Executive producer Barry Avrich will introduce Brandon and Skyler Gross' endearing portrait of their grandparents. Following the screening, Nic Dawes, Deputy Executive Director for Media at Human Rights Watch, will lead a panel discussion that looks at the lived experiences of the older LGBTQ community in Canada and abroad.
Barry Avrich is a Canadian director, producer, author, and marketing executive. In a career spanning 30 years, Avrich has made over 45 notable films, and was also responsible for creating The Daniels Hollywood Theatre, the world's first movie theatre inside a children's hospital. His critically acclaimed documentaries include Show Stopper: The Theatrical Life of Garth Drabinsky, The Last Mogul: The Life and Times of Lew Wasserman, and An Unlikely Obsession: Churchill and the Jews. Avrich also produced the award-winning film adaptation of the Stratford Festival's The Tempest with Oscar-winning actor Christopher Plummer. Barry is currently in post-production on the films The Reckoning: Hollywood’s Worst Kept Secret, Prosecuting Evil, and State of Fear. Last year, Avrich released the critically acclaimed films Blurred Lines: Inside The Art World and On My Way Out: The Secret Life of Nani and Popi.
Nic Dawes is Deputy Executive Director for Media at Human Rights Watch, where he leads the organization’s digital, multimedia, and external communications work. He was previously Chief Content Officer at India’s Hindustan Times and Editor-in-Chief at the Mail & Guardian, South Africa’s leading political and investigative newspaper. He is the recipient of Sikuvile, Mondi, Taco Kuiper and National Press Club awards. As chairperson of the South African National Editors' Forum, he has been an activist for press freedom and freedom of information in his home country.
Graeme Reid, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program, is an expert on LGBT rights. He has conducted research, taught and published extensively on gender, sexuality, LGBT issues, and HIV/AIDS. Before joining Human Rights Watch in 2011, Reid was the founding director of the Gay and Lesbian Archives of South Africa, a researcher at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research and a lecturer in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies at Yale University.
Ma-Nee Chacaby is a Two-Spirit Ojibwa-Cree Elder. She was raised by her Cree grandmother in a remote Ojibwa community near Lake Nipigon, Ontario. Over the past few decades, she achieved sobriety and worked as an alcoholism counsellor, and in 2013, Chacaby led the first gay pride parade in Thunder Bay.
Robert Nelder is a member of National Seniors Advisory Council with the Egale Canada Human Rights Trust. He is also affiliated with the Senior Pride Network in Toronto and is a member of The 519.