“With the near simultaneous appearance in Montreal in the summer of 1984 of Michael Jackson and Pope John Paul II, something of a definitive note for a media and celebrity-stricken era was struck. […] Abstract and impressionistic, Passiflora makes no claims to objective documentary reality. It uses history for political and didactic ends, and it does so with a creative energy and originality that distinguishes it as one of the preeminent experiments in documentary form of the past decade.” 1

In Passiflora’s (Fernand Bélanger and Dagmar Gueissez-Teufel, 1985) final minutes an old woman – or “Belle Dame” as the documentary’s transcript describes her – wanders through piles of broken boxes and debris. It’s a scene of a leftover mess at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, in the aftermath of the back-to-back visits by Pope John Paul II and Michael Jackson within a week of each other in the summer of 1984. “I brought back the box that wasn’t put together,” she tells the filmmakers. “The guy told me, he told me I could exchange it. He said it’s just going til there and will pick it up with the rubbish … But I told him clearly… it was a souvenir.”2

The idea that a piece of rubbish would be a souvenir from these visits is more than a tongue-in-cheek joke made at the expense of the Pope and Jackson. As a concluding scene, it underscores Passiflora’s worldview. In its hybrid docudrama form, Passiflora traces the unseen bodies that would have normally been ignored and outcast with the rest of the stadium’s garbage. The film – co-directed by NFB veteran filmmaker Bélanger and feminist newcomer Teufel – creates misassembled sketches of Montreal’s marginal communities to tell stories about homosexuality, abortion, mental health, domestic abuse, and sex work during these two seemingly oppositional yet equally spectacular visits. Concordia Professor Emeritus and champion of queer Canadian cinema Thomas Waugh calls Passiflora’s blending of gay male subversion and feminist politic a “natural compatibility … as if all those seventies demonstrations finally sunk in somewhere.”3.

Passiflora – one of the NFB’s first unabashedly queer films – also brought out some of worst censorial attitudes in top NFB officials who tried to ensure it would be seen by as few people as possible. The French-language film was never subtitled in English, and it currently does not appear in the NFB’s English language film catalogue. It never saw a theatrical release outside of the Canadian provinces of Québec and New Brunswick – the only two Canadian provinces with sizeable French-speaking populations. Contemporary audiences in English Canada wishing to see the film have two options: they can watch the 16mm print at York University’s Sound and Moving Image Library in Toronto, or they can order the film on DVD from the NFB for $19.95 (plus $13.00 in shipping fees). Both options come without subtitles. With such limited availability, Passiflora has been left out of queer and straight anglo-Canadian canons and outside of popular memory (except for the handful of Canadian film scholars who remember it fondly).

Passiflora has publicly surfaced a few times in Canada since its initial theatrical release, including at our own screening of the film at the 2nd Annual Activist Media Archives Symposium in Toronto in 2017. Acting as the conference’s opening event, we soft-titled the 16mm print with digital English subtitles, making the film and its depictions of queer and feminist activism accessible to anglophone audiences for the first time in almost a decade. This article builds upon the work of our screening to further demystify Passiflora’s historical deviancy. We jointly call for the re-release of the film and analyse the film’s increasingly complicated production, exhibition, and distribution history. We aim to show how and why this film continues to be left behind, despite the NFB’s recent efforts to digitise and make accessible its back catalogue. While the grassroots efforts to screen the film are in line with Passiflora’s provocative ethos, Passiflora’s distribution history also demonstrates the limits to discourses of inclusivity both imagined and ingrained in Canadian cultural policy in the ’80s. Most notably – and perhaps due to growing public fears over HIV/AIDS, as the first documented cases of AIDS in Canada appeared in 1983 – queer and marginal sexualities were excluded from the 1984 National Film and Video Policy’s list of priority communities. The making of Passiflora and its struggle for distribution marks a tension in which the NFB – and Canadian cultural policy writ large – could describe themselves as progressive while at the same time disavowing queer films during an economic era of increasing austerity and privatisation.

