John Greyson

John Greyson is Toronto video/film artist and pioneer of the new queer cinema. An associate professor in film production at York University, he was awarded the Toronto Arts Award for Film/Video, 2000, and the Bell Canada Video Art Award in 2007.

Since 1984, his many hybrid features, shorts and transmedia works have explored such queer activist issues as police violence, prison, AIDS activism, solidarity, homo-nationalism and apartheid (both South African and Israeli). These include International Dawn Chorus Day (2021), Mercurial (2018), Gazonto (2016), Murder in Passing (2013), Fig Trees (2009), Lilies (1996), Zero Patience (1993), The Making of Monsters (1991) and Urinal (1989). His videos/films have won 4 Teddys, 5 Canadian Screen Awards (Genies), over 30 Best Film Prizes at international festivals such as Locarno, Berlin, TIFF, London and San Francisco, and are the subject of the critical anthology The Perils of Pedagogy: The Works of John Greyson (Longfellow/ McKenzie/ Waugh, 2013). He teaches in York University's Cinema & Media Arts department, was a member of the Blah Blah Blah and Olive Project media collectives, co-edited Queer Looks: Perspectives on Lesbian & Gay Film & Video (1993), co-produced the cable series Toronto Living with AIDS (1991) and is currently producing the AIDS activist media project Viral Interventions (2021-24).

Artist Code: 021


Photo Booth

2022, 110:00 minutes, English

International Dawn Chorus Day

2021, 15:14 minutes, English with English subtitles


2014, 05:00 minutes, no language, English captions

Prison Arabic in 50 Days

2013, 04:30 minutes, colour, Arabic and English

Green Laser

2012, 15:25 minutes, colour, English

The Ballad of Roy and Silo

2011, 06:00 minutes, colour, English

Captifs d'Amour

2010, 05:14 minutes, B&W, No language

Rex vs. Singh

2009, 29:38 minutes, colour, English


2009, 14:00 minutes, colour, English, Bosnian (with subtitles)

Fig Trees

2009, 104:00 minutes, colour, English

On Message

2006, 09:14 minutes, Colour, English

Motet for Amplified Voices

2004, 05:00 minutes, Colour, English

Motet for Zackie

2003, 08:00 minutes, Colour, English


2003, 05:00 minutes, Colour, English

"FIG TREES (The sixth room)"

2001, 06:00 minutes, colour, English


2001, 04:00 minutes, colour, English

This is Nothing

1999, 08:00 minutes, colour, English,


1998, 05:35 minutes, colour, English


1997, 90:00 minutes, colour, English

After the Bath

1995, 45:00 minutes, colour, English

Zero Patience

1994, 85:00 minutes, colour, English

No Way Charlie Brown

1990, 15:00 minutes, colour, English

The Pink Pimpernel

1989, 32:00 minutes, colour, English

The World Is Sick (sic)

1989, 38:00 minutes, colour, English


1988, 100:00 minutes, English (available with French subtitles)

