Following incorporation the previous year, the festival saw a number of significant changes for the 1997 edition. Ellen Flanders served as the festival’s first executive director and oversaw the festival’s move to the Cumberland Cinemas in Yorkville and the addition of several prominent corporate sponsors. High profile screenings included the world premiere of John Greyson’s Uncut and the Canadian premiere of Joe Mantello’s Love, Valour, Compassion and Susan Streetfield’s Female Perversions. The program brought greetings from Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy, Toronto Mayor Barbara Hall, and Councillor Kyle Rae.
- Tickets were $8.00, $15.00 for gala screenings
- Attendance rose from about 5000 in 1996 to more than 14,000 in 1997
- The 1997 festival featured three awards: The Bulloch Award for Best Canadian Film (awarded to Dennis Day for Heaven or Montreal: The Unfinished Video); The Charles Street Video Award for most promising Canadian artist (awarded to Amy Gottlieb for In Living Memory); and the Audience Choice Award (awarded to Cheryl Dunye’s Watermelon Woman)
- Sarah Abbott, writing for LIFT, noted that at the opening night party, following Love, Valour, Compassion “some cynicism moved through the crowd regarding Inside/Out’s inclusion of such shiny films as Mantello’s, but there was also recognition that this helped bring in more green to screen experimental and gritty work.”
Download 1997 Program Guide