In this article, we explore how the political economy of the NFB’s regional production and distribution practices in the ’80s and early ’90s functioned to regulate queer sexuality, and the strategies queer and feminist communities have used to make Passiflora public despite its notorious inaccessibility.  While both Waugh and Matthew Hays have given accounts of Passiflora’s history, each of their accounts has focused on documenting the controversy at the Toronto Festival of Festivals (currently the Toronto International Film Festival, or TIFF) in ’86.4 Drawing on unpublished documents from the NFB’s archives, conversations we have had with the film’s co-director Teufel, as well as Teufel’s personal papers, we provide a more fulsome account of the film’s history with the aim of underscoring the complex regulation of sexuality and political economic factors that contributed to Passiflora’s production and its subsequent limited circulation.

From Le monde to Passiflora: Production and Censorship

1984 saw two significant shifts at the NFB: François Macerola was appointed the NFB’s commissioner, and the federal Minister of Communications Francis Fox tabled the 1984 National Film and Video Policy. Macerola’s appointment at this time was no accident. Historian and NFB ex-staffer Gary Evans argues Macerola was appointed as the NFB’s commissioner for two primary reasons: (1) to implement Minister of Communications Francis Fox’s 1984 National Film and Video Policy and (2) to carefully reign in the spending at the NFB without firing staff or stirring up public controversy.5 The newly introduced National Film and Video Policy encouraged “emphasis on (public sector) production … of high quality, distinctively Canadian film and video productions which reflect our bilingual, multicultural, and regional reality and meet the distinct cultural and social needs of minority and specialized audiences.”6 The policy followed a broader epistemological shift within public discourse that sought to diversify and include more minority voices in the public sphere, facilitated in part by the federal government’s policies of official multiculturalism.

Passiflora directors Dagmar Teufel-Gueissaz (left) and Fernand Bélanger. Photo courtesy the NFB

Passiflora was first proposed to the NFB within this discursive and economic culture shift.Pitched to NFB producer Jacques Vallée in 1984 under the title Le monde est à l’envers (The World is Upside Down), it was originally proposed as an ambitious documentary that blended old and new NFB footage to show what it was like to live as a youth around the world in 1985.7 A collective project by Dagmar Teufel-Gueissaz, Fernand Bélanger, Yvon Mallette, and Maurice Bulbulian, the film was envisioned as an illustration of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s official multiculturalism in an “era of social pluralism”.8 None of the four were to be the film’s star director and all decisions would be made as a collective. Their collective decision-making led to a number of draft proposals that, much like the film itself, were anarchist pastiches of ideas, images, manifestos, song lyrics, doodles, and poetry. Some of this made it into the final film (a doodle of two men huddled outside of Olympic Stadium has a direct reference in the final film), but most of it did not. In an attempt to include and mediate the interests and perspectives of all involved, the proposals positioned the film in a range of identity discourses including religion, culture, youth and race.

The filmmakers proposed a broad distribution strategy, which included versioning in both French and English (Canada’s official languages) and making it suitable for broadcast television and educational purposes. They also wanted the film to be distributed in Europe, the United States, Africa, and Latin America and uniquely versioned for regional particularities. The proposal planned for trips to the Philippines, Africa, Germany, Brazil, and New York in order for the filmmaking collective to gather footage specific to each region. They even imagined turning the film into a traveling show to appear at International Year of the Youth celebrations held across Canada.9 It was a determined film proposal that aimed to be useful to as many audiences as possible, but ultimately intended for equality and social justice.

Needless to say, the filmmakers’ grand visions for their film would not come to fruition. By April 1985, a memo noted that the film had simply become about social pluralism.10 By August 1985, the film had been renamed Passiflora, and with the change in name came a loss in the film’s collaborative ethos and a decreased production scope: Passiflora was now referred to only as Bélanger and Teufel’s film. It is unclear why Mallette and Bulbulian were no longer involved, but it is unsurprising that these two collaborators were left out of the project following Macerola’s imposed budget restrictions at the NFB. With reduced production capacity came a change in the film’s aim: Passiflora no longer centred around youth, or even multiculturalism, but instead became “a reflection on the falseness of images that institutions create from scratch and which a complicit media system projects positively towards the general public.”11 Now conceived as a pastiche film, it would feature documentary footage of the Pope and Michael Jackson’s visits, along with animation and dramatised sequences featuring queer, trans, and feminist characters.

