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Coming out: The largest hurdle in sports? Paul Émile d’Entremont’s NFB doc Standing on the Line makes its Quebec premiere in Montreal.


November 12, 2019 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada

While continuing to screen at festivals across Canada, the NFB-produced feature documentary Standing on the Line (Franchir la ligne) by Paul Émile d’Entremont will have its Quebec premiere in Montreal on Saturday, November 30, at 3 p.m. at Concordia University’s Alexandre-de-Sève Cinema, in its original English and French version with French subtitles. The screening will be attended by the filmmaker and one of the film’s subjects, former hockey player Brock McGillis. Standing on the Line is part of this year’s lineup for the city’s LGBTQ+ festival Image+Nation, which runs from November 21 to December 1, 2019.

About Standing on the Line (Franchir la ligne) (2019 | 80 min 30 s)
Electronic press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/standing-on-the-line

In both amateur and professional sports, being gay remains taboo. The film takes a fresh look at some of our top athletes, who’ve joined their voices in support of the LGBTQ cause. We meet Canadian speed skater Anastasia Bucsis, who represented Canada in Sochi; former Montreal Impact player David Testo; and hockey personalities like Brock McGillis and Brendan Burke. Director Paul Émile d’Entremont places the rights of the individual at the centre of his creative process in his ongoing exploration of identity.

About