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Reviving the Roost

Director Vivek Shraya
Year 2019
Run Time 6min
Genre Animation, Documentary
Using neon-light animation, Shraya presents an ode to a gay bar in Edmonton that was important to her journey of self-acceptance. Content Note: Coarse Language and Mature Subject Matter

Director

Vivek Shraya

Writer

Vivek Shraya

Producer

Justine Pimlott

Genres

Animation, Documentary

Interests

Arts and Culture, BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, Female Filmmaker, LGBTQ2S+

Original Language

English

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Short Film Programme

Director Various
Year 2022
Genre Action/Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Experimental, Family, Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Thriller
In addition to the feature films in this catalogue, we also offer a wealth of Canadian short films suitable for various grade levels. They cover a variety of themes and topics, and encompass fiction and documentary, live action and animation. For the full list, check out our Short Film Programme page, and use the filters at the top to find something that meets your needs. 

If you’d like to show several short films together as a programme, please feel free to get in touch for advice and tips on selecting the perfect combination for your needs. 

Director

Various

Genres

Action/Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Experimental, Family, Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Thriller

Interests

Arts and Culture, Biography, BIPOC Stories, Bullying, Classics, Cult & Offbeat Cinema, Discrimination, Environment, ESL, Family Relationships, Female Filmmaker, Global Experiences, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, LGBTQ2S+, Literary Adaptation, Newcomer Stories, Social Justice & Politics, Sports, Strong Female Leads

Original Languages

English, French

Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives

Directors Aerlyn Weissman, Lynne Fernie
Year 1992
Run Time 85min
Genre Documentary

This Canadian documentary chronicles the era of lesbian-themed pulp romance paperbacks of the 1950s, a time when titles such as “Odd Girl Out” spoke to the isolated and confused young lesbians of the era. Ten women (including one of the authors of these novels), talk about being queer in the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s, discovering these books, and going through their own first love affairs and painful breakups.

The hardships they faced (from being shunned by their families to enduring police raids) are interspersed with archival footage and four dramatized chapters from a pulp novel, Forbidden Love. The desperate measures resorted to by the protagonists in these works of pulp fiction are shown to have been quite tame compared to the real-life experiences of these women.

The film won the Genie Award for best feature documentary.

“It is testimony to how clever the film and filmmakers are that a documentary about history continues to seem so utterly timeless.” – Matthew Hays, POV Magazine

Directors

Aerlyn Weissman, Lynne Fernie

Writers

Aerlyn Weissman, Lynne Fernie

Producers

Margaret Pettigrew, Ginny Stikeman

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Female Filmmaker, LGBTQ2S+

Original Languages

English, French

Language Versions

EN CC, EN Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

NFB

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Better Than Chocolate

Director Anne Wheeler
Year 1999
Run Time 101min
Genre Comedy

Maggie (Karyn Dwyer) is happy with her life in Vancouver. She works at an LGBTQ+ bookstore owned by Frances (Anne-Marie MacDonald) and has recently fallen head over heels with a young artist named (Christina Cox). When the couple decide to take their romance to the next level and move in together, everything seems perfect.

That is, until Maggie’s recently-divorced mom Lila (Wendy Crewson) and brother Paul turn up at her doorstep, looking to stay with her. The unlikely foursome end up sharing Maggie’s Vancouver loft, and Maggie must decide whether to keep her relationship – and her sexuality – a secret, or reveal who she really is to her well-meaning but naïve and conservative mother.

“Anne Wheeler's sexy, funny, poignant film, from a bright script by Peggy Thompson, is a real charmer, with considerable brains.” – David Noh, FilmJournal International

Director

Anne Wheeler

Writer

Peggy Thompson

Cast

Wendy Crewson, Karyn Dwyer, Christina Cox, Christina Cox, Karyn Dwyer

Producer

Sharon McGowan

Genre

Comedy

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Female Filmmaker, LGBTQ2S+

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles, Other Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

TVA Films

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Wildfire

Director Bretten Hannam (L'nu)
Year 2019
Run Time 12min
Genre Drama
On the run from their abusive father, two Mi’kmaq brothers befriend a hitchhiker who helps them connect to their identities.

