Elegance Bratton’s ‘The Inspection’, Trans Films 'Joyland' 'Something You Said Last Night' and 'The People's Joker,' Among Many Queer Films Join Billy Eichner’s ‘Bros’ At Toronto International Film Festival

The lineup for the forthcoming 47th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is growing – and getting a lot more queer. The annual fest, which is expected to be fully thriving after last year’s quieter iteration, takes place September 8-18. The fest recently unveiled their second wave of programming with 54 feature titles across its Discovery, Midnight Madness and Wavelengths sections and there are a handful of LGBTQ titles to look out for.


Elegance Bratton’s The Inspection is set to have its world premiere in the Discovery section of TIFF and will screen opening night of the fest. Marking Bratton’s feature directorial debut, the film is a retelling of his own life. The Inspection stars Jeremy Pope (Pose, One Night In Miami…) who joins the Marine Corps after being thrown out of his mother’s home at 16 for being gay and living for years in housing precarity. The film also stars Gabrielle Union, Bokeem Woodbine, and Raul Castillo.

Also making its world premiere in TIFF’s Discovery section is Canadian director V.T. Nayani’s feature filmmaking debut This Place. Starring Reservation Dogs’ actor Devery Jacobs and up and comer Priya Guns, This Place is a queer love story about two young women — one Iranian and Kanienʼkehá꞉ka, the other Tamil — living in Toronto and dealing with difficult family legacies.


As a follow-up to her short film For Nonna Anna, which earned a Special Jury Prize at Sundance, Luis De Filippis’ directorial debut feature Something You Said Last Night will make its world premiere in the Discovery section at TIFF. The feature chronicles a family vacation in the hot summer sun, as Renata, a trans woman, and her sister try to get along with their parents and with each other. De Filippis, who is trans herself, paints an intimate portrait of a family that includes a trans character, but that is not the focus of Renata's story.


TIFF previously announced that the film Joyland will be making its North American premiere at the festival. Winner of the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize and the Queer Palm at the Cannes Film Festival, Joyland is a film from Pakistan about a conventional Muslim family confronting its own desire for a sexual rebellion after one of the married brothers takes a job as a backup dancer for a transgender woman in a local theater show. Filmmaker Saim Sadiq cast trans actress Alina Khan to play Biba, the performer who entrances the brother.


Vera Drew’s subversive queer film The People’s Joker will also bow during Midnight Madness. The story follows an aspiring clown grappling with her gender identity as she combats a fascistic caped crusader.

TIFF’s Discovery platform will also serve as the world premiere of Pussy from Joseph Amenta. The matter-of-fact drama follows three queer Toronto kids whose friendship is tested by divided loyalties, differing social situations, and anger issues during one pivotal summer. 

In the Midnight Madness section –  a section of the fest that is filled with genre-driven treats – screenwriter Kevin Williamson returns to the slasher pic with Sick. Co-written by the Scream icon and Katelyn Crabb, Sick is directed by John Hyams and follows two best friends who decide to quarantine during the pandemic at the family lake house. They think they are alone – but they aren’t.

TIFF’s avant garde showcase known as Wavelengths will premiere João Pedro Rodrigues’s Will-o’-the-Wisp at the fest. The Portuguese auteur’s latest feature is described as “near-unclassifiable” as it moves effortlessly from historical tableau to musical comedy, queer romance, and post-colonial provocation.


Also playing at TIFF is the previously announced Universal Pictures rom-com Bros co-written by and starring Billy Eichner as well as the forbidden love triangle tale My Policeman from Michael Grandage. The film follows three people — policeman Tom (Harry Styles/Linus Roache), teacher Marion (Emma Corrin/Gina McKee), and museum curator Patrick (David Dawson/Rupert Everett) — and their emotional journey spanning decades.


TIFF is set to open on September 8 with Sally El Hosaini’s Netflix movie The Swimmer, which is based on a true story that follows the journey of two young sisters who fled Syria as refugees and made their way to the 2016 Rio Olympics to compete in swimming.