The ADS Epidemic

1987, 04:00 minutes, colour, English

You Taste American

1986, 24:00 minutes, colour, English

Moscow Does Not Believe in Queers

1986, 27:00 minutes, colour, English

To Pick is not to Choose

1985, 45:00 minutes, colour, English

Kipling Meets the Cowboys

1985, 21:56 minutes, colour, English

The Jungle Boy

1985, 15:30 minutes, colour, English

The Perils of Pedagogy

1984, 04:58 minutes, colour, English

Breathing Through Opposing Nostrils

1982, 35:00 minutes, colour, English

The First Draft

1980, 40:00 minutes, colour, English

The Visitation

1980, 40:00 minutes, colour, English

Critical Writing

Super Queeroes
by Peter Knegt et al.
Oral history interview with AA Bronson, 2017 March 3, 5, and 6
by Theodore Kerr. Archives of American Art, March 2017.
Curatorial Incubator v. 13: The Job of Life
by Lisa Steele. Toronto: Vtape, 2016.
AIDS: A War on Representation
by Naz Altan. Local Film Cultures, Feb. 2014.
The Captive: John Greyson's time in Egyptian prison
by Jason McBride. Toronto Life, May 2014.
Canadian pair describe Cairo jail ordeal: Doctor and filmmaker...
by Patrick Kingsley. Guardian Weekly, Oct. 18, 2013, v. 189, no. 19.
Queen West filmmaker, John Greyson, launches 40 episode series on...
by Erin Hatfield. The parkdale-Liberty Villager, Jan. 10, 2013.
Digitality and detournement: John Greyson's BDS videos and 14.3...
by Scott MacKenzie. cineACTION, 2011, no. 86.
The Making of Monsters: John Greyson's sublime short, revisited
by Matthew Hays. POV, Spring 2009, no. 73.
Open letter from John Greyson to TIFF
by John Greyson. Greyzone, Aug. 27, 2009.
An open letter on City to City: Tel Aviv
by Cameron Bailey. TIFF - Toronto International Film Festival, Aug. 28, 2009.
The Toronto Declaration: No Celebration of Occupation: An open...
by Udi Aloni et al. Toronto Declaration: No Celebration of Occupation, Sept. 9, 2009.
Tel Aviv program protest to rear head at opening
by Bruce DeMara. The Toronto Star, Sept. 4, 2009.
Group plans presser over TIFF City-to-City program
by Staff. The Globe and Mail, Sept. 5, 2009.
We don't feel like celebrating with Israel this year
by Naomi Klein. The Globe and Mail, Sept. 8, 2009.
TIFF focus on Tel Aviv draws protests: International group of...
by Michael Posner. The Globe and Mail, Sept. 2, 2009.
Pro-Palestinian letter has uncovered debate
by Antonia Zerbisias. The Toronto Star, Sept. 9, 2009.
Enough is enough: The TIFF boycott is an attack on our freedom
by Robert Lantos. The National Post, Sept. 11, 2009.
STARS VS. STARS: Everyone's taking sides on Tel Aviv
by Raju Mudhar. The Toronto Star, Sept. 15, 2009.
Two sides of TIFF debate trade barbs
by Kenyon Wallace. The National Post, Sept. 15, 2009.
Boycotts don't equal censorship: Film-makers should support the...
by Ken Loach et al. The Guardian, Sept. 1, 2009.
Queer View: Film-makers should support the growing international...
by Jon Davies. Xtra!, Mar. 27, 2008, no. 611.
Memorable Mexican Video: Vtape brings in fascinating works as a...
by Stephanie Rogerson. Now, Jan. 3, 2007, v. 27, no. 18.
Then + Then Again: Talking with Clive Robertson about artist-run...
by Vera Frenkel. Fuse, July 2007, v. 30, no. 3.
The Curatorial Incubator v.4: That 80s Show
by Lisa Steele. Toronto: Vtape, 2007.
Toronto Video: Challenging forms, channelling change
by Marc Glassman. The State of The Arts: Living with Culture in Toronto, 2006. Toronto: Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in publication, 2006.
