness the transformative impact of this grant and look forward to seeing this latest class of talented filmmakers share their completed work with the world.”

The Inside Out Toronto 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival held an in-person festival with select virtual screenings in May 2023. Its annual Finance Forum was postponed due to the WGA strike.

Submissions for the RE:Focus Fund’s annual grant for the upcoming year will open again in the summer of 2024. Click here for details on the program.

Below is is the full list of RE: Focus Fund projects, selected by Dufton and the festival’s programming coordinator Lu Linares:

All The Words But The One (U.S.)
Narrative Short | Director: Nava Mau
Maya and Santiago haven’t seen each other since their explosive relationship ended years ago,
so neither is expecting to be sitting across from each other at a professional dinner with their new partners.

Chimera (Chile)
Documentary Short | Director: Gael Jara, Martín André
A non-binary person watches the handover of the first non-binary ID in the history of Chile. As they try to do the paperwork, they will face the bureaucracy of the legal proceedings.

Gender Reveal (Canada)
Narrative Short | Director: Mo Matton
Rhys, a non-binary transmasculine queer, attends their boss’s gender reveal party with their
two trans partners. They soon realize that they might not have to get involved at all to instigate the chaos they were dreaming of.

Grace (U.S.)
Narrative Short | Director: Natalie Jasmine Harris
Sixteen-year-old Grace prepares for her baptism in the rural 1950s South. When she learns she must repent before the ritual, she begins to question the budding romantic feelings she has towards her best friend Louise.

IG Story (Canada)
Narrative Short | Director: Emilie Azevedo
Candance and Sierra bond over their shared love of plants until an Instagram Story threatens their connection.

Love Bound: A Queer Chinese Story (UK) 
Documentary Feature | Director: Shanshan Chen
Qiuyan Chen, a prominent Chinese queer activist and feminist who moved to London after
facing increasing scrutiny in China, tries to continue her activism in the UK despite racism while fighting the bureaucracy to reunite with her long-distance girlfriend.

Really Good Driver (U.S.)
Narrative Short | Director: Alex Song-Xia
Really Good Driver is a comedic short about an Asian American mom teaching her Asian American adult child how to drive, forcing both to confront parts of the car, and themselves, they never have before.

Reflexion (Sweden)
Documentary Feature | Director: MyNa Do, Farah Yusuf
Two lifelong friends fight an anti-racist battle in Sweden with art as a boundless force.

Tens Across The Borders (Singapore) 
Documentary Feature | Director: Sze-Wei Chan
This film follows the stories of three trailblazers of the underground ballroom scenes in Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines. We witness their journeys to hold on to their ballroom and birth families, their dreams of connection with ballroom’s source in New York City, and the growth of a flourishing community across Southeast Asia.

The First Women (Brazil) 
Documentary Feature | Director: Adriana Yañez
The documentary presents the life of a group of women who live in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro, are close to the 60s and share a common past: they were the base of the first women’s soccer team in Brazil.

Vollúpya (Brazil)
Narrative Short | Director: Éri Sarmet, Jocimar Dias Jr.
In a post-apocalyptic future where the Earth has long been uninhabited, an explorer from a distant galaxy lands on an abandoned museum in Brazil, searching for traces of long-lost queer ancestors.

Festival submissions for Inside Out’s annual film festival, next taking place this upcoming May 2024, have closed and filmmakers will be notified by April 26. More information on the initiative can be found at Film Freeway.

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