Inside Out’s International Financing Forum (IFF) is the first and only 2SLGBTQ+ finance forum of its kind in the world. Now entering its sixth edition, the Forum provides 2SLGBTQ+-identified producers, writers and directors creating 2SLGBTQ+ content an opportunity to move their feature projects forward through professional development, mentorship, and the platform to pitch their projects directly to top international industry executives and decision-makers.

Queerness, Race & Diversity in Casting

Sponsored by WarnerAccessMedia

Saturday, June 4th | (Open to Forum Participants, Accredited Filmmakers, Industry and General Public)


Alexa Vogel, Casting Director for hit shows such as Pose and Atlanta, and actor/producer Haillie Sahar (Pose), talk about contemporary issues in queer and diversity casting. Topics will include how they work with directors & producers, talent agents, streamers and broadcasters to find and support new and established actors for roles in culturally diverse narratives, how they see the industry changing, or not changing enough to allow these stories to come to the fore, and how diverse actors can find roles in mainstream and independent projects.



Alexa Fogel (Casting Director, Pose, Atlanta)

Hailie Sahar (POSE)

Sophia Clark (she/he/they), Moderator


Panelist Info:


ALEXA L. FOGEL has won three Emmy Awards for casting, with a total of thirteen nominations. She has also won eight Artios Awards from the Casting Society of America. Some of her numerous television casting credits include Atlanta, We Own This City, Ozark, Pose, The Politician, The Plot Against America, The Outsider, The Deuce, Warrior, Quarry, Banshee, Treme, Ripper Street, The Wire, Generation Kill, Show Me A Hero, and Oz. 

Additionally, Alexa has cast films such as Judas and the Black Messiah, The Prom, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Too Big To Fail, Our Brand Is Crisis, The Sitter, and Red Tails. Upcoming projects include FX’s The Sterling Affairs, Apple TV’s In With the Devil, and the feature films What If, directed by Billy Porter, and Creed III, directed by Michael B. Jordan. 

Through her Beech Hill Films banner, Alexa produced the Netflix original documentary A Secret Love, about former All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player Terry Donahue and her 72 year-long relationship with partner Pat Henschel. 

Her credits as a producer include One Last Thing, starring Wendell Pierce, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and Joanne Froggatt, This Is Where We Live, Helena From The Wedding, Run Fat Boy Run, directed by David Schwimmer and starring Simon Pegg and Thandie Newton, A Hole In One, starring Michelle Williams, Face, and Our Song. 

Pitch, Please! Short Film Competition!

Sponsored by Netflix

Saturday, June 4th | (Open to Forum Participants, Accredited Filmmakers, Industry and General Public)


Now in its 5th year, Inside Out’s Pitch, Please! Short Film Competition is back live in person after two years of online pitching! Pitch, Please! will see six competitors from across the globe present a short two-minute pitch to a jury and audience, with one winner taking home a $5,000 production grant sponsored by Netflix. Special thanks to our production package contributors Final Draft and Moondog.

 After the pitch, our jury will deliberate and announce the winner at the Closing Night Gala.



Kelly Lui (she/her)

Allia McLeod (she/her)

Andrew Murphy (he/him)

Being Seen: Directives for Creating Authentic and Inclusive Content

Sponsored by Black Screen Office and OutTV

Saturday, June 4th | (Open to Forum Participants, Accredited Filmmakers, Industry and General Public)


Join us for the launch of  ‘Being Seen: 2SLGBTQIA+ Communities, Directives for Creating Authentic and Inclusive Content’ report to learn more about how the Directives can be used to improve authenticity of Canadian screen content for the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities.


The Black Screen Office conducted consultations across Canada, in English and French, with Black, People of Colour, 2SLGBTQIA+ and People with Disabilities communities working in the screen industries and with members of the general public. The goal was to identify what is needed to create more authentic and inclusive content. The resulting reports share the voices of the participants and aggregate their advice into Directives that creators, producers, broadcasters, funders and distributors can use to create and review more authentic content.  The Directives can also be used by members of these communities as a tool to help them in their efforts to improve the authenticity of content on Canadian screens.


