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Toby Ross' Work to be Featured During Canadian Festival

The director's work will be highlighted at Pop Montreal, a music festival that has added a film segment.

Toby Ross' Work to be Featured During Canadian Festival
MONTREAL - Adult filmmaker Toby Ross will be the subject of a special exhibition during the seventh edition of the Pop Montreal International Music Festival, a Canadian music festival that has added a film component.

The festival is scheduled to take place Oct. 1-5. Ross' work will be featured Oct. 3. Other artists scheduled to be honored during the event include Burt Bacharach.

Ross said the festival will feature "a little of everything" from among his body of adult and mainstream work: a classic Ross XXX title, some never-before-seen footage, and a documentary about Ross and his work that was filmed by Josh Dolgin. The documentary was shot on location in Ross' hometown of Chicago and includes interviews with Marlon Star from the upcoming Ross title Moon Over Hong Kong and Joe Rubin, who co-directed Live For Sex, Die For Love starring Ricky Sinz.

"The festival chose me, to be honest, because my work occupies the complete ‘gray zone' between independent films and XXX porn/soft-core erotica, and the effort I put into trying to minimize the differences between those extreme poles," he told GAYVN.com. "They also fell in love with my early work, specifically The Diary."

According to promotional literature, Pop Montreal is dedicated to featuring the work of filmmakers and musicians who have been overlooked and neglected by mainstream festivals.

"I am thrilled," Ross said. "I feel that the gay and lesbian film festival administrators are not into my work, so this will be one of many efforts I will exercise to penetrate the straight and regular film festivals as a filmmaker, not just a gay filmmaker. My sexuality should have nothing to do with the way my films are shown.

"I think many gay people are uncomfortable watching my films since they see their darker side in them," he added. "If I ever made a film about two queens who decided to run an omelet-cooking contest in Palo Alto as they both try to charm the judges, I might have a chance with the judges of the gay film festivals. I don't think that will happen."

Ross has received increased attention from the gay adult industry within the past year. He received the 2008 Grabby Award for Lifetime Achievement during a May ceremony in Chicago. One of his early titles, Baby It's You (1992), was re-released by Bijou Video in December 2007. The same month, Bijou re-released a 1993 Ross pseudo-documentary entitled Twins, which examines the myths and intrigue of identical brotherly love.

His most recent effort, Moon Over Hong Kong - a sexy soft-core spy thriller for Hornbill Films - began production in April.
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