(83 min, 2014) Directed and Produced by Catherine Gund. Not just a choreographer, Elizabeth Streb is a wildly extreme action-architect. Born to Fly traces the evolution of Streb’s movement philosophy as she pushes herself and her dancers from the ground, to the wall, to the sky. Guided by Streb’s theory of movement – to walk on walls, dive through glass, move so fast you disappear and…fly; the film asks: Can adrenaline be a form of medicine? When does movement become art? Why be a part of it? How do race, gender, sexuality, and class appear on the dancers’ performances, on their bodies? Wrestling these questions, Born to Fly offers an exhilarating tale of the necessity of art, inspiring a broad audience, hungry for a more tactile and fierce existence in the world.
Visit www.borntoflymovie.com to learn more about the film.
(76 min, 2009) Produced and directed by Catherine Gund. A witty and provocative documentary about kids and food politics. Filmed over the course of one year, the film follows two eleven-year-old multi-racial city kids as they explore their place in the food chain. Sadie and Safiyah take a close look at food systems in New York City and its surrounding areas. With the camera as their companion, the girl-guides talk to each other, food activists, farmers, new friends, storekeepers, their families, and the viewer, in their quest to understand what's on all of our plates. Official Selection of the Berlin Film Festival and Seattle International Film Festival. You can purchase What's On Your Plate? through our shop. Institutional licensing is handled by Bullfrog Films.
(73 min, 2006) Produced by Catherine Gund, Sedika Mojadidi, and Jenny Raskin. Directed by Sedika Mojadidi. An Afghan-American documentary filmmaker follows her father, who specializes in women's medicine, to Afghanistan, where one in seven women dies during childbirth. Beginning his work at Kabul's Laura Bush Maternity Ward in a city where unrest means your life is still very much at risk, filmmaker Sedika Mojadidi's father tries to bring hope and make the best of a deplorable situation, with limited medical supplies, archaic equipment and backed up toilets. It is a place where services and training are desperately needed, where women travel for days to get treated while enduring debilitating illnesses and conditions with grace and courage. A rare and moving glimpse of humanity and the power of compassion set against the backdrop of a land in turmoil and transition, the strength of these women and the quiet deeds of those who attempt to heal is utterly inspiring. Aired on PBS/Independent Lens. AFI Fest 2006 Official Selection. Distributed by First Run Features.
(87 min, 2004) Produced, directed and shot by Catherine Gund. Ann Krsul and Leslie Sullivan want to be mothers together. Ann will carry the baby, and Leslie will leave her job to stay at home and raise their child. Choosing the route of the anonymous sperm bank, they hope to match Leslie's vital statistics so that Ann can give birth to a baby with the potential to look like them both. Ann is a worrier, compulsively analyzing and judging their performance at each stage of the process. Leslie is soothing, a quiet counterpoint. Together they ride the menstrual roller coaster, until finally, one year later, Ann is pregnant. At first both women continue to work. Free time is consumed by pre-birth activity: baby shower registration, Lamaze class and design of the baby announcement. Between events they argue with relatives over how to explain two mommies to their nieces and nephews. Gund follows the Krsul-Sullivan household during Grace's first year. As Ann and Leslie make their way, we are with them, meeting challenges universal to all families and facing those unique to lesbians. Distributed by First Run Features. The DVD is available through Netflix and on Amazon.com.
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(54 min, 2004) Produced by Catherine Gund. Directed by Leslie Sullivan. This film focuses on the work of Albert Cullum, an elementary school teacher for over thirty years and a pioneer in American education. Albert Cullum ignited the imagination of his young students, and through his passionate use of poetry and drama, built their self-confidence and inspired them to new heights of originality and joy. Championing an unorthodox educational philosophy, Mr. Cullum regularly taught his elementary school children literary masterpieces, most notable the works of Shakespeare, Sophocles, and Shaw. The one-of-a-kind film interweaves scenes from rare archival television broadcasts and film footage documenting these projects (several recorded in the early 1960s by Robert Downey) with interviews from Mr. Cullum and many of his former students.Featured as the Opening Night Film at the Margaret Mead Film Festival and winner of Best Documentary award at the Ohio Independent Film Festival. Winner of the Golden Starfish Award for Best Documentary at the Hamptons International Film Festival and People's Choice Award at the Starz Denver International Film Festival. This Emmy-nominated film has aired on PBS/Independent Lens. Distributed by First Run Features. Also available through Netflix and at Amazon.com. www.atouchofgreatness.com
(70 min, 2000) Produced by Catherine Gund. Produced and directed by Liz Mermin and Jenny Raskin. Their ranks are shrinking. On Hostile Ground enters the lives of three abortion providers to reveal the obstacles (practical, legal, and emotional) that they face everyday, and shows their struggles with the decision to perform this procedure. It allows providers who work on hostile ground to tell their stories by being themselves, without the help of a narrator. They reveal what their professional decision has done to their personal and family lives. While they each have their own stories, they are all driven more by personal experiences and spiritual beliefs than by political conviction. They each express anger, confusion, and resentment in their own way. By weaving together three very different character portraits, this documentary takes an unusual approach to a volatile social conflict, portraying abortion through the personal stories of those who are in mortal danger because they provide it.
