This year the Toronto Queer Film Festival commemorates 50 years of impolite and uncompromising queer defiance with its theme Stonewall 50.

While the Stonewall Uprising is often characterized as the “birth” of a western LGBT civil rights movement, we remember Stonewall as a site of queer and trans rebellion against a long history of state violence and neglect that continues to this day.

Highlighting connections between the past, present, and future of queer revolution and resistance, the 2019 Toronto Queer Film Festival showcases the Canadian premiere of two cutting-edge queer feature films: Pier Kids by Elegance Bratton, an extraordinary documentary centering the perspective of poor and homeless queer and trans youth of colour living a stone’s throw away from the site of the Stonewall riots, and So Pretty by Jesse Jeffrey Dunn Rovinelli – a film that straddles the border between fiction and documentary as it follows a group of friends and lovers as they try to preserve queer utopia they have created in the face of a malevolent, treacherous world. The festival schedule also features over 50 short films, more than half of which were produced by local filmmakers, including our second annual program of new Indigiqueer cinema.

In addition to the festival, TQFF is hosting a Stonewall 50 symposium, a unique gathering of artists, critics, scholars, and performers from across Canada and around the globe to discuss the future of queer and trans media arts activism. Featured speakers include Samra Habib, who will present her memoir We Have Always Been Here; directors Elegance Bratton, Jesse Jeffry Dunn Rovinelli, and Michelle Mohabeer discussing the future of queer and trans cinema; and Natalie Loveless and Natalie Kouri-Towe in conversation on the topic of solidarity and making art at the end of the world.

With dozens of filmmakers, activists, artists, and scholars in attendance and a selection of the hottest new independent queer and trans films being produced today, you won’t want to miss TQFF 2019!