The Epistemology of Adaptation in John Greyson's Lilies
by Lawrence Howe. Canadian Journal of Film Studies, Fall 2006, v. 15, no. 2.
Jail Breakers
by Jason Anderson. The Globe and Mail, Aug. 19, 2005.
Great Greyson
by Glenn Sumi. NOW, Aug. 18, 2005, v. 24, no. 51.
Rethinking the global 'gay gaze'
by Kamal Al-Solaylee. The Globe and Mail, May 18, 2004.
The Genealogical Pedagogy of John Greyson's Zero Patience
by Roger Hallas. Canadian Journal of Film Studies, Spring 2003, v. 12, no. 1.
Wild wild west end: Parkdale film festival REHAB gives independent...
by Kim Linekin. EYE WEEKLY, June 13, 2002, v. 11, no. 36.
Inside Out
by Jason McBride. LIFT, May 2002, v. 22, no. 3.
Flowing in groups of four: show at Ed Video
by Unknown. Guelph Mercury, Nov. 21, 2002.
Art for Glob
by Richard Fung. Fuse, Nov. 2002, v. 25, no. 4.
The Singing Dunes: Colin Campbell, 1943-2001
by John Greyson. C Magazine, Summer 2002, no. 74.
Fringe Experientiality
by James Missen. Public, 2002, v. 25.
Like Mangoes in July: The Work of Richard Fung
by Helen Lee and Kerri Sakamoto. Insomiac Press, 2002.
Like Mangoes in July: The Work of Richard Fung
by Helen Lee and Kerri Sakamoto. Insomiac Press, 2002.
Like Mangoes in July: The Work of Richard Fung
by Helen Lee and Kerri Sakamoto. Insomiac Press, 2002.
Like Mangoes in July: The Work of Richard Fung
by Helen Lee and Kerri Sakamoto. Insomiac Press, 2002.
Top 20 Toronto Films since 1981
by Cameron Bailey. Now, Oct. 25, 2001, v. 21, no. 8.
20 years film: The filmmakers
by Susan King. Now, Oct. 25, 2001, v. 21, no. 8.
The Straight Story
by David Livingstone. Elm Street, Sept. Fall 2000.
John Greyson's The Law of Enclosures
by Cynthia Amsden. Take One, Fall 2000, no. 29.
Vtape: FAQ & info
by Lissa Gibbs. The Independent, July 1999.
Profile: Vtape - Studio 452
by Urban Space staff. 401 Richmond Newsletter, 1999.
Canadian Currents
Toronto: Absolute Choice Curatorial Collective, 1999.
Profile: Vtape - Studio 452
Convergence Divergence> The Merging Film and Video, 1999. Halifax: The Atlantic Filmmakers' Cooperative, 1999.
Inside Out/Outside In?
by Andrew James Paterson. Fuse, Spring 1998, v. 21, no. 2.
Clip Art
by Tralee Pearce. Capital City, Sept. 17, 1998, v. 1, no. 22.
Greyson cuts through culture of sampling
by Peter Goddard. The Toronto Star, July 3, 1998.
Greyson's exuberantly eccentric film defies description
by Douglas Bell. The Globe and Mail, July 3, 1998.
Total recall: History, memory & new documentary
by Sara Diamond and Gary Kibbins. Trade Initiative, 1998. Vancouver: Satellite Video Exchange Society, 1998.
More cheese, please: foreskins at the forefront of freedom
by Gordon Bowness. Xtra!, Sept. 18 Fall, 1998, no. 61.
Jon Greyson, an Uncut above: Inside Out has something for (almost)...
by Liam Lacey. The Globe and Mail, May 30, 1997.
Best of '97: Local Movie Moguls
by Cameron Bailey. Now, Dec. 25, 1997, v. 17, no. 17.
The Oxide Mandate: Queer Media in Halifax
by James MacSwain. Queer Looking/ Queer Acting, 1997. Mount St. Vincent: Mount St. Vincent University Press, 1997.
T.O. movie scene boasts inspiring individual effort: Queer Media...
by Cameron Bailey. NOW, Dec. 25, 1997, v. 17, no. 17.
Less Griping More Groping: Queer Media in Halifax
by John Greyson. Canadian Dimension, 1997, v. 31, no. 3.
Greyson crashes Cronenberg's party
by Cristopher Harris. The Globe and Mail, Nov. 28, 1996.
John Greyson: Interview
by Irene Buncel. Lift Newsletter, Nov. 1996, v. 16, no. 6.
Queer directors beaming and scheming