(28 min, 2001) Directed by Catherine Gund and Catherine Lord, edited by Aljernon Tunsil. A fast-paced, humorous and textured video set in New Mexico, Object Lessons uses the creation of a gallery exhibition to question received ideas about lesbian visibility, community, culture, and identity. Distributed by National Film Network and Aubin Pictures.
(90 min, 1997) Produced and directed by Catherine Gund. Raised by his grandmother to be a Pentecostal minister, Ron Athey was speaking in tongues by the age of ten, a heroin addict by seventeen, and a performance artist by twenty-three. Hallelujah! presents Athey's life and work, spending time with him on and off the stage in Mexico City; Zagreb, Croatia; and Los Angeles. Shot on 35mm. Funded by Jerome Foundation, Norton Family Foundation, Estate Project, Wexner Center, individuals.
(30 min, 1997) Directed by Catherine Gund. The first educational media project to examine the related policy initiatives of the radical right wing and illustrate how their hatred and bias hurts ordinary people. It presents three case studies of the democratic right: racist David Duke's electoral bids in Louisiana; the struggle over homophobic Amendment 2 in Colorado, which was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in May 1996; and the scapegoating of immigrants, people of color, and women through Proposition 187 and Proposition 209 in California. In each case, When Democracy Works highlights the work of progressive grassroots organizers to thwart the radical right and uphold democratic values. In collaboration with the Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Campaign for Freedom of Expression, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, Political Research Associates. Funded by the Gill Foundation, Allies for Justice, New World Foundation, etc. and individual donors. Distributed by Frameline. Available for streaming at Building Democracy.
Catherine Gund senior associate producer, segment producer of AIDSFILMS' four hour series about HIV/AIDS targeted at the HIV community covering political, psycho-social, cultural, medical and legal issues of living with HIV/AIDS. (September 1993 - January 1995). Funded by ITVS for 1996 Public Television broadcast. Winner: Golden Apple, The National Educational Film and Video Festival. Distributed by PBS.
(13 min, 1994) Catherine Gund producer, director, camera, editor. Have you ever wanted to be a boy? Would that be different from being a lesbian or a passing woman? What does the story of Brandon Teena have to offer lesbians? Video, shot with a PXL2000 camera. Distributed by The Kitchen.
(60 min, 1994) Produced by Catherine Gund, Polly Thistlethwaite, Dolores Perez, Jean Carlomusto. Inspiring four-part documentary about constructions of lesbian history, community and culture. Funded in part by NY State Council on the Arts and Astraea Foundation.
(11 min, 1993) Produced by Catherine Gund and Julie Tolentino. A humorous, fast-paced parody of women cruising, dancing and picking up women at New York's legendary Clit Club. Video. Distributed by The Kitchen.
(60 min, 1993) Produced by Catherine Gund and Cyrille Phipps, for The Gay and Lesbian Emergency Media Campaign. Documents the insurgent "Religious" Right and its broad-based agenda, analyses their campaigns for anti-gay initiatives in Oregon and Colorado in 1992, also examines issues of family and religion in lesbian and gay communities. Video. Distributed by Aubin Pictures.
(30 min, 1991) Produced by Catherine Gund and Jacqueline Woodson. Based on Woodson's humorous essay about growing up as a black lesbian Jehovah's Witness. Funded in part by Frameline. Winner: Best Documentary Charlotte Film and Video Festival 1992; Runner-up Non-Fiction Visions of U.S. AFI/Sony 1991; Jury Award University of Oregon Queer Film Festival 1993.
(1987- 1992) Catherine Gund (as Catherine Saalfield) documented the AIDS crisis and ACT UP/NY activities from 1987 - 1992. She collected candid footage of the Montreal AIDS conference; ACT UP protests and lectures including the Kiss-In at St. Vincent's Hosptal in 1989 and the Target Bush protest of 1991; as well as AIDS activist videos produced during the time period. Her footage has been featured a number of critcally-acclaimed documentaries including in Koch (2012); How to Survive a Plague (2012); United in Anger (2012); and We Were Here.
A full list of this archive is available at NYPL.
AIDS activist video collective affiliated with ACT UP/NY. Productions include: "Target City Hall," 28 min, 1989; "Pride," 28 min, 1989; "Be A DIVA," 58 min, 1990 (for Deep Dish TV); "Like A Prayer," 28 min, 1991; Public Service Announcements. Available at Printed Matter Bookstore (NYC) and ACT UP/NY.
(12 min, 1990) Produced by Catherine Gund and Zoe Leonard. Lesbians at home and in bed intercut with cops and legislation against privacy and the body. Video. (Originally presented as a video installation: bed, sheets w/silk-screened laws governing the body, surveillance camera, 14 min,1989.) Distributed by The Kitchen.
(25 min, 1989) Produced by Catherine Gund and Ray Navarro. Documents the emergence of a problematic city-sponsored needle exchange program to combat the spread of HIV. Video. Produced for the Gay Men's Health Crisis, "Living With AIDS" cable TV series. Distributed by Gay Men's Health Crisis.
A collectively produced weekly public access show. Shows include: "Reading the Weekly Mail," about censorship and an oppositional South African newspaper (1988). "Simon Watney speaks about Clause 28 and Homophobia in the U.K." (1988). "Donna Haraway Reads the National Geographic of Primates," (1987). "The Strange Case of Baby M," with Martha Rosler, (1989), funded by Art Matters, Inc. "Television across Borders," with Michael Silverman, (1989). Distributed by Paper Tiger Television.