This new version of Passiflora was not very well received internally at the NFB, with reactions ranging from outrage to utter boredom. Teufel recalled that the NFB’s Board of Governors found the film’s irreverent depiction of the Pope and its overt homosexuality so shocking that they sought to stop the film from being finished.12 The Board of Governors issued a memo declaring “The film plays with fire. … It attacks sacrosanct values.”13. Producer Guy Coté was, instead, bored by the film: “Passiflora is not, in my opinion, ‘scandalous’. But, by contrary, in its current form, this film deeply bored me.”14 While he admitted that the film was technically impressive, citing its ambitious blend of documentary, fiction, animation, he felt Passiflora was too “rough” for distribution. He hated the dramatised scenes, and from his perspective, Passiflora needed to be re-edited and shortened from its running time of 84 minutes.

Others were more concerned about the film’s liberal blurring of the boundaries between documentary and fiction, leading Bélanger and Gueissaz to issue a memo that stated that the film fit well within NFB patriarch John Grierson’s own definition of documentary as “the creative treatment of actuality,” and that any attempts by the film’s producers or other NFB officials to determine who in the film was an actor, and who was not, was unethical.15 Despite the NFB’s mixed reactions to the film, the filmmakers maintained an ethical duty to maintain ambiguity between the fictional and documentary footage. Many of the film’s characters, according to the directors, were on the margins of Quebec society – queer, poor, racialised, disabled – and could face serious harm if outed as real people by the film’s producers.

Teufel has since speculated that attempts to determine who was a professional actor and who was non-professional was a pretence to artificially inflate production costs and to halt production. Indeed, as the film was being edited the NFB unsuccessfully tried to stop the film’s production entirely. However, Passiflora was widely supported by artists and technicians. One of its champions, the president of the technicians’ union, the Syndicat des Techniciennes et Techniciens du Cinéma du Québec (STCQ), argued that censoring the film would amount to censoring the work of their members – allowing Bélanger and Teufel time to complete the film before being stopped.16

The NFB’s general sentiments towards the film are revealed in Gary Evans’ 1991 account, based on interviews with Macerola, among others:

“Its premise was to find significance in the spectacle of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Montreal’s Olympic Stadium and the similar spectacle of pop star Michael Jackson’s arrival at the same venue at a different time. Glued to this was a confused, irreverent, and irrelevant story of homosexual lust and depravity, not very flattering to homosexual actualities. Some who were sympathetic thought the film dealt with gay rights, forgetting that a minority’s demand for equality does not mean the right to be offensive to the majority.”17

We argue the NFB likely decided to distribute the film without English subtitles as a way to both placate the filmmakers while still limiting its reach to only Québec and New Brunswick. Macerola would later argue that it was due to a lack of interest that spelled the end for Passiflora, failing to mention that it was never widely distributed in the first place.18

Passiflora’s Allies

Passiflora quickly gathered allies from within and outside of the NFB. Teufel’s personal archives are filled with letters from programmers, distributors, and other folks working in and around the film industry in Québec and Ontario expressing support for the film. Many of the distributors wanted to distribute the film due to its technical achievements and its significance to Quebec documentary. There was a flurry of positive press coverage collected by the NFB and held in their archives (but conveniently glossed over once controversy struck). In 1986, two years after it was first proposed, Passiflora was slated to make its English Canada debut at the Toronto Festival of Festivals (currently TIFF). Piers Handling, then programmer for Perspective Canada, insisted the NFB provide English subtitling for the festival’s anglophone audience. Along with his Perspective Canada co-programmers Kay Armatage and Geoff Pevere, Handling saw in Passiflora a “convention-busting” and “highly expressive and interpretive” documentary that broke through the increasing conventionality of its anglo-Canadian counterparts.19. The NFB refused to subtitle the film for the Toronto premiere because $8000 in subtitling costs were, according to the NFB, too much for a film with a half-million dollar budget.20 Not willing to stand idly by, the Festival of Festivals brought on Robert Gray to translate the film’s dialogue and to read his English transcription aloud, live during the screening.21