Director

Bretten Hannam (L'nu)

Writer

Bretten Hannam (L'nu)

Cast

Guillermo Knockwood, Bobby Pierro

Producers

Bretten Hannam (L'nu), Gharrett Patrick Paon

Genre

Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Family Relationships, Indigenous Filmmaker, LGBTQ2S+

Original Language

English

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The Tailor

Director Nathalie Therriault
Year 2020
Run Time 16min
Genre Drama

A young gender-nonconforming person finds solace and support in an unexpected location, the workshop of a master tailor.

Director

Nathalie Therriault

Writer

Nathalie Therriault

Cast

Hiro Kanagawa, Megan Danso

Producer

Andy Alvarez

Genre

Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Female Filmmaker, LGBTQ2S+, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Weirdos

Director Bruce McDonald
Year 2016
Run Time 84min
Genre Drama
In a small Nova Scotian town in 1976, 15-year-old Kit (Authors) and his girlfriend Alice (Stone) decide to shake up their go-nowhere existence by hitchhiking to the big city of Sydney to visit Kit's glamorous but unstable mother (Parker). It becomes a journey of self discovery that opens them up to new possibilities for their futures. 

Beautifully shot and featuring a killer '70s soundtrack, the new film from Canadian master Bruce McDonald and playwright and screenwriter Daniel MacIvor shakes up the coming-of-age road-movie concept with wit, charm and a lot of heart. 

"What's not to love about Canuck hipster Bruce McDonald's return to a genre he's a master of – the indie road movie with a distinctly Canadian flavour and endearingly peculiar characters." – Michelle Reid, Victoria Times Colonist
 

Director

Bruce McDonald

McDonald directed the cult hits Highway 61, Roadkill, Hard Core Logo, The Tracey Fragments, starring Elliot Page, Pontypool, and the award-winning series Twitch City, episodes of Degrassi and Heartland. His recent films include Trigger, The Husband, Hellions, Weirdos and Dreamland. He recently directed the series Creeped Out and Malory Towers and is currently working on the films Switched at Death and I Have a Bad Feeling About This.

Writer

Daniel MacIvor

Cast

Dylan Authors, Rhys Bevan-John

Producers

Marc Almon, Mike MacMillan

Genre

Drama

Interests

Cult & Offbeat Cinema, Family Relationships, LGBTQ2S+, Strong Female Leads

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

Films We Like

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The Little Deputy

Director Trevor Anderson
Year 2015
Run Time 9min
Genre Documentary
Years after dressing up as a deputy sheriff for a western-style photo with his father, Trevor explores issues of gender identity when he tries to recreate the photo as it always should have been.

Director

Trevor Anderson

Writer

Trevor Anderson

Cast

Trevor Anderson

Producer

Blake McWilliam

Genre

Documentary

Interest

LGBTQ2S+

Original Language

English

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I Am Gay

Director Ajahnis Charley
Year 2020
Run Time 10min
Genre Documentary

Having returned home as a result of the pandemic, a young Black comedian decides it’s time to come out to his family.

Director

Ajahnis Charley

Writer

Ajahnis Charley

Cast

Ajahnis Charley

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, LGBTQ2S+

Original Language

English

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Breakfast with Scot

Director Laurie Lynd
Year 2007
Run Time 95min
Genre Comedy

When gay couple Eric (Cavanagh) and Sam (Shenkman) become the sudden guardians of Scot, a precocious and effeminate young boy, the two professionals must rise to the call of fatherhood and confront the compromises they’ve made in their own lives as gay men working in the world of sports.


Adapted from the novel by Michael Downing, Breakfast with Scot is a heart-warmingly hilarious meditation on the true meaning of family. Scot’s zany antics and disarming self-confidence will inspire audiences young and old to embrace their own — and others’ — unique quirks and differences. This family comedy is a refreshing combination of wry humour and genuine sweetness.


Winner of the Directors Guild of Canada’s Family Feature Film award.

Director

Laurie Lynd

Writer

Sean Reycraft

Cast

Noah Bernett, Tom Cavanagh, Ben Shenkman

Producer

Paul Brown

Genre

Comedy

Interests

Family Relationships, LGBTQ2S+, Literary Adaptation, Sports

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

Mongrel Media

C.R.A.Z.Y.