by Cameron Bailey. Now, Oct. 24, 1996, v. 16, no. 8.
Time travelling
by Gemma Files. EYE WEEKLY, Oct. 24, 1996.
Cineplex Odeon is the one trespassing
by Robert Everett-Green. The Globe and Mail, Nov. 1, 1996.
Cineplex apologizes to movie director
by Sid Adilman. The Toronto Star, Nov. 12, 1996.
Crash wins Genie race: But Lilies grabs prize for best movie
by Peter Howell. The Toronto Star, Nov. 28, 1996.
Double Agents: Video Art Addressing Aids
by John Greyson. VIDEO re/VIEW: The (best) Source for Critical Writings on Canadian Artists' Video, 1996. Toronto: Art Metropole and Vtape, 1996.
Straight women, gay porn, and the scene of erotic looking: Video...
by Laura U. Marks. Jump Cut, Mar. 1996, no. 40.
Mirror Machine: Video and Identity
by Janine Marchessault. YYZ Books, McGill University, 1995.
The sound of questions
by Gillian Morton. Xtra!, Feb. 18, 1994, no. 242.
Beyond Queer Alibis / Thoughts on The Fruit Machine and Little...
by Thomas Waugh. Parallelogramme, 1994, v. 20, no. 3.
What time is it? Zero hour!
by Denis Seguin. EYE WEEKLY, Feb. 24, 1994.
Disease that dares to sing and dance its name
by Rick Groen. The Globe and Mail, Feb. 25, 1994.
Zero Patience: AIDS Activism: The Musical
by Craig MacInnis. The Toronto Star, Feb. 25, 1994.
The Fruit Machine
by Thomas Waugh. Cinematheque Film Programme Guide, Fall 1994. Toronto: Cinematheque Ontario, 1994.
The music of Zero Patience
by John Greyson and Glenn Shellenberg. Now, Feb. 23, 1994, v. 13, no. 25.
Director disrupts AIDS certainties with Zero Patience: Hammering...
by Cameron Bailey. Now, Feb. 23, 1994, v. 13, no. 26.
Philadelphia not a "gay film": There are plenty of homosexual...
by Sky Gilbert. The Toronto Star, Jan. 21, 1994.
Documents and Counter-Documents: AIDS Activist Video at the Crossroads
by Cynthia Chris. Afterimage, Nov. 1994, v. 22, no. 4.
Cutting through contradictions
by Matthew Hays. XS, Feb. 1993.
Greyson Uses Creative Anachronism to Question Myths
by Steve Kokker. The Georgia Straight, Oct. 1, 1993.
John Greyson's musical about AIDS won't upset fans who expect fun
by Kate Fillion. The Globe and Mail, Nov. 27, 1993.
Festival Honours Native film maker: Kanehsatake documentary named...
by Christopher Harris. The Globe and Mail, Sept. 20 Spring, 1993.
Screen Gems and Screen Trends: The Festival of Festivals has lots...
by Jeremy Podeswa. Xtra!, Sept. 3, 1993, no. 231.
Reviews: AIDS Activism Critiqued
by Cynthia Chris. Afterimage, Feb. 1993, v. 20, no. 7.
The Making of "Monsters": Bodies In Trouble
by Patricia Seaman. Fuse, Winter 1992, v. 15, no. 3.
Colouring the Screen: Four Strategies in Anti-racist Film and Video
by Richard Fung. Parallèlogramme, 1992, v. 18, no. 3.
Indies impressive in year of plenty
by Cameron Bailey. Now, Jan. 2, 1992, v. 11, no. 18.
The Wedding Album: Part 1 - The Ed Nasello Story
by Michael Balser. foreground, 1992.
We Are All Living With AIDS
by Catherine Saalfield.
Black On Screen
by Claire Prieto and National Film Board of Canada.
Identity and Consciousness:: (Re)Presenting the Self
by Sheila Petty. Dunlop Art Gallery, 1991. Regina, SK: Dunlop Art Gallery, 1991.
Exhibition Program
by Sheila Petty. Identity and Consciousness: (Re)Presenting the Self, 1991. Regina: Dunlop Art Gallery, 1991.
Beyond First Run:: Bodies in Trouble
by Cameron Bailey. NOW, June 20, 1991, v. 10, no. 41.
Beyond the limit: citing scene in which two men kiss, rogers cable...
by Raymond Taavel. Xtra!, May 10, 1991, no. 172.