The Festival of Festivals screening – which, according to Teufel was a full house – was followed by screenings at the Toronto Grierson Documentary Seminar and Winnipeg’s Counterparts International Festival of Gay and Lesbian Film in 1987. Passiflora was slotted into Winnipeg’s “On Demand” program with four other films also not granted public screenings. This was not because the organizers wanted to censor the film, but because the film’s lack of English subtitles made it unfeasible for the festival to screen to its largely anglophone audience. Festival organizers developed a compromise following Passiflora’s endorsement by Thomas Waugh: interested festival-goers could visit the Plug In Gallery during the day and ask to see the 16mm film privately. Viewers were provided with the English transcript of the film previously created for the Festival of Festivals screening if they did not understand French. This seemingly private “On Demand” programming slot, however, did not stop the film from igniting a firestorm of public controversy in Winnipeg. After the Winnipeg Free Press described the film as a “homosexual body worship of the Pope and Michael Jackson,” the Catholic church and conservative activists attempted to stop the screening of the film. 22 Upset by the film and the festival, opponents even asked the Manitoba Film Classification Board, the Ministry of Heritage, Culture, and Recreation, and the police to intervene. The festival’s allies – mostly gay activists – argued that any state intervention, whether it be through the censorship of any of the films or through revocation of provincial grant money, would constitute a gross intervention into the private affairs of gays and lesbians.23 All three bodies of government found that neither the film nor the festival exhibited egregious content and allowed Passiflora to remain.

Passiflora did have a small festival run, but by and large, the NFB’s refusal to add English subtitles proved a successful strategy in limiting its reach. The New York Gay and Lesbian Film Festival refused to program the film due to its lack of English subtitles and it was stopped from being included in Handling’s program of new Canadian film for the 1987 edition of Sundance.24 Queer filmmaker and York University professor John Greyson’s attempt to screen the film at the Piccadilly Film Festival in 1987 but was thwarted when the NFB sent a copy of the film poorly transferred to VHS tape instead of a print.25 Following these repeated rejections and failed attempts to screen the film, Waugh criticized Macerola and the NFB for “failing to fulfil its mandate with regard to two million lesbian and gay Canadians” due to their handling of Passiflora’s distribution.26. After Passiflora faded from the public eye, the NFB never invited Bélanger to direct another film again.

Resuscitating Passiflora

After its 1986-1987 festival run and its half-hearted distribution in Quebec, Passiflora was quietly locked away in libraries and archives. Despite Evans declaring it a “death by withdrawal,” it was not a death that came about because of lack of interest.27 Passiflora continued to generate some interest after it was withdrawn from distribution and was included in a selection of Canadian retrospectives programs in France in the early ’90s. After that, Passiflora did not see a public screening until it resurfaced again in Canada in the mid-2000s. In 2006 it was programmed at the Cinémathèque Québécoise shortly after Bélanger’s death. In 2008, it was programmed in English Canada at Toronto’s Inside Out LGBT Film Festival. In an effort to subtitle the film for an anglophone audience, Jon Davies, an Inside Out programmer, used the film’s Festival of Festivals transcript to project 407 PowerPoint sides over the film print. After this 2008 screening, Passiflora was again stored away in the archives until the Cinémathèque québécoise in Montreal organized a retrospective of Fernand Bélanger’s films in 2014.

Our own small intervention follows a lineage of over 30 years of activist allyship with Passiflora. In our search for a copy of the film to screen, amidst the film’s scarce production, exhibition, and distribution records, we discovered York University’s Sound and Moving Image Library in Toronto was the only major public library or institution in English Canada, (besides the NFB) to hold a print of the film. After watching the first reel, we were amazed that a film this daring, this technically proficient, and this queer was even made by the NFB in the mid-’80s in the first place and that it had become almost forgotten. Committed to granting Passiflora more public screen time, we programmed it at the 2nd Annual Activist Media Archives Symposium in 2017 as a partnership event between the Studio for Media Activism & Critical Thought, a research unit at Ryerson University (of which Jonathan is a member), and Ad Hoc, a mobile screening collective (of which Claudia is a member). Because the film still remained unversioned in English, we employed the same tactics used by Davies during Inside Out’s 2008 rehabilitative screening: we soft-titled the film, projecting Davies’ PowerPoint subtitles over York University’s 16mm print, manually advancing the slides and fumbling through the colloquial Québécois French. This was the first time we watched the film with English subtitles, along with the 50 or so audience members in attendance.