Link to report: 



Kelly Lynne Ashton (she/er)

JP Larocque (they/them)

Carolyn (Jay) Wu (they/them)

Sage Lovell (they/them)

Izaiah Dockery (he/him)

Moderated by Shant Joshi (he/him)

Panelist Info:

Kelly Lynne Ashton has worked in the Canadian film, television and digital media industries as a business affairs executive in television production companies, as a producer at a children’s web studio, as manager of an online youth research company and in government relations and media policy for a talent union. Kelly Lynne is currently bringing together the different strands of her career in the Canadian cultural industries – legal, business, marketing and research – to providing consulting services to clients. She has authored a number of public and internal research papers covering the film, television, interactive digital media and performing arts sectors both in Canada and in comparison to jurisdictions around the world. As a multi-racial Canadian, diversity and inclusion are a priority in her work and she brings that lens to everything.

Alongside recent work on CBC’s Sort Of, JP Larocque (They/Them) has written on Coroner (CBC), Diggstown (CBC), Jann (CTV), Another Life (Netflix), Slasher (Netflix/Shudder), and is creator of the OUTtv digital series Gay Nerds. As a journalist, JP has bylines in The Toronto Star, The Walrus, Maclean’s, Xtra, and Flare. A proud member of the 2SLGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities, JP is committed to diversity and inclusion in all their work.

Jay Wu is a non-binary writer, director, development executive, and community organizer working in Tkaronto of Hong Kong diaspora. As a development executive at Bell Media, they take pitches and develop scripted content for national broadcaster CTV and canadian streaming service Crave. Their short film TOE THE LINE is nominated for a Golden Sheaf for Scripted Short at Yorkton Film Festival 2022 and won Breakthroughs Film Festival’s 2019 Pitch Competition. Their short film IN MY MOTHER’S CLOSET has screened at Wicked Queer: Boston LGBT Film Festival and Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. Jay also started and co-organizes Colour Theory, an event that celebrates short films of all sizes, genres, and budgets made exclusively by Black, Indigenous, or people of colour filmmakers who identify as 2SLGBTQ. Carolyn strives to continue disrupting film industry and building space for racialized queers to heal, create, and thrive.

Sage Lovell is a Deaf queer nonbinary genderfluid femme artist who likes to work their magic, using different art mediums to shift perspectives and spaces. Their post-secondary experience at Gallaudet University made them realize that sign language accessibility is possible! After graduating, Sage returned back to their roots and focused on advocacy for the inclusion of Deaf Canadians. Sage’s work on advocacy included creative artistic approaches and found its place in the arts community. Since then, Sage has worked with various communities in several capacities, developing meaningful work that continues to evolve. With Sage’s many talents, they were able to incorporate their passions of media, language, theatre, and accessibility into works of art. These multitudes of experiences led Sage to establish Deaf Spectrum.  Most notable recent works include “Creative ASL Theatre Sessions,” a series of online improv classes in collaboration with The Hypernovas and InsideOut Theatre. In 2020, Sage won an award from ArtEquity for their advocacy in the arts community. In 2019,  Sage was a finalist for the Community Arts Award (Toronto Arts Foundation). In 2018, Sage won 2nd place Defty Award (Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf) for their ASL poetry production of “The Four Elements.”  Currently, Sage is working on a project called “Deaf, what?” alongside Deaf Artist & Photographer Alice Lo to document the stories of Deaf Canadians with the support of the Canada Council of the Arts.

Izaiah Dockery, actor and parkour athlete (he/him)

Shant Joshi (he/him) is a queer Indo-Canadian producer based in Los Angeles and Toronto. His credits include the films Framing Agnes (Sundance, NEXT Audience Award, NEXT Innovator Award), International Dawn Chorus Day (Berlin, TEDDY Award Winner), Porcupine Lake (Toronto), and Noor & Layla (BlackStar); the hit web series Teenagers (CSAs); and the Dekkoo original series, I’m Fine (Outfest). Shant co-founded the Future of Film Showcase as a launchpad for emerging Canadian filmmakers, and he previously worked at the United Talent Agency, Buchwald, and Lit Entertainment Group (fka Madhouse Entertainment).  He is an alum of the Producers Lab at the Canadian Film Centre, holds a Certificate in Entertainment Law from Osgoode Hall Law School, and was named to York University’s inaugural Top 30 Changemakers under 30.

