Five talented film directors at 2014 Toronto International Queer West Film Festival

Q &  A with Five talented film directors, including one great Queer West Film Fest Program Director (Lauren Tenn, in the middle). Left to right Andrew Randall (Performing Masculinity), Simone Marie Stock (Another Way Out), Eric Casaccio (L.A., Narcissit) and Mary J Daniel.(Bending the Lens, London Ontario Lesbian Film Festival) .Photo by Anna Gutmanis. Taken at 7 pm Saturday August 9, 2014 at  Buddies In Bad Times Theatre Toronto Ontario.

At 9 pm there was a   Human Rights Unconference with special guests: Toronto teacher Lee Hicks & Film Director: Azed Majeed. Exclusive to Queer West; about making the film Both/And: — The Lee Hicks Story Moderated by Lauren Tenn. Queer West donated $200  to help with the making of this film,  by Basement Arts.

SUBMIT YOUR FILM FOR 2015.  Deadline March 1, 2015

The Toronto Queer Arts Festival, which includes a film festival and Smash Words,  had a very good year in 2014 on a $600 operating budget. We have never had a debt in 14 years. Planning will begin on the Toronto Queer Arts Festival January 1st, 2015, no run dates have been selected.

The Queer West Arts Collective is busy planning a 3 day weekend film festival in August 2015, with Program Director Lauren Tenn’s help, funding, program publisher, sponsors, advertising, location are part of the plan. We will likely concentrate more on the FF in 2015 as that drew more interest worldwide and was a popular festival event; of course we know Inside Out FF has a 30 year lead. We are the only other independent queer FF in Toronto. We’re after Pride, so there’s no competition. The collective meets again on September 17th, 2014  7pm,  via Skype If You would like to share your input and ideas send an email to with your name, and where you reside in Ontario.

The collective is volunteer group open to anyone (From students to seniors) who supports the idea of an independent queer arts and film festival in Toronto.

 Queer West Arts Collective

The 2014 Toronto Queer Arts and Culture Festival wouldn’t be possible without the support of members from the Queer West Arts Collective. Thank you; Ms. Zoma Maduekwe (Abuja, Nigeria), Ms. Richa Shrotriya (Mumbai India), Ms. Lauren Tenn (Bournemouth England) , Philip Cairns (Toronto), Michel F. Paré (Toronto) and Akos Major (Budapest, Hungary).

 Festival Sponsors 2014

Toronto Queer Arts Festival gratefully acknowledges the support in 2014 from;  Buddies In Bad Times Theatre; The Press Club, The Sister, Open Roof Festival; Basement ArtsimagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts FestivalBar 1602  Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival and

   Showcasing the best of Toronto’s queer west end

The west end of the city, primarily the Queen St. W. strip from Ossington to Dufferin and along Dundas West, has gone through a massive facelift in recent years. This rapid rejuvenation has often been attributed to the re-opening of the Drake Hotel in 2004, but before the Drake put Queen W. on the map, there was a burgeoning arts community flourishing. Dozens of galleries scattered amongst deteriorating storefronts, sandwiched between appliance retailers and pawnshops, created a new bohemia. Weekly queer parties were a regular occurrence in the warehouses and lofts within this once affordable neighbourhood.

Out of this scene in 2000 sprung a vibrant queer culture with a younger mixed crowd seeking something different, a group not hung up on their, or anyone else’s, sexuality. The area has adapted to the rising queer presence  now known  affectionately as The Queer West Village or to some Queer West Toronto

Toronto is already one of the queerest cities in the universe. And, while long known for having one of the biggest and most successful Pride celebrations in the world, a new smaller grassroots community festival aims to showcase an alternative side to queer culture in the city. Toronto Queer Arts Festival (Queer West Fest) official events takes place this year from Thursday August 7 to Sunday August 10th. The festival welcomes some additional affiliated events, earlier in the week.

Queer West Fest showcases the best of west end queer culture by taking over various establishments, some queer operated and the others queer positive. One annual event is held in the Church St gay village, namely the Queer West International Film Festival