Our screening of Passiflora in Toronto in 2017. Photo by Calla Evans

The screening experience, in true Passiflora spirit, was messy and complicated. Dan Browne, a colleague of ours and an experimental filmmaker in Toronto, projected the print and set up a precariously perched digital projector at the front of the room for us to run the subtitles. There was no dress rehearsal and there was no way for us to coordinate with Browne as the screening progressed. As Browne switched between reels there would be a few seconds of blank screen and dead space before the film would kick in again. One of the projectors’ audio connection was not very clean, so if the projector was touched the wrong way, static and white noise would drown out the film’s audio track. Only one of us speaks French fluently. We also soon realized that not all of the film’s dialogue had been transcribed. At times we would either be hopelessly behind the dialogue or far ahead of it. The conference’s theme that year was “dirty archives”, and so coupled with Passiflora’s murky archival history and with its scenes of backhoes pushing literal dirt around Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, this messy screening experience aligned rather cleanly with the conference’s theme.

It took decades of collective work to revive Passiflora at this screening, yet the NFB continues to discuss economics not censorship as the cause of its failed distribution. Following a feature story about our screening in NOW (a Toronto arts and culture magazine), NFB collection curator Albert Ohayon explained that it was not deliberate censorship that caused Passiflora to fail, but rather, poor box office revenues. To demonstrate the NFB’s support of the film, Ohayon cited Passiflora’s screenings at nine cities and towns across Québec during its initial theatrical release and at nine festivals worldwide. He argued the film was not versioned in English because its poor profits did not justify the expense, especially during a period in the NFB’s history when budgets were tight.28 While the NFB continues to emphasize Passiflora’s problematic financial history, their focus on economics obscures the material and ideological reasons for its poor returns: it was not the content of the film that turned people off Passiflora but rather a combination of political caution, economic austerity, and technological carelessness ensured the film would perform poorly.

In 2008, a new policy mandated that all NFB films made after 1 April 2005 had to be versioned in Canada’s two official languages.29 Unfortunately, Passiflora and countless other films made by the NFB pre-2008 fall outside of the mandate’s timeframe and NFB officials tell us they can only afford to subtitle three hours of online content annually. Moreover, even a stop-gap measure of putting the film online in French is prohibitively expensive because of past policy failures. As Zoë Druick explains:

Up to the late 1970s, the NFB controlled rights to all of its productions in perpetuity, and since 2000 Internet rights have been included in all contracts with producers. This means that the NFB must buy back or extend the rights for productions it wants to make available through its website, which has led to resource issues, both the expense of paying for copyright and for hiring staff to track down creators. Often music rights are simply too expensive to justify, and so certain films will most likely remain categorically excluded from the site.30

We were told the rights to re-release Passiflora online would cost over $10,000 in fees to the actors’ union, The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA). The NFB’s ACTRA costs are very rarely this high, but because the NFB struck a deal to pay the film’s entirely non-professional cast ACTRA rates in 1985, these fees remain an unfortunate reality. The NFB’s refusal to pay for subtitling and union fees, which are required to re-release the film, points toward a sort of censorship that remains hidden behind a guise of fiscal prudence.

Watching Passiflora Today: Re-considerations and Re-releases

With all of the complications surrounding Passiflora’s re-release costs and logistics, one overarching question lingers: why re-release Passiflora now, or at all? Are the film’s difficult distribution history and its accompanying controversies enough to merit a re-release? We took this question to Teufel herself, and she was uncompromising in her response, correctly insisting that the film’s themes are still internationally relevant today. “Homosexuality is still illegal in some places; abortion is still considered taboo,” Teufel asserts, one week following India’s landmark decriminalization of homosexuality and a few short months following Ireland’s repeal of The Thirty-Sixth Amendment. As a representational archive, Passiflora’s versioned re-release could open up avenues for cinematic and documentary analysis when considering historical Canadian filmmaking activism. Undeniably, Passiflora and its ensuing controversy acts as a living archive of ’80s feminist and queer activism, and as historical evidence of the tenuous, through crucial, solidarities between queer and feminist activism in Canada.

