Meet the Team!

Andria Wilson
Executive Director

Pronouns: She/Her
andria[at]insideout.ca

Which queer film inspired (or challenged) you the most?

In 2016, before I began my role at Inside Out, I was attending the festival and sat in the sold-out closing night screening of the doc KIKI. I had grown up watching Paris is Burning and Truth or Dare on repeat, and to see this beautifully orchestrated contemporary dive into ballroom culture – in a packed house of 2SLGTQ Torontonians — moved me deeply. I think so often about how our experiences around queer cinema are shaped not just by the content itself, but by the context of the time and the room we watch them in. Since 2016, seeing the progression of narrative from KIKI to FX’s Pose — a groundbreaking show airing in more than 100 countries around the world, via TV and streaming platforms — I am inspired every day to work in this corner of the industry.

Who is your queer superhero?

Our friends at CBC Arts put together this glorious list of Canadian ‘queeroes’ this past Pride, and I’ve gone back to it multiple times for inspiration. There is also this exceptional list published on them.us. Working in a 2SLGBTQ organization means that I am privileged to be surrounded by queer and trans people that inspire me, every single day. From the filmmakers we get to showcase at the festival, to the executives behind the scenes greenlighting authentic queer stories, to the funders putting their dollars into the next generation of queer creators, to the activists and advocates working daily to create change — I’m overwhelmed by their work.

What is your queer anthem?

That term basically describes everything in my Spotify account, but if I had to have only one on repeat, it would be Robyn’s ‘Dancing on my Own.’ Then, now, forever. Side note, speaking of Spotify — all queer people (and everyone reading this) needs to follow your Chani Nicholas Cosmic Playlist on Spotify. Trust me.

Andrew Murphy
Director of Programming

 

Pronouns: He/Him
andrew[at]insideout.ca

Jenna Dufton
Programming Manager

 

Pronouns: She/Her
jenna[at]insideout.ca

What was the last queer film you saw?

The last queer film I saw was Jennifer Reeder’s Knives and Skin which I watched for a second time at Inside Out and I will watch again next opportunity I get. The last queer non-film I watched was Grey’s Anatomy s4e17 (Freedom: Part 2) which is the one where a young man gets encased in cement and also Callie kisses Erica Hahn for the first time.

What is your favourite moment from Inside Out?

My favourite moment from this year’s Inside Out was watching the Q&A for We Are the Radical Monarchs. I saw the film at SXSW and the Q&A that followed with the co-founders and members of the original troop was one of the best I have ever seen. It meant a lot to be able to bring the film and two of its subjects to our audience at Inside Out and for it to go on to win our Audience Award.

What is your queer anthem?

I listen to queer anthems almost exclusively and the queer anthem of the year for me is queer icon Carly Rae Jepsen’s Dedicated. The entire album. One queer anthem after another.

Kelsey Butt
Events & Engagement Manager

 

Pronouns: They/Them
kelsey[at]insideout.ca

What colour best describes you?

I did a BuzzFeed quiz to get some real facts so I could address this question. This is what that quiz uncovered:

You got: Vermilion
You are a warm and welcoming person, using your boundless energy to bring joy to everyone around you. You love to help others and become an integral part of their lives. It’s pretty cool of you, honestly.

So, that.

What was the last queer film you saw?

Imagine Me and You. I was feeling a little sad last Wednesday night and nothing cheers me up more than seeing the sexual tension between two lesbians being heightened over a good ol’ fashion game of Dance Dance Revolution. A little hard to find on the internet but I figured it out.
Rating: 9/10 Wankers.

What do you love/enjoy the most about Inside Out?

Seeing so many brilliant queer bodies and minds come together to celebrate each other while also showing appreciation for creative and impactful work is what I live for. We are able to create these spaces, fill them full of these people and provide new opportunities for our community all while having a blast.

Bran Ramsey
Patron Services and Membership Manager

 

Pronouns: He/Him
bran[at]insideout.ca

What colour best describes you?

Truthfully, I have no preference on colour one way, or another. I do, however, have a few colour rules that constitute a personal gospel that I have created for myself like: never wear yellow with my skin tone, never wear white because I am clumsy and a slob, and only wear red in the deep Winter to inspire the hope of Spring and to conjure warmth. To pinpoint one colour that best describes me proves to be an impossible task. If forced to choose, I would have to say that a Debbie Travis spin on ‘chartreuse’ would be my pick. Mostly because I refuse to believe that chartreuse is not a shade of red on Life’s colour wheel, and also because it is the most confusing colour I have ever seen. But somehow, it is still alluring. Like me!

What do you love/enjoy the most about Inside Out?

