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If you're a curator, educator, broadcaster or festival programmer you can access one of the world's most important sources for contemporary film – the CFMDC collection – right here on-line or in-house where our facilities include a Resource Centre and 16-seat screening room.

DVDs for Educational Purchase

The CFMDC has a number of special-edition DVDs available for purchase by libraries and educational institutions. For purchase information on any of the titles listed below, or in the CFMDC catalogue, please contact Aimée Mitchell, Educational Services & Outreach, at aimee(at)


The CFMDC is pleased to announce a new four-film series entitled Key Canadian Works by Women. This series recognizes the accomplishments of Canadian women filmmakers who produced feature-length experimental works from the mid-1970s through to the late-1980s. Despite the significant industry boundaries and gender barriers of the day, these women cultivated artistic practices and produced works that are brave, political and poetic. The project includes newly mastered DVDs of the films for institutional purchase, with accompanying study guides by notable academics. Freshly struck 16mm film prints of all four works are also available for exhibition and rental.

Key Canadian Works by Women is part of the CFMDC's Seminal Works Project and our on-going preservation activities. This project was made possible through the assistance of the Audio-Visual Preservation Trust of Canada and the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Artist on Fire: The Work of Joyce Wieland by Kay Armatage

One of Canada's most innovative artists, Joyce Wieland worked in virtually every artistic medium, including cloth works, drawing, painting and film. A pioneer of feminist avant-garde cinema, she explored the crux of nationalism, feminine sexuality and ecology in films such as Reason Over Passion and Rat Life and Diet. This expressionistic documentary examines 30 years of Wieland's work and is rich in both detail and contextual information. With a companion study guide by Kass Banning. Canada, 1987, 54 min.

Kisses by Betty Ferguson

Using found footage from feature films, newsreels and old television series, Ferguson constructs a critical and humorous collage of cinematic kisses in all their many forms. The footage is hand-tinted and painted by the filmmaker, who describes the film as both a "patchwork quilt" and a "Dadaist study." In the wonderful finale (an excerpt from a 1956 episode of Superman) Lois Lane dreams that the Man of Steel finally pops the question. With a companion study guide by Shana MacDonald. Canada, 1976, 55 min.

Low Visibility by Patricia Gruben

Patricia Gruben's first feature, Low Visibility, explores narrative structure and the construction of identity in the story of a man found wandering in the woods. Apparently suffering from amnesia and aphasia, the man can only utter profanities. His incoherence becomes a puzzle to be unlocked by the "experts," who build an elaborate network of speculation and suspense in their efforts to unlock the truth. With a companion study guide by Kay Armatage. Canada, 1984, 84 min.

P4W: Prison for Women by Janis Cole & Holly Dale

Winner of a Genie Award for Best Theatrical Documentary, P4W is a shattering look at love and isolation in the most desperate of places. Filmmakers Janis Cole and Holly Dale take us behind the walls of Canada's only all-female federal maximum-security prison, revealing the complex social fabric that exists within. "No ordinary prison film, or women's film, P4W is a dramatic, very touching portrait of five women you're not likely to forget" (John Katz). With a companion study guide by Matthew Hayes. Canada, 1981, 82 min.


Key Canadian Documentaries

Key Canadian Documentaries is a 4-DVD package which features four social issue documentaries dedicated to specific regional, community and cultural concerns: Moose Jaw (There's a Future in Our Past) by Rick Hancox, Hookers on Davie by Janis Cole and Holly Dale, In the Gutter and Other Good Places by Cristine Richey and The Inquiry Film by Jesse Nishihata. These films were chosen for their capacity to raise issues and questions relevant in a variety of educational settings and across disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

Selected Experimental Works for Educational Environments

Selected Experimental Works for Educational Environments has been conceived of in direct response to a growing need, expressed by our educational colleagues, for "ready-made, course specific" DVD compilations and study guides at affordable rates for library purchase.

Fem Crit

is a collection of works made by women and dedicated to feminist subject matter. The works explore the complexities of identity and womanhood, addressing often-difficult issues such as domestic violence, body image and poverty, and locating the intersections where language, race, class and gender collide.

Queers on the Verge

brings together challenging and innovative film and video works that explore lesbian/gay/trans culture by both Queer pioneers and emerging makers. It covers a broad range of subject matter including gender and sexual identity, social dynamics, coming out, the impact of AIDS, and Queer youth culture.

Super Super 8

includes works by both emerging makers and lifelong Super 8 devotees and provides a glimpse into the form, aesthetics and politics of this popular but often overlooked gauge. Introduced as a home-movie format almost 40 years ago, Super 8 film remains a vital and accessible medium for filmmakers worldwide.

Made by Hand

showcases recent works that use a range of handmade and artisanal techniques, including photograms, hand-processing, cameraless animation and collage. In response to an increasingly digital world, there has been an explosion in the number of "handmade" films- those created by working directly with the material of film.

This project was generously funded by The Canada Council's Dissemination Project Grants Program. Selected Experimental Works for Educational Environments is part of an essential process of rejuvenation for Canadian films; the compilations will both engage educational audiences as well as generate renewed interest in the CFMDC's notable collection.

Winter Kept Us Warm

Winter Kept Us Warm, English Canada's first gay feature. The story of a campus friendship between two young men that grows into something more, the release of this film played to festival acclaim around the world in 1965. "Winter... still looks good today. It is sad but strong, rough edged but movingly tender and honest. To see it is to rediscover not only an unjustly neglected Canadian film, but also a poignant moment in gay history- an image from those winters in Toronto that we must never forget" (Tom Waugh, The Body Politic).

The CFMDC gratefully acknowledges the financial support of The Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, The AV Trust, Heritage Canada and the continued support of it's membership.