Images courtesy the NFB

However, while Passiflora demonstrates solidarities between gendered and queer bodies, it holds a discernible historical blind spot when it comes to race. Take the issue of policing and surveillance at the Jackson concert – which is undeniably heightened and more aggressive than the Pope’s. Bélanger and Teufel do not show us footage inside the concert venue, the same venue that just one week prior was captured generously by their cameras. Teufel told us in our interview that their cameras were far less welcomed at the Jackson concert, so they remained outside, filming the security that controlled the venue’s entrance.31 The scene is short but viewed today it is strikingly revealing of the ways in which access to certain bodies and publics are racialized and withheld. As an archival document, this scene reveals variations in surveillance strategies between the Pope and Jackson’s visits: two large-scale events in the same venue, in the same city, scheduled just one week apart, yet with noticeable differences in documentary access and with vastly opposing policing mandates. Later in the film Bélanger and Teufel turn their camera on a queer and campy religious procession done clearly to mock the sanctioned heterosexuality of the Pope and the Catholic Church. The lack of a comparable critical performative interpretation for Jackson’s fans – a scene that would highlight the intersections between these two superstars and the queer retorts of their fan-bases – only serves to reinscribe the overarching whiteness of the film’s queer ’80s politics.

As a powerfully revealing archival document, but one that fell fatally to compromised Canadian multicultural and inclusion cultural policies, Passiflora unfortunately also precedes subsequent queer NFB films with limited release and distribution. Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives (Lynn Fernie and Aerlyn Weissman, 1992) seemed destined for a similar fate. Premiering at the Toronto Festival of Festivals in 1992, it played in 24 repertory theatres across Canada for six months in 1993. However, by 2007, Forbidden Love was difficult to see. Like Passiflora, the rights of the film had lapsed, so the NFB could not even send out copies for public screenings. The total cost for the rights and associated fees? $65,000. In 2013, Waugh wrote a letter to the NFB expressing his disbelief in the film’s disappearance and cited a number of popular and academic efforts that discussed its necessity. Within a year, Forbidden Love was back in circulation. It is unclear how the NFB came up with the $65,000 to put the film online and back into public circulation – Jean Bruce and Gerda Cammaer’s authoritative account only note that the NFB was confident that they would find “a viable solution” to the problem.32

Why did the NFB choose to rescue Forbidden Love, while leaving Passiflora to languish in the archives? Forbidden Love shows us that coordinated direct action and knowledge mobilization campaigns can grab the attention of the NFB and can bring a once nearly forgotten film back into the public discourse. Despite a history of policy failings that continue to keep Passiflora unversioned in English and difficult to distribute today, the film is not lost. We have been assured by the NFB that because of our efforts, Passiflora is once again on their radar, and that we may, in the future see the film subtitled and made available online. These reassurances remain vague and are contingent again on finding room in the NFB’s budget. Passiflora is a technically daring and unique document of Montreal’s marginalized communities and public streets. It continues to interrogate who is included and who is left out of cultural policy making – particularly when such policies more concerned with projecting images of progress and inclusion over providing resources and visibility for its most marginalized to thrive.

Should one get their hands on a copy of Passiflora, they will undoubtedly agree that its last scene is one of its most striking. A slow hold and long pan out on the empty stadium previously occupied by the Pope and his fans reveals the dirt left behind and forgotten, endless boxes and garbage being rifled through by more of Montreal’s misfits. In many ways, Passiflora asks us to confront the messiness of the post-event, and to ask who is left behind and who was there all along. Like the discarded boxes the Belle Dame takes home as a souvenir from the Pope’s visit at the end of the film, Passiflora remains an important reminder of those forgotten misfits in the histories of cinema in Québec and Canada.

This article has been peer reviewed.