Images 90: citing scene in which two men kiss, rogers cable...
by Fran Gallagher-Shuebrook. C Magazine, 1991, no. 28.
The Passionate Queer Documentary
by John Greyson. Video Guide, Nov. 1990, v. 10, no. 5.
Dismything Objectivity: Buffalo's Video Festival of New Journalism
by Richard Thompson. The Independent, June 1990.
Awareness of image and gender sparked Toronto's top films of 89
by Cameron Bailey. Now, Jan. 4, 1990, v. 9, no. 17.
Sodom North: Bash Back: A Video Series Curated by Sara Diamond &...
by Sara Diamond. Matriart, Summer 1990, v. 1, no. 2.
The She-Man: Postmodern bi-sexed performance in film and video
by Chris Straayer. Screen, Summer 1990, v. 31, no. 3.
Video, for art's sake
by Rodney Gilchrist. Photo Life, May 1989, v. 14, no. 4.
On A Trumped-Up Charge: Two Video-Films
by Nancy Shaw. Vanguard, Summer 1989, v. 18, no. 3.
Film challenges "gay-bashers"
by Peter Goddard. The Toronto Star, Apr. 27, 1989.
Scarlet Fever
by Andrew Sorfleet. Fuse, Winter 1989, v. 13, no. 3.
Video at the Crossroads: A review of the 1988 AFI Festival
by Margaret Morse. Video Networks, 1989, v. 13, no. 314.
What the hell's going on in that bathroom?
by Steven Gaydos. The Advocate, Apr. 11, 1989.
The World is Sick (Sic)
by Mark Turrel. Video Guide, Nov. 1989, v. 10, no. 3-4.
AIDS Media: Counter-Representations
by Lucinda Furlong. New American Film and Video Series, 1989. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1989.
Private Parts in Public Places
by Andrew J. Paterson. Fuse, Jan. 1989.
The Revolver: The Embattled Body: Aids and the Current Crisis of...
by Dot Tuer. Canadian Art, Summer 1989, v. 6, no. 2.
Individuals: New Video From Canada
by Peggy Gale. Aspetti e Tendenze della Ricerca Video Canadese, 1989. Ferrara: Ferrara: Centro Video Arte, 1989.
Policing Desire
by Cynthia Chris. Afterimage, Dec. Winter 1989, v. 17, no. 5.
Sexuality and Video Narrative
by Chris Straayer. Afterimage, May 1989, v. 16, no. 10.
aspetti e tendenze della ricerca video canadese
by Lola Bonora. Ferrara: Centro Video Arte Ferrara, 1989.
Video and the Vth International Conference on AIDS: Accessibility...
by Ken Morrison. Video Guide, Fall 1989, v. 10, no. 48.
Grierson Documentary Seminar '85: Broadening Perspective
by Cameron Bailey. Cinema Canada, Jan. 1988, no. 148.
Touching the film and video edge at Images 88
by Robert Everett-Green. The Globe and Mail, June 24, 1988.
Recasting images of AIDS to counter media distortions
by Cameron Bailey. Now, Oct. 20, 1988, v. 8, no. 7.
Cold Snaps: Images 88, Northern Visions showcase of new film and video
by Andrew J. Patterson. Cinema Canada, Sept. 1988, no. 155.
Video & Television
by Michael Nash. High Performance, Winter 1988, no. 44.
Safe Sexual Imagery
by Helen Lee. Cinema Canada, Sept. 1988, no. 155.
Film and Video: Something to Say
by Chuck Kleinhans. Dialogue: An Art Journal, July 1988, v. 11, no. 4.
Angry Initiatives/Defiant Strategies
Deep Dish TV, Mar. 1 Spring, 1988.
Video Exhibition: Total Recall
by Sarah Diamond and Gary Kibbins.
by John Greyson. The Independent, Mar. 1988, v. 11, no. 2.
Notes on a Local History: Both
by Bruce Ferguson and Colin Campbell. Toronto: A Play of History (Jeu d'histoire), 1987. Toronto: The Power Plant, 1987.
Sex in Venice: Both
by Rowley Mossop. Fuse, Winter 1987, v. 11, no. 4.
On Signs & Sex: Visual Evidence "A series of video screenings,...
by Kathy McLeod and Nancy Shaw. Fuse, Fall 1987, v. 11, no. 3.
After 'Desert Hearts': The Los Angeles International Gay & Lesbian...
