Aerlyn Weissman

Aerlyn Weissman (born 1947 in Chicago, Illinois) is a two-time Genie Award-winning Canadian documentary filmmaker. She is best known for the award-winning 1992 film ''Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives'', which she co-directed with Lynne Fernie, and the 2002 film ''Little Sister's vs. Big Brother'', about the longstanding censorship battle between Canada Customs and Little Sister's Book and Art Emporium, a prominent LGBT bookstore in Vancouver. She was one of the co-directors, alongside Louise Clark, Jackie Burroughs, John Walker and John Frizzell, of the landmark Canadian feminist feature film ''A Winter Tan'' (1987), the controversial semi-fictional account of Maryse Holder's sex odyssey to Mexico.

Weissman trained in sound recording in the United States before coming to Canada in 1970, and worked as a sound designer at the National Film Board of Canada - one of very few women in that role. She worked on Janis Cole and Holly Dale’s ''P4W: Prison for Women'' (1981), and ''Hookers on Davie'' (1984). After the success of ''Forbidden Love'', Weissman collaborated with Lynne Fernie on a film about lesbian writer Jane Rule, the Genie-winning ''Fiction and Other Truths: A Film About Jane Rule'' (1995). She also directed the film ''Without Fear'' (1993), about women surviving violence. Weissman’s indie documentary ''Little Sister’s vs Big Brother'', a stirring and comprehensive epic of the bookstore’s struggles against state censorship, premiered in 2002. Included in the NFB’s 2003 queer pedagogical package, this film’s heroic portraits of the bookstore’s activist triumvirate Janine Fuller, Jim Deva, Bruce Smyth (and writer/employee Mark Macdonald), are already enshrined in the Canadian queer pantheon. Since 2001 Weissman has also directed for the TV documentary series ''KinK'', as well as making ''WebCam Girls'' (2004, 52).

Her other films include ''Scams, Schemes, and Scoundrels'' (1996), ''Lost Secrets of Ancient Medicine: The Blue Buddha in Russia'' (2006) and ''The Portside'' (2009), as well as episodes of the television series ''KinK''.

Based in Vancouver, Weissman has studied at the Centre for Digital Media and taught at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Currently, she mentors at the Gulf Islands Film and Television School on Galiano Island, British Columbia. She has also participated in many panels and academic symposiums about filmmaking, and offers workshops at VIVO, a Vancouver Media Arts Centre. She is a member of the Canadian Independent Film Caucus, and Vancouver Women in Film and Television, and received the award for Woman of the Year in 1996. Now living on the West Coast of British Columbia, she continues to explore her interest in independent cinema and innovative television.

Alongside documentary making, Weissman has worked on digital media projects including interactive signage for Sky Train commuters of InTransit BC, creating a template for heritage tourism in BC with The Saturna Project, and sustainable strategies for the fishing industry with the UBC Fisheries Project.

Weissman’s documentary ''Little Sister’s vs. Big Brother'' was included in the NFB’s 2003 queer pedagogical package.

She is interviewed in Matthew Hays' 2007 Lambda Literary Award-winning book ''The View from Here: Conversations with Gay and Lesbian Filmmakers''. Provided by Wikipedia