Endnotes:

  1. “Passiflora,” Festival of Festivals: The 11th Annual Toronto International Film Festival (Toronto: Festival of Festivals, 1986), p. 120.
  2. Passiflora (version anglaise)” transcript, unpublished NFB files 81-255, p. 38
  3. Thomas Waugh, The Fruit Machine: Twenty Years of Writings on Queer Cinema (Durham: Duke University Press, 2000), p. 170
  4. Thomas Waugh, Romance of Transgression in Canada: Queering Sexualities, Nations, Cinemas (Montreal; Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2006); Matthew Hays, “Real Queer,” POV Magazine, 20 June 2017, http://povmagazine.com/articles/view/real-queer.
  5. Gary Evans, In the National Interest: A Chronicle of the National Film Board of Canada from 1949 to 1989 (University of Toronto Press, 1991), p. 288.
  6. National Film and Video Policy, p. 9
  7. Jacques Vallée to Daniel Pinard, 16 October 1984, unpublished NFB files 81-255.
  8. Dagmar Guiessaz, Fernand Bélanger, and Yvon Mallette, Le monde, October 1984, unpublished NFB files 81-255, author translation.
  9. Maurice Bulbulian, The World is Upside Down / Le monde est à l’envers, n. date, unpublished NFB files 81-255.
  10. Gaétan Martel to Roger Lamoureux, 15 April 1985, unpublished NFB files 81-255.
  11. Guy Coté to Daniel Pinard, 4 August 1985, unpublished NFB files 81-255, emphasis original, author translation.
  12. Dagmar Teufel, Interview with authors, (Toronto, 5 September 2018).
  13. “Friday Night”, The Journal, 20 November 1987, unpublished NFB files 81-255.
  14. Guy Coté to Daniel Pinard, 4 August 1985, unpublished NFB files 81-255, author translation.
  15. Fernand Bélanger and Dagmar Guiessaz-Teufal to Jacques Vallée, 2 October 1985, unpublished NFB files 81-255.
  16. Dagmar Teufel, Interview with authors, (Toronto, 5 September 2018).
  17. Evans, In the National Interest, p. 308.
  18. François Macerola to Thomas Waugh, 8 January 1987, unpublished NFB files 81-255.
  19. Kay Armatage, Piers Handling, and Geoff Pevere, “Perspective Canada”, Festival of Festivals, p. 105.
  20. “Friday Night” The Journal (CBC, 1987).
  21. Dagmar Teufel, Interview with the authors, 5 September 2018.
  22. Morley Walker, “AIDS issues take front row at first gay film festival,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 April 1987, p. 31.
  23. Ted Millward, “Church Should Butt Out,” Winnipeg Sun, 1987, Manitoba Gay and Lesbian Archives, University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections, Mss 42 (A.08-67), Box 8, Folder 3.
  24. Piers Handling to François Macerola, 30 October 1986, unpublished NFB files 81-255.
  25. John Greyson to Isobel Marks, 9 June 1987, Dagmar Teufel’s personal papers.
  26. Thomas Waugh to François Macerola, 10 November 1986, unpublished NFB files 81-255.
  27. Evans, In the National Interest, p. 309.
  28. Chris Rattan, “Are Canadian audiences finally ready for controversial NFB doc Passiflora?,” NOW Magazine, 10 November 2017, https://nowtoronto.com/lifestyle/class-action/are-canadian-audiences-ready-for-NFB-film-passiflora/.
  29. Christine York, “Versions, Revisions, Adaptations: Film Production in Two Languages at the National Film Board,” in Cinephemera: Archives, Ephemeral Cinema, and New Screen Histories in Canada, ed. Gerda Cammaer and Zoë Druick (Montreal; Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014), p. 94.
  30. Zoë Druick,“Sampling Heritage: The NFB’s Digital Archive” in Cinephemera, p. 316.
  31. Dagmar Teufel, Interview with the authors, 5 September 2018.
  32. For more on Forbidden Love see Jean Bruce and Gerda Cammaer, “Please Release Me” in Forbidden Love: A Queer Film Classic (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2015), p. 122-138.

About The Author

Jonathan Petrychyn is a writer, curator, and organizer based in Toronto. He received his PhD in Communication and Culture from York University and Ryerson University in 2019.

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