by Bill Horrigan. Afterimage, May 1987, v. 14, no. 10.
Art and Community: The Los Angeles International Gay & Lesbian...
by Connie Eckhert et al. Art and Community, 1987. Toronto: A Space (Artists Space), 1987.
The Grierson Seminar
by Unknown. Cinema Canada, Feb. 1986, no. 127.
"Habits" by YYZ, Toronto: Invitation To A Screening
by Phil Van Steenburgh. Cinema Canada, July 1986, no. 132.
John Greyson: Colliding Atoms Of A Gay Culture
by Clive Robertson. High Performance, Dec. 1986, no. 36.
Making privateness public in stunning art
by Christopher Hume. The Toronto Star, Apr. 4, 1986.
More delightful subversion from Greyson
by Gary Kinsmen. Rites, Apr. 1986, v. 2, no. 10.
Take Two Rivers
by John Greyson. Impulse, Spring 1986, v. 12, no. no 3. Toronto, Canada: Eldon Garnet, 1986.
Explicit But Equal : Toward A New Pornography
by Karen Knights. Video Guide, Dec. 1986, v. 8, no. 4.
True Enough
by Paul Wong. Video Guide, Dec. 1986, v. 8, no. 4.
Habits:Five Video Premieres
by Varda Burstyn. Canadian Art, Fall 1986, v. 3, no. 3.
Fung and Greyson's queer habits at YYZ
by Unknown. Free Trade, Apr. 1986.
Clichette sponsors performance art series
by Carole Corbeil. The Globe and Mail, Feb. 17, 1986.
But in Moscow, it seems, a gay simply doesn't exist
by Derrick Toth. The Vancouver Sun, Feb. 18, 1986.
by John Greyson. Video Guide, Dec. 1986, v. 8, no. 4.
6 of 1001 Nights of Performance. My giant A Space activity book!
by Joanna Householder et al. 6 of 1001 Nights of Performance. My giant A Space activity book!, 1986. Toronto: A Space (Artists Space), 1986.
Video 84
by Bruce Ferguson. Vanguard, Feb. 1985, v. 14, no. 1.
Brit Bright Bill: Private Members Public Tools
by Shirley Cameron and Roland Miller. Fuse, Spring 1985, v. 8, no. 6.
Artful political plunge
by Susan G. Cole. Now, Sept. 19, 1985, v. 5, no. 3.
Remaking desire
by Gary Kinsman. Rites, Mar. 1985.
The art of anti-censorship
by John Bentley Mays. The Globe and Mail, June 7, 1985.
Canada - Video: A Medium in Search of its Task
by René Coëlho. Canadian Video Art, 1985. S.N., 1985.
Homo Video
by John Greyson. Jump Cut, Mar 1985, no. 30.
Issues of Censorship
by Jim Miller et al. Issues of Censorship, 1985.
Performance in Moment'Homme
by Colin Campbell. Moment'Homme, 1984. Montreal: Tangente Danse Actuelle, 1984.
La Vidéo canadienne et les procédés de l'ironie
by Jean Gagnon. 24 Images, Fall 1984, no. 22.
Portrait of a revolution: Something about Nicaragua warms artists'...
by John Bentley Mays. The Globe and Mail, Feb. 22, 1984.
New Video: 'Defending reconstruction in Nicaragua'
by Jon Hillson. The Militant, Apr. 27, 1984, v. 48, no. 15.
Under 5
by Karen Knights. Video Guide, Oct. 1984, v. 6, no. 5.
Artists Call: Against U.S. Intervention in Latin America
by Jeannine Mitchell. Video Guide, Mar. 1984, v. 6, no. 2.
The New Work Show
by Victor Coleman. Vanguard, Nov. 1984, v. 13, no. 9.
The New Work Show
by B.D. Hershorn. Toronto: Litho Offset, 1984.
John Greyson
by Scott Watson. Vanguard, Dec. 1982, v. 11, no. 9/10.
11e Biennale De Paris: Les Canadiens
by Unknown. Parachute, Fall 1980, no. 20.
Initial Response: Les Canadiens
by John Greyson. Centerfold, June 1979, v. 3, no. 5.
Tape Exchange Network - Not Reality Yet
by John Greyson. Centerfold, Aug. 1979, v. 3, no. 6.
Miniature Theatre: Nancy Nicol
by John Greyson. Centerfold, Oct. 1979, v. 4, no. 1.
AIDS Media: Counter-Representations
by Lucinda Furlong. The New American Film and Video Series - Whitney Museum of American Art, Jan..