Shockingly, I have had many a job during my 30 years on this green Earth, and even more if you count my gainful past-life employment. No one does. It may also shock you to hear, dear reader, that I was never very popular growing up. I found most of my friends in novels that I would steal from my local public library, or through my local Pen Pal program. As it turns out, this was a Prison Pen Pal program that I wasted all my Anne Geddes stationery on, but it was safer than meeting people on the internet. Or so my mother told me.

But now, working at Inside Out, I have finally found my tribe and all my many quirks are finally embraced, encouraged, and enjoyed. I love how accepting and welcoming the work environment and atmosphere is; I love that I can be myself without fear of judgment, or criticism. I finally feel accepted and like I belong!

Victoria Yeung
Festival Operations Manager

 

Pronouns: She/Her
victoria[at]insideout.ca

What colour best describes you?

Neon blood orange because it’s loud and tacky and because I’m an Aries sun.

Which queer film inspired you the most?

In no particular order:
Moonlight – a masterpiece from beginning to end, the only movie that had me silently crying (I never cry) the entire way through in the cinema.
The Watermelon Woman – smart, funny, complex, and ahead of its time. The themes are ever relevant today and so is the fashion.
Saving Face – a lovely story about diaspora and culture that warmed my second gen. heart. Also Joan Chen!

What is your queer anthem?

The celebration of sexual fluidity that is Make Me Feel by Janelle Monáe. That entire album was perfect.

Jayne Schneider
Office Manager

 

Pronouns: She/Her
jayne[at]insideout.ca

What was the last queer film you saw?

We Are the Radical Monarchs at Inside Out 2019. What a beautiful idea and certainly not something I ever thought I’d see in my lifetime. I can’t wait until those girls are running the world!

What is your favourite film that you saw at Inside Out?

Is it really fair to ask me to choose a favourite : ) I loved Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street. I’m not a horror fan but I am a fan of films that take you behind-the-scenes in Hollywood and this one is epic. I couldn’t believe how many historically important queer events and experiences were tied up in this one story.

What do you love/enjoy the most about Inside Out?

I love that Inside Out, and the community that supports and creates it, continues to thrive. That’s no small feat in a social, cultural and economic environment that has changed so much––for better and worse––in 30 years.

Nirujaa Vasantharajah

Publications and Materials Coordinator

Pronouns: She/Her
nirujaa[at]insideout.ca

Which queer film inspired (or challenged) you the most?
When I was in college, I took a course in international film studies which introduced me to the work of Indian-Canadian film director Deepa Mehta. I had the chance to view the three films in her Elements trilogy: Fire (1996), Earth (1998), and Water (2005). Out of the three films, Fire was the one that astonished me the most. As a Canadian woman with South Asian origins, I strongly resonate with this film and its depiction of the struggles of women in patriarchal societies. It’s a courageous film that justifies my advocacy for gay rights, and reminds me to stay strong with each passing day.

What is your favourite moment from Inside Out?
I volunteered for the first time at Inside Out during the 2019 Toronto Festival, and my last shift took place at the Opening Gala Party. After a long evening of managing lineups and having friendly banter with filmmakers, I had just put my coat on and was about to head home when a group of volunteers called me over to join them for pictures at the photo booth! To this day, I still carry around that photo strip as it has nicely captured the wonderful moment of when I felt a genuine sense of belonging in the Inside Out community.

What colour best describes you?
Magenta; it’s a harmonious blend of my calm, organized, analytical nature (blue) and my intense energetic, radiating passion (red), and I tend to lean more towards red on most days. 😉

Kirsten Bligh
Membership Coordinator

Pronouns: She/Her
kirsten[at]insideout.ca

What colour best describes you?
If I can pick one of my favourite colours, that *may* describe me, it would be Mustard Yellow. It’s not a colour everyone loves. It’s also pretty subtle. But for those who appreciate the colour, it can remind them of warmth and nature. Personally, it reminds me of home and long walks through the prairies.

What is your queer anthem?
I’ve been playing Lizzo’s Cuz I Love You on repeat, but if I had to pick one song off the album it would be Soulmate. Having experienced extended periods of bullying, loneliness, and depression throughout my youth, learning to heal through self-care and self-love has and will continue to be a lifelong process. Through love and loss, I have learned to be my own soulmate, and I am glad I have.

Which queer film inspired (or challenged) you the most?
It may be an unconventional choice, but being introduced to Safe by Todd Haynes in a university film class was a revelation. An analogy for the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, the film is a queer masterpiece, upending the heteronormative status quo of suburban life through Julianne Moore’s performance. I’ve seen the movie multiple times over the years, and I still switch back and forth on the final shot: is there hope for Moore to get better, repeating a mantra of self-love, or has she totally lost her personhood and only getting sicker?