Director Jean-Marc Vallée
Year 2005
Run Time 127min
Genre Comedy, Drama
A box office blockbuster and the winner of a whopping 11 Genies, C.R.A.Z.Y. is an infectious, entertaining coming-of-age drama. When Zac Beaulieu (Grondin) is born on December 25, 1960, it becomes clear that he is different from his four brothers. He vies desperately for attention and acceptance from both of his parents, but in particular from his loving and old-fashioned father, Gervais (Côté).

The film follows Zac as life takes him on an epic journey to come to grips with his sexual identity. Buoyed by a vibrant soundtrack, C.R.A.Z.Y. boasts countless moments of true movie magic. It is at once a crowd pleaser and a poignant auteur film.

Director

Jean-Marc Vallée

Vallée garnered nine Genie nominations for his first feature, Liste noire. C.R.A.Z.Y. was a box office hit and was honoured at film festivals worldwide. He directed the Oscar-nominated films Dallas Buyers Club and Wild, as well as Demolition starring Jake Gyllenhaal and the hit TV series Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects. He tragically passed away in December 2021.

Writers

François Boulay, Jean-Marc Vallée

Cast

Michel Côté, Marc-André Grondin, Danielle Proulx, Pierre-Luc Brillant

Producers

Jean-Marc Vallée, Pierre Even

Genres

Comedy, Drama

Interests

Bullying, Family Relationships, LGBTQ2S+

Original Language

French

Language Version

EN Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

TVA Films/Criterion

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Fire

Director Deepa Mehta
Year 1996
Run Time 104min
Genre Drama, Romance
Courageous and emotionally powerful, Fire follows Sita (Nandita Das) and Radha (Shabana Azmi), two women living in New Delhi who are disappointed with their arranged marriages. While Sita is trapped in a relationship with her cruel and unfaithful husband, Jatin (Jaaved Jaafei), Radha is married to his brother, Ashok (Kulbhushan Kharbanda), a religious zealot who believes in suppressing desire. Lonely and lacking in love and passion, the two women begin to seek solace and friendship in each other, only to discover a passionate romantic love that must be kept secret.

When it was released in the late 1990s, Fire’s incendiary subject matter led to protests and government interventions in India. Years later, the internationally acclaimed film is as seductive and moving as ever.

The film won seven awards at film festivals around the world, including "Most Popular Canadian Film" at the Vancouver International Film Festival.
 

Director

Deepa Mehta

Mehta gained acclaim for her trilogy, Fire, Earth and the Oscar-nominated Water. Her adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children was nominated for eight CSAs. She has also directed Bollywood/Hollywood, Beeba Boys, Anatomy of Violence, and many others. Her most recent film Funny Boy has also won multiple awards, including the CSA for best direction. Most recently, she directed an episode of the series Yellowjackets. She has numerous projects in development as a writer, director and producer. 

Writer

Deepa Mehta

Cast

Shabana Azmi, Nandita Das, Karishma Jhalani

Producers

Bobby Bedi, David Hamilton, Deepa Mehta

Genres

Drama, Romance

Interests

Female Filmmaker, Global Experiences, LGBTQ2S+, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Language Version

EN CC

Canadian Distributor

Mongrel Media

I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing

Director Patricia Rozema
Year 1987
Run Time 81min
Genre Drama
In Patricia Rozema’s fanciful character study, aspiring photographer Polly (McCarthy) lands a job at a Toronto art gallery run by Gabrielle (Baillargeon), who is also a painter. Polly is impressed with Gabrielle’s paintings, but as Polly gets to know her lover Mary (MacDonald) and becomes entangled in their lives, she realizes Gabrielle isn’t exactly who she appears to be.

Though timid on the outside, Polly’s inner life is rich and full of charming fantasies which Rozema brings to life in black & white sequences that punctuate the film with humour and whimsy.

The film won the award for Best First Feature at the Cannes Film Festival, and in 1993 was ranked as one of TIFF’s Top 10 Canadian Films of All Time.