Shant is currently Vice-Chair on the Board of Directors at BIPOC TV & Film, a sitting member of the Restructuring, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) Action Committee at the Canadian Media Producers Association, and sits on the Advisory Board at the Future of Film Showcase.

The Film Festival Guide to Access: A Workbook for putting standards into action

Saturday, June 4th | (Open to Forum Participants, Accredited Filmmakers, Industry and General Public)


Fresh off the press, Inside Out has just released the Festival Guide to Access! Developed by industry representatives and disability advocates, the Guide is designed to assist festival and event producers to increase accessibility for audiences and artists with disabilities. Join the panel to hear more about the Guide and how you can implement it!


There will be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions.



Steen Starr (she/her)  

Jenny Hiseler (she/her)

Ken Harrower (he/him) 



Panelist Info:

Steen Starr (she/her) has worked for the past three years on accessibility issues in the film festival sector. She was the lead coordinator for the Reel Access project (Toronto) and project manager for the Industry Accessibility Advisory project, which produced the Festival Guide.


Jenny Hiseler (she/her) is an Accessibility Specialist and AODA Consultant with a background in the built environment and accessible media production. She was engaged as co-consultant/coordinator with the Industry Accessibility Advisory project.


Ken Harrower (he/him) is a film and theatre actor and, as a disability advocate, has been a lifelong campaigner for his own rights and independence. Ken participated as a committee member of the Industry Accessibility Advisory project.

CBC Presents: Sort Of

Saturday, June 4th | (Open to Forum Participants, Accredited Filmmakers, Industry and General Public)


Join the star and creators behind CBC’s award-winning hit series Sort Of as they discuss its development, challenges and successes getting to camera. Folks will also share some stories from the set as well as discuss the significance of representation on screen in Canada and globally. And if we ask nicely, we may get a sneak peek into season two currently in production.



Bilal Baig (they/them), Co-Creator, Writer, Actor

Fab Filippo (he/him), Co-Creator, Writer, Director

Jennifer Kawaja (she/her), Executive Producer



Panelist Info:

Bilal Baig (they/them) — Co-creator, executive producer, co-showrunner and lead of the CBC original series Sort Of

Bilal Baig is a queer, trans-feminine, Muslim playwright, performer and workshop facilitator. Bilal’s first play, Acha Bacha, had its world premiere in 2018 and has been published by Playwrights Canada Press. Other written work in development includes Kainchee Lagaa, Kitne Saare Laloo Yahan Pey Hain, and I want that free mind! Bilal is a core team member at non-profits such as Story Planet and Rivers of Hope, where they develop and facilitate workshops for youth in under-resourced neighbourhoods in Toronto focused on creative writing and literacy (Story Planet), and combatting Islamophobia through the arts (Rivers of Hope).


Fab Filippo (he/him) — Co-creator, executive producer, co-showrunner, writer and director of the CBC original series Sort Of     

Fab is an award-winning actor, screenwriter, playwright and director. Most recently he wrote and directed the critically acclaimed and award-winning series Save Me, which was nominated for 20 international festival awards and a Webby Before that, he developed a new half-hour for 20th Century Fox. As a playwright, he was most recently nominated for a Dora Award for his play The Summoned. Before that he was on staff as writer and co-produced NBC’s comedy Working the Engels, co-wrote true crime indie Perfect Sisters and co-created and directed half-hour Showcase and ABC hit comedy Billable Hours in which he starred. As an actor you might also know him from such projects as Lives of The Saints starring opposite Sophia Loren, indie hit waydowntown, or as Ethan Gold in the ground-breaking Showtime series Queer as Folk. He is often recognized for a recurring role on the hit Buffy The Vampire Slayer.


