Andrew Murphy

Director of Programming, Inside Out

Bachelor of Journalism, 1998

What matters most is the story. It always comes down to the story.

Andrew Murphy still gets chills when he thinks about it.

It was at the 2014 Inside Out Film Festival in Toronto. Andrew, as Director of Programming for the LGBT focused festival had brought in the film Matt Shepard Is A Friend of Mine. The capacity audience had just watched the deeply personal documentary about Matthew Shepard, a young gay man who was beaten, tortured and murdered in 1998 in Wyoming. Andrew had also brought in the filmmaker and Matt’s parents. They were on stage after the screening to answer questions.

”And it was just one of those moments I guess when you realize that what you are doing is significant and you are potentially making a difference,” says Andrew. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. People were asking interesting and intelligent questions. And his parents had so much to say, not just about their son but looking at where we have come since this happened and what we can do, what our part can be in this privileged first world. It felt really special to be part of something like that.”

Andrew joined Inside Out in 2012. At the time he was still managing programming for the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax. He travelled a lot that year, back and forth between Toronto and Halifax. And overseas. Berlin hosts a major international film festival and each year Andrew would scour the screenings looking for interesting films to introduce to a Maritime audience.

He stills makes the annual pilgrimage for Inside Out and he has added San Francisco and L.A. to his agenda, meeting sales agents and distributors, securing films for his festival, and building the brand for Inside Out. It celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015 with attendance topping thirty-five thousand. LGBT films are starting to get a much wider exposure.

“In a lot of ways what we present and how we present it makes a statement and sends a message which is uniquely Canadian.  Speaking with a lot of other festivals, especially in the US, we are very lucky that we can showcase more international stories. We can cast a wide net and really show a culturally diverse and culturally challenging program that shows the relevance of LGBT voices around the world.”

Andrew shies away from calling it a “political” statement although he does know that hearing the voices of people who in some parts of the world are oppressed is vital. But what matters most as a programmer is the essence of a good film.

“The journalism program at King’s instilled this in me,” he says. “At the end of the day, whether you are writing a news item or curating a film festival what matters most is the story. It always comes down to the story. Everyone loves a good story.”

And the story of Andrew’s career so far is all about doing what he loves to do.

“I seem to fall into jobs where I get to do movie stuff but I am part of something that is actually helping people in small way.”

Posted: Apr. 2016

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