Jacob Crepeault
Programming Assistant

Pronouns: He/Him
programming[at]insideout.ca

Which queer film inspired (or challenged) you the most? 

One film that has left an enormous impression on me as a budding film enthusiast is the 1983 slasher Sleepaway Camp. This film has an extremely problematic legacy for its depiction of trans* identities but its campy (no pun intended) dialogue and over-the-top death scenes make it a queer film that can be contextualized with a modern lens. Watching Sleepaway Camp in 2020 requires you to examine a relic of problematic queer represenation, but I highly recommend it if you’re a fan of sleazy slasher films, attractive camp counselors in tight shorts, and the craziest opening sequence in any horror film.

 

What is your queer anthem?

Off the top of my head, I was trying to think of the most queer song I’ve ever heard. The first thing that came to mind was “Flamboyant” by Dorian Electra. The iconic non-binary pop hero crafted a perfect anthem of zany excess with lyrics you can scream at the top of your lungs. I was lucky enough to see them recently in Toronto and hearing “Flamboyant” being sung by hundreds of queer kids cemented it as an anthem worthy of highlighting. Beyond “Flamboyant”, the rest of Dorian Electra’s debut album features equally amazing queer bops like “Guyliner”, “Adam and Steve”, and “Emasculate”.

 

Who is your queer superhero? 

My queer superhero, or Queero, is Arca (aka Alejandra Ghersi). She is a wildly talented musician, producer, and performance artist from Venezuela. She has worked with countless artists over the years like Frank Ocean, Björk, Kelela, and FKA twigs. Her music envelopes a chaotic, yet beautiful arrangement of sounds that are hard to pin down. Genre-wise, Arca’s music is always unpredictable and inspiring. Her most recent release, a 62-minute song titled “@@@@@” showcases her ability to blend moments of calculated bliss with woozy, destructive noise. Her music has been a part of my life for a long time and I always look to her for artistic inspiration.

Sunny Kim
Financial Clerk

 

Pronouns: She/Her
finance[at]insideout.ca

What was the last queer film you saw?

I saw A Dog Barking at the Moon at Inside Out Toronto earlier this year, and really enjoyed it! The film was incredibly tense… in a good way. It was tackling so many issues at once; homosexuality, family relations, communist culture, secrecy – with all of it portrayed with a level of sharp elegance.

What is your favourite moment from Inside Out?

I really admire the enthusiasm the community collectively feels when attending any of our events. One of the highlights for me was seeing Get Bent, which was a Drag Party Fundraiser, featuring QTBIPOC performers. There was just so much talent in that room; everyone was ferocious and confidently unapologetic, and it really brought out a new energy to Inside Out and I’m glad to have been a part of it!

What is your queer anthem?

I Wanna Dance With Somebody by THE queen Whitney Houston – best karaoke song ever!

Carine Lalonde
Marketing and Partnerships Manager

Pronouns: She/Her
carine[at]insideout.ca

James Nicholson
Sponsorship Assistant

Pronouns: He/Him
james[at]insideout.ca

Steen Starr
Grants Researcher/Writer, Co-Coordinator of Reel Access Project

Pronouns: She/Her
steen[at]insideout.ca

2019 – 2020 Board of Directors

Officers:

Thomas Park (Chair)
Dave Singh (Treasurer)
Adam Stewart (Secretary)

Directors:

Sujata Berry
Tania Cheng
Harry Cherniak
Ashley Cooper
Aisha Fairclough
Michael Ghent
Jo Proulx
Mike Rudolph

Contact: board[at]insideout.ca

Click here for the Board Nominations Policy.

 

Inside Out’s bylaws mandate that our Board of Directors is composed of a minimum of 50% QTBIPOC individuals. This standard was enacted by our membership to ensure that the Board reflects the communities we serve, and that the Board holds accountability for the strategic vision of the organization, as well as final decision-making authority. In addition to the Board, Inside Out is governed and supported by 5 Board-led committees, whose terms of reference ensure the same standards of representation. These committees lead the organization in the areas of Human Resources, Strategic Planning, Marketing and Communications, Fundraising, and Financial Management.

Festival Submissions

Please direct Festival submissions, questions and comments to submissions[at]insideout.ca.

Media & Industry Accreditation

For questions about media and industry accreditation, please email insideout[at]k2publicity.com.

Sponsorship

For questions about sponsorship, please email sponsorship[at]insideout.ca.

Ticketing

For questions about ticketing, please email boxoffice[at]insideout.ca.

Promotions

For co-presentation and other social media requests, please email Sean Chooti, Social Media Coordinator, at sean[at]insideout.ca.