Jennifer Kawaja (she/her) — President and Executive Producer of Scripted English Content at Sphere Media

Jennifer Kawaja is president of scripted content at Sphere Media. The company’s recent credits include: CBC series THE PORTER, airing on BET+ in the USA; the Hot Docs 2021 jury prize winner for the feature length documentary ONE OF OURS by Yasmine Mathrin, CBC series TRICKSTER (TIFF 2020, Official Selection), airing on platforms internationally including SyFy (UK), Canal +, CW and AMC Networks; award-winning Bell Media crime drama CARDINAL, which completed its fourth and final season in 2020 on platforms including Hulu, BBC2 and Canal+; and RANSOM for TF1/Corus/CBS with eOne, which aired 3 seasons in over 100 territories worldwide. Previous television includes Afghanistan-set 13 part limited series COMBAT HOSPITAL (Global/ABC/Sony Int’l); the Lookout Point, Julian Fellowes-penned mini-series Titanic with ITV; and South African/UK co-pro mini-series DIAMONDS (CBC/ABC). She started out making TV Movies such as ONE DEAD INDIAN, and feature films including HOW SHE MOVE, UK co-pro TOUCH OF PINK, and NEW WATERFORD GIRL which were celebrated internationally after their opening at Sundance.

Stream 1: In 2022, Narrative and Documentary Feature Film Projects with budgets of $1.5M+ (CAD) are eligible for the Forum. It is open to Canadian and international projects, including treaty and non-treaty co-productions.

The Inside Out 2SLGBTQ+ Film Finance Forum is presented by Netflix, with support from Telefilm, Canadian Media Fund, Ontario Creates, and the Canadian Media Producers Association.

In 2021, executives from the following companies took one-on-one meetings with the selected creative teams: Bankside Films (UK), Bell Media (CAN), Bleecker Street (US), CBC Films (CAN), Chicago Media Angels (US), Cinetic Media (US), Films Boutique (Germany), GLAAD (US), Killer Films (US), Little Punk Films (US), mk2 Films (France), NEON (US), Netflix (US), Powderkeg Media (US), Protagonist Pictures (UK), Symbolic Exchange (US), The Film Collaborative (USA), Verve Talent & Literary Agency (US), & WaZabi Films (CAN).

In 2021, projects were selected from Australia, Canada, France, Switzerland, the UK and the US.

Stream 2: **Please note that Stream 2 of the finance forum (Narrative Feature and/or Episodic projects at the $125,000-$250,000 budget level and open to emerging Canadian producers only) will take place later this year due in part to the relaunch of Telefilm’s Talent to Watch Program in 2022. Keep watch here and on our social media channels for updates.

Rules & Terms:


We are looking for queer-content projects at a strong second draft stage, with a producer attached, that are seeking financing opportunities. Preference will be given to projects with 2SLGBTQ+ identified producers with key creatives (ie: writer) who identify as 2SLGBTQ+. Co-productions with Canada are encouraged to apply, including those seeking a Canadian producer.

Non-English language projects must request approval for submission from Andrew Murphy, Director of Programming,

When submitting, you must upload the following as ONE PDF attachment to your Project in FilmFreeway. Please use this as a checklist before finalizing your submission:

  • First 15 pages of your script
  • Budget Amount
  • Proposed Financing Plan
  • Company Profile
  • Long Synopsis
  • Log Line
  • Producer, Writer, Director bios and headshots)

Please combine all documents into one PDF file for upload and attach to the ‘Script’ section in FilmFreeWay. If you have a pitch deck or lookbook for the project, please upload that as a separate file in the ‘Files & Attachments’ section.


Projects that were featured in a previous edition are not eligible for participation in 2022; however, producers/creators that have participated in previous editions are welcome to submit new projects. For any questions regarding eligibility, please contact Andrew Murphy, Director of Programming,

Eligible participants must be available to participate in the Finance Forum during the Festival dates June 2nd and 3rd, 2022.Schedule to be finalized closer to the event.

Applications close on Friday, March 04, 2022, at 11:59 PM EST.

As of January 2022, Inside Out is planning for an in person Forum. Please stay tuned for updates.

The submission of your application shall constitute acceptance of these regulations. In any dispute, the decisions of the Festival shall be final. The Applicant releases the Festival, its Officers, Directors and all other employees and representatives, from any and all claims relating in any way to your application or the submission of materials to the Festival by or on behalf of the Applicant, whether on film, video, or other media.

Applicants submitting projects that support, reflect, and strengthen diversity are expected to tangibly demonstrate a genuine and sustained commitment to these equity-seeking communities. Inside Out’s International Finance Forum encourages applications from companies that are BIPOC led, as well as applications from people with disabilities and people who have barriers to accessing technology. If you would like to request an alternative process or format for submitting an application please contact us in advance of the deadline.