Director

Patricia Rozema

Writer

Patricia Rozema

Cast

Sheila McCarthy, Paule Baillargeon, Ann-Marie MacDonald

Producers

Don Haig, Alexandra Raffe, Patricia Rozema

Genre

Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Female Filmmaker, LGBTQ2S+

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Dub, FR Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

eOne

My Prairie Home

Director Chelsea McMullan
Year 2013
Run Time 76min
Genre Documentary
Set against the backdrop of the Canadian Prairies, Alberta-born singer/songwriter Rae Spoon takes us on the musical journey of a trans person’s coming of age in an evangelical household.  

Using interviews, performances and songs, the film traces Spoon’s musical and personal evolution, as the musician shares stories about discovering the truth about oneself and having the courage to live that truth.

"My Prairie Home is melodic, poetic, and beautifully complicated bliss. An utterly beguiling documentary discovery." Glenn Dunks, Film Experience. 

Director

Chelsea McMullan

Cast

Chase Constantino, Rae Spoon

Producer

Lea Marin

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Arts and Culture, Biography, Female Filmmaker, LGBTQ2S+

Original Language

English

Language Version

FR Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

NFB

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Fire Song

Director Adam Garnet Jones (Cree/Métis)
Year 2015
Run Time 86min
Genre Drama

Just weeks before Shane (Martin) is scheduled to leave his small Northern Ontario town to start university in Toronto, his younger sister commits suicide, leaving him struggling to take care of his family in the aftermath. Shane finds solace in the love he shares with his boyfriend David (Legarde-Beacham), but they are forced to keep their relationship a secret from their families and friends.

Torn between his responsibilities at home and the promise of freedom calling to him from the big city, Shane is forced to make a difficult choice after circumstances take a turn for the worse. Fire Song won the Audience Choice award at the 2015 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival.

Director

Adam Garnet Jones (Cree/Métis)

Writer

Adam Garnet Jones (Cree/Métis)

Cast

Jennifer Podemski (Anishinaabe, Leni Lenape, Métis), Andrew Martin (Mohawk), Harley Legarde-Beacham (Ojibway)

Producers

Adam Garnet Jones (Cree/Métis), Pj Thornton

Genre

Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Indigenous Filmmaker, LGBTQ2S+

Original Language

English

Language Version

EN CC

Canadian Distributors

Vtape, Big Soul Productions

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Closet Monster

Director Stephen Dunn
Year 2015
Run Time 90min
Genre Drama

The coming-of-age story gets an imaginative makeover with Stephen Dunn’s debut feature, which mixes affecting drama with whimsical fantasy to tell the story of high school senior Oscar (Connor Jessup), a young man who is struggling with his identity and a turbulent volatile home life with his increasingly volatile father.

Oscar finds an escape from his troubled home life in a passion for special effects and fantasy makeup that he shares with his best friend Gemma (Sofia Banzhaf) and hopes to pursue in college. At home, he creates a different fantasy world, sharing a close bond with the pet hamster (voiced by Isabella Rosellini) who has talked to him since his childhood.

When Oscar meets the cool, handsome Wilder (Aliocha Schneider), he finally starts coming to terms with his own sexuality, which he has repressed since witnessing a terrible act of homophobic violence as a child.

Closet Monster premiered at the Toronto International FIlm Festival, winning the award for Best Canadian Feature Film and was named one of Canada’s Top Ten films of 2015.

Director

Stephen Dunn

Writer

Stephen Dunn

Cast

Connor Jessup, Isabella Rossellini, Aaron Abrams, Aliocha Schneider, Joanne Kelly

Producers

Fraser Ash, Kevin Krikst, Edward J. Martin

Genre

Drama

Interests

Arts and Culture, LGBTQ2S+

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

Elevation Pictures/Criterion

Lilies

Director John Grayson
Year 1996
Run Time 96min
Genre Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

John Grayson's most famous film  Lilies is set in a Quebec prison in 1952. The local bishop is brought to the prison to hear the confession of Simon Doucet, a dying inmate. But Doucet in fact has a very different revelation for Bilodeau: he has enlisted his fellow inmates to stage a play set in 1912, when Bilodeau and Doucet were childhood friends, which also tells the tale of his own incarceration.

