Gay culture & the NFB

Gay culture & the NFB

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, held on May 17 every year, is a rallying event offering an opportunity for people to get together and reach out to one another.

Mark the occasion with this film selection that takes us from 1960s Saskatchewan to present-day Syria to explore powerful stories about the LGBTQ experience here in Canada and abroad.

  • Last Chance
    2012|1 h 24 min

    This feature documentary tells the stories of 5 asylum seekers who flee their native countries to escape homophobic violence. They face hurdles integrating into Canada, fear deportation and anxiously await a decision that will change their lives forever.

  • Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives
    1992|1 h 24 min

    This film contains scenes of nudity and/or sexuality. Viewer discretion is advised.

    This feature documentary delves into the rich history of Canadian queer women’s experiences in the mid-20th century. Compelling, often hilarious and always rebellious, the women interviewed in this film recount stories about their search for the places where openly gay women gathered in urban centres. Contemporary interviews, archival footage, and a stylized fictional narrative based on the pulp novels of the 1950s are woven throughout this simultaneously funny, heartbreaking, and empowering film. Forbidden Love brings an important and empowering history of lesbian sexuality in Canada out of the closet.

  • Cure for Love

    Cure for Love is a full-length documentary about a controversial evangelical movement that purports to convert gay people into heterosexuals. The film brings us inside this unusual Christian subculture and follows the lives of several young people whose homosexuality is at odds with their religious beliefs.

  • Men for Sale
    2009|2 h 24 min

    In this feature-length documentary, 11 male sex-trade workers are followed over the course of a year. They share their struggles to survive alcohol and drug-related addictions, abuse and stigmatization – but most of all, their troubled pasts.

  • The Amina Profile
    2015 | 1 h 25 min

    Part love story, part international thriller, and a gripping chronicle of an unprecedented media and sociological hoax, this feature documentary travels from San Francisco and Washington to Istanbul, Tel Aviv and Beirut in a quest to reveal the true identity of the person behind the popular blog A Gay Girl in Damascus. Who is this Syrian-American revolutionary who goes by the name of Amina Arraf? Not even Montrealer Sandra Bagaria, with whom Amina is carrying an online affair, seems to know for sure. As the Syrian uprising gains momentum, the blog attracts a huge following. But it’s Amina’s subsequent abduction that sparks an international outcry to free her. Telling a detective story that involves various intelligence agencies and top-tier global media, the film tells a thoroughly modern tale of technology, love and news-as-spectacle questions the ways in which people connect in today’s virtual world.

  • John and Michael
    2004|10 min

    This animated short pays tribute to two men with Down syndrome who shared an intimate and profoundly loving relationship that deeply affected the filmmaker. Narrator Brian Davis brings the characters to life with great sensitivity.

  • When Love Is Gay
    1995|48 min

    This documentary explores and debunks myths about male homosexuality. Examining relationships between men - from long-standing monogamous partnerships to brief encounters - the film features men of all ages talking openly about their sexuality and the challenges of self-acceptance in a straight, often homophobic society. Drawing from intimate interviews as well as action scenes ranging from a steamy dance floor in Montreal's gay village to a gay ex-policeman lecturing to future officers, When Love is Gay brushes a realistic portrait of an evolving gay culture.