It’s the last day of Inside Out, and this afternoon, the gay and lesbian film fest presented a pretty exciting Q&A session with director Laurie Lynd. Lynd directed, among other things, gay-friendly fare like the film version of Torontoist-fave Daniel MacIvor’s House as well as episodes of Queer As Folk, Degrassi: The Next Generation and Noah’s Arc. But it was his latest project that brought him to the immediate attention of Inside Out. Lynd directed the upcoming film Breakfast With Scot, which is that “gay Maple Leafs movie” you may have been hearing so much about. The afternoon began, however, with a screening of two of Lynd’s earlier short films, RSVP and The Fairy Who Didn’t Want to be a Fairy. The former is a sad short about a man grieving for his partner who has died of AIDS and the latter is a musical fantasy with Holly Cole about (literally) a fairy who decides that he wants to have his wings surgically removed. Both star Daniel MacIvor, at his loveable, charming best. Torontoist gives him a hug!
As Breakfast With Scot is not yet completed, Inside Out screened about 20 minutes of footage from the film, which gave viewers a good taste of what it was all about. The somewhat controversial picture is about a gay couple who wind up having to take care of a young, effeminate boy. The film has caused a bit of a stir in the press after The Star broke the story that the Toronto Maple Leafs allowed the use of their name and logo in the film. Canadian actor Tom Cavanagh (TV’s Ed) plays a sports commentator and former Maple Leaf who must remain closeted at work, despite the fact that he is married to his lawyer, played by Ben Shenkman (who’s played gay before as Louis Ironson in the HBO mini-series of Tony Kushner‘s Angels in America). When the two accidentally wind up with custody of Shenkman’s nephew-in-law, the couple are surprised to discover that the boy, Scot, is way swishier than either of them. According to Lynd, the NHL has been tremendously non-judgmental in regards to the film’s subject matter, worrying more about a scene in which Cavanagh’s character is mean to a child than that he is a gay married man. When rumours of the film first surfaced, it was accused of attempting to be the next Brokeback; in actuality, nothing could be further from the case. Instead of a mostly-phobic narrative about a doomed gay love told in a maudlin, apolitical and arguably not even gay-positive tone, this is a family movie (rated PG!) featuring an established, married, confident gay couple who become forced to confront their own gender-prejudices and opinions on child sexuality. Recently, much has been made (at least in the gay-blogosphere) of Mark Indelicato’s character on Ugly Betty as Betty’s sissy nephew Justin, and Lynd said he was worried at first that the TV show had stolen his thunder (a consummate sissy, Scot enjoys figure-skating, makeup and pretending to be a cheerleader). Hopefully, there’s room for more than one pre-pubescent sexually ambiguous character in North American media, especially one featured in this funny, cute and endearing film. Torontoist certainly hopes it finds the audience (and the TIFF screening!) it totally deserves.
There’s still time to catch one of the last film’s of this year’s fest. Congratulate yourself if you scored tickets to the sold out screening of Itty Bitty Titty Committee tonight at the Bader at 7:30, the festival’s closing gala. If you didn’t, there are still tickets available for Tan Lines, a low-budget Australian film about surfers in love. Sounds hot!
Previously: New Movie to Promote Leaf Pride, Inside Out Continues, Inside Out Update, The Picture of Dorian’s Gay, Don’t Dream It, Film It, Inside Out is Back!
MacIvorist: MacIvor Even You Mom Can Enjoy, Daniel MacIvor Rocks the House, Rockin’ Remounts Resound Rapturously, Torontoist Love/Hate 2006: The Stage, MacIvor Spearheads Buddies’ Wave One
Photo by gardinergirl from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.