Director

John Grayson

Writers

Michel Marc Bouchard, Linda Gaboriau

Cast

Marcel Sabourin, Ian Clark, Aubert Pallascio, Jason Cadieux, Danny Gilmore

Producers

Arnie Gelbart, Robin Cass, Anna Stratton

Genres

Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Interest

LGBTQ2S+

Original Language

English

Language Version

FR Dub

Canadian Distributor

eOne

Maman est chez le coiffeur (Mommy Is at the Hairdresser’s)

Director Léa Pool
Year 2008
Run Time 97min
Genre Drama

It's the summer of 1966. The sun is shining and the world is full of possibilities. But for 15-year-old Élise (Fortier), there are issues simmering beneath the surface of her happy family life.

When a shocking discovery drives her mother to leave the family, everyone is stunned. Amid the chaos, Élise decides it's up to her to take matters into her own hands and solve the problems. While her father and two brothers withdraw into their inner world, Élise is not discouraged. Trying to keep her family's troubles a secret, she discovers that no one around her has a life as perfect as it seems at first glance.

A tender and touching story of coming of age in difficult circumstances, Mommy's at the Hairdresser's is a film full of rich, vivid colors that are wonderfully evocative of hot summer days. It's not exactly the summer Élise was expecting, but it will be a summer unlike any other.

Director

Léa Pool

Pool has earned three Genie Award nominations for Best Direction. Her films include Emporte Moi, Mouvements du désir, Lost and Delirious, La dernière fugue and the documentary Pink Ribbons, Inc. Her recent films include the doc Double Sentence and the features La passion d'Augustine and Et au pire, on se mariera.

Writer

Isabelle Hébert

Cast

Marianne Fortier, Élie Dupuis, Hugo St-Onge-Paquin

Producers

Lyse Lafontaine, Michael Mosca

Genre

Drama

Interests

Family Relationships, Female Filmmaker, LGBTQ2S+, Strong Female Leads

Original Language

French

Language Version

FR CC

Canadian Distributors

Les Films Seville, eOne

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J’ai tué ma mère (I Killed My Mother)

Director Xavier Dolan
Year 2009
Run Time 96min
Genre Drama

A semi-autobiographical story starring Dolan as a young gay man at odds with his mother. Featuring Suzanne Clément.

Director

Xavier Dolan

Writer

Xavier Dolan

Cast

Xavier Dolan, Anne Dorval, François Arnaud

Genre

Drama

Interests

Family Relationships, LGBTQ2S+

Original Language

French

Canadian Distributor

K Films Amerique

White Lie

Directors Yonah Lewis, Calvin Thomas
Year 2019
Run Time 96min
Genre Drama

Katie, a popular university student, has been pretending to have cancer to gain sympathy and gain the life she’s always wanted. Through fraudulent fundraising, she has been able to pay her way through university, and her relationship with her friends and girlfriend has never been better. When she is suddenly asked to produce medical records by her university, the facade she created begins to crumble and she risks being exposed for a fraud.  

A brilliantly told cautionary tale, White Lie premiered at TIFF and was named to the Canada Top Ten list. It was also nominated for 4 Canadian Screen Awards including Best Picture.

“Driven by nuanced, persuasive performances and shot with an urgent, jittery tension, White Lie is a compelling close-up character study.” — Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter

Directors

Yonah Lewis

Lewis made his first feature film, Amy George, in 2011 with his frequent collaborator, Calvin Thomas. The duo has continued to work together, co-writing, directing and producing all their films, which include the features The Oxbow Cure and Spice It Up. They recently produced the short Every Day’s Like This, which premiered at TIFF 2020.

Calvin Thomas

Thomas made his first feature film, Amy George, in 2011 with his frequent collaborator, Yonah Lewis. The duo has continued to work together, co-writing, directing and producing all their films, which include the features The Oxbow Cure and Spice It Up. They recently produced the short Every Day’s Like This, which premiered at TIFF 2020.

Writers

Yonah Lewis, Calvin Thomas

Cast

Kacey Rohl, Amber Anderson, Martin Donovan

Producers

Yonah Lewis, Calvin Thomas, Karen Harnisch, Lindsay Tapscott, Katie Bird Nolan

Genre

Drama

Interests

Family Relationships, Female Filmmaker, LGBTQ2S+, Strong Female Leads

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

levelFILM