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During the past year, the [then] Canadian Gay Archives have been used to provide historical background and display material for five major Canadian film projects. This is an excellent way to display material from our holdings, and we are always pleased to provide assistance to film and video projects. The five productions were:
Nine women, ranging in age from forty to seventy and of diverse backgrounds, speak about what it was like to be a lesbian in Canada during the 1950s. Forbidden Love is the first Canadian feature film of its kind, and provides invaluable documentation of the development of lesbian culture in this country. Distributed by the National Film Board of Canada.
An exploration of the life and death of Leo Mantha, who in 1959 was hanged in British Columbia for killing his male lover on a Victoria naval base. The film explores the crime within the larger context of mainstream society and the gay subculture in 1950s British Columbia. Legal Memory is distributed by V Tape [Toronto].
This video examines the development of the lesbian / gay community in Toronto between the time of the bath raids, February 1981, and the official proclamation by the City of Toronto of Lesbian and Gay Pride Day in June 1991. The video focuses on how a diverse group of people undertook the task of building a strong, visible, and united community while coping with discrimination and the growing AIDS crisis. Memo from Church Street is an excellent educational tool, and is distributed in Canada by Full Frame Film and Video.
One in Ten is a documentary on gay youth that aims to break the painful and damaging silence surrounding sexual orientation and sexual differences. The film, currently in production, examines the issue of homophobia through the experiences of several young people. By putting lesbian and gay youth on the screen, One in Ten hopes to challenge popular prejudices and stereotypes surrounding homosexuality while offering positive images of hope to thousands of gay youth who may feel alone and vulnerable in the population at large. This pioneering film is set for release in the fall of 1993.
[One in Ten was released as Out: Stories of Lesbian and Gay Youth. See also an article available here online from Lesbian and Gay Archivist, Number 12, on David Adkin's later film, Jim Loves Jack, on pioneering activist James Egan.]
This engaging documentary presents eleven prominent lesbian activists and their views on a range of issues -- from coming out to racism to bisexuality to the progress of feminist and lesbian movements to lesbian literature. Their replies document the remarkable diversity of lesbian identities. The film also contains great clips of Toronto's 1992 Lesbian and Gay Pride Day parade. Distributed by CFMDC [the Canadian Film Makers' Development Corportation].
[In 1994, Lynne Fernie and Aerlyn Weissman also used material from the Archives for their feature, Fiction and Other Truths: A Film About Jane Rule. A number of the films noted here -- and many others -- are available at the Archives. Please feel free to get in touch regarding specific titles.]
[List of online documents]
[Lesbian and Gay Archivist]