“The Inside Out Finance Forum was instrumental in pushing us to the ‘fully financed’ finish line. We attended the forum in June and were in production by September. It was the best possible outcome any film could ask for.”

Luis De Filipa, Jessica Adams, Michael Graf, Rhea Plangg & Michela Pini, Something You Said Last Night (Canada)


“Inside Out’s IFF helped us break the ice and barriers to access for major decision-makers in the industry and give our film its best opportunity to be seen and financed.”

Shant Joshi & Rain Valdez, Re-Live (Canada/US)


“Inside Out IFF was an incredible opportunity to get our project in front of some carefully chosen high level execs and we have made some great contacts as a result of it. We were particularly impressed with the Inside Out team, who were supportive beyond all expectations and personally invested in our project’s success, more than at any other film market that we have been part of.”

Sam Peter Jackson & Silvia Felce, Acts of Thievery (UK)


“IOIFF not only gave us access to stellar, senior Decision Makers from the worlds of Sales, Finance and Distribution, it gave us insight into how they think and what we can do to make our project one that they say ‘Yes’ to. Hurry to get your project into IOIFF.”

Grant Keir, Nick Varley & Virginia Heath, Mae West: Boxer in a Corset (UK)


“Inside Out was the perfect market introduction for our upcoming feature film Tomgirl. As we’re based in Australia, sometimes we can feel isolated because of distance (and COVID making international travel difficult), but the Film Finance Forum was the most accommodating market experience we’ve had to date. It was invaluable to be at a market specifically for queer cinema and it infused us with confidence to meet with industry who were interested in our innate stories. Jan and Andrew were incredibly supportive and encouraged us at every step of the way, and we loved networking with the other filmmakers across the globe; an invaluable experience for us in 2021.”

Vonne Patiag & Maren Smith, Tomgirl (Australia)


“The Inside Out International Financing Forum was the perfect platform to pitch to exclusive and seasoned executives in a setting that was at once professional and intimate. The members of the organizing committee prioritize making connections that have every realistic opportunity to become lasting relationships for current and future projects. With an impressive roster of participating filmmakers and executives, the forum, surely not by accident, highlights the incredible breadth of LGBTQ+ content, and the voracious global appetite to consume it.”

Rodrigo Barriuso, Quentin Worthington & Claire Gadéa, Neverman (Canada/France)


“From submission to selection, through to the actual pitches and the after care, the Inside Out IFF process was nothing short of wonderful. We were thrilled to be chosen to pitch to an eclectic range of producers, studios and distributors, all of whom requested to read our script and are still providing invaluable feedback. This will be the bedrock of our film’s development as it was the first time the project had gone to market and what a debut we had, courtesy of Inside Out IFF and its team. “

Fizz Milton, Christine Alderson & Jacquie Lawrence, Triple L (UK)


“Inside Out helped us as a team not only meet potential financiers, but also understand where our film could live.”

Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor & Matthew Jacobs Morgan, Loco Parentis (UK)


Other Forum Success Stories:

Sam Feder’s documentary DISCLOSURE premiered to rave reviews at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, and was subsequently picked up by Netflix.


Mike Mosallam’s romantic comedy selection from 2017, BREAKING FAST, had its world premiere at Cinequest 2020 and was an Inside Out Official Selection, picking up NA distribution.


Philip J. Connell’s JUMP DARLING starring Academy Award winner Cloris Leachman, received a special sneak preview at the 2020 Inside Out 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival and was released in 2021.


Trevor Anderson’s BEFORE I CHANGE MY MIND (2019) was named to The GLAAD List: a curated list of the ten most promising LGBTQ+inclusive screenplays in Hollywood as determined by GLAAD and The Black List. Film was financed and shot in 2021.


Gary Jaffe’s and Katie Ennis’ OUR LAST SUMMER have attached Alan Ball (Six Feet Under, American Beauty, Uncle Frank) as Executive Producer.

January 27, 2022: Submissions Open

March 04, 2022: Submission Deadline via FilmFreeWay

June 2-4, 2022: Finance Forum in Toronto