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Oakville Film Festival celebrates Pride Month

Festival offers curated selection of feature and short films with LGBTQ+ themes

June is Pride Month in Ontario, and for the past ten years, June has also been the month Oakville has enjoyed the Oakville Film Festival.

“Since the beginning of the festival we have been cognizant that it falls during Pride Month, and we wanted to honour that,” said Festival Artistic Director Wendy Donnan. “We have always chosen and programmed LGBTQ+ themed films, they are also well-represented in our annual screening series, and this year is no exception.”

This year, Donnan highlights two feature films in that vein, as well as numerous short films. The feature films are Close to You and I Saw the TV Glow.

“Close to You stars Elliot Page, and is directed by Page and UK Director Dominic Savage, and this is his first feature role post transition. He also co-wrote and co-produced the movie. We are excited that Savage will be attending the festival,” said Donnan. “I Saw the TV Glow is an American A24 studio film, it is winning awards across the festival circuit, and stars Justice Smith, and Brigette Lundy-Paine. The director of that movie, Jane Schoenbrun, is trans as well and the film speaks very personally to the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ people trying to find their place in society.”


Close to You follows the story of Sam (played by Page), who hasn’t been home since his transition. After four years in Toronto, he takes a long-dreaded trip back to Cobourg for his father’s birthday. On the train there, he runs into Katherine (Hillary Baack), a friend from high school with her own complicated life now, and feelings from their unresolved past begin to bubble to the surface.

“The film’s script was largely just in outline form, so much of the dialogue was improvised,” explained Donnan. “It’s an emotionally-charged, incredibly moving film about relationships, family, and Page is, of course, magnificent in it.”


I Saw the TV Glow is an American drama/horror movie, wherein two teenagers bond over their love of a supernatural TV show, which is then mysteriously cancelled. “The film is very deep,” said Donnan. “There are themes of unbelonging, of being queer, and of course surrealism and horror over it all. I was a huge fan of shows such as The X Files, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so the film is also an ode to the days when these kinds of TV shows attracted a huge and dedicated fanbase.”

Donnan highlights many short films at the festival which have LGBTQ+ themes, including 175, which covers legalization of same sex marriage in the UK; A-Okay which explores the theme of asexuality; and Class Crush, which is a horror musical about two high school girls in love.


Also featured in shorts, Collage, a rom-com about a woman working in a gallery who realizes her feelings for her female coworker; The Shot That Matters, a drama about a lesbian couple; and Tonight, You Will Shine! wherein a mother discovers her son is gay and has a boyfriend.

“One of my favourite shorts of this year’s festival is Meteor which has a screening with One Must

Wash Eyes,” said Donnan. “It’s about the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community in Iran. It really is a must-see, I feel.”

The 2024 Annual Oakville Film Festival runs from June 19 to June 25 and presents 104 specially curated Canadian, local, and international narrative and documentary films, as well as short films and web series. A selection of films is available online only during the festival as well.

Tickets for films, as well as the three Gala evenings, are available here.

Donnan finished, “We are very proud of the selection of films for this year’s festival. Happy Pride month and Happy Film Festival month as well!”

The OFFA Oakville Film Festival is happening June 19 to 25 in Oakville, Ontario. For more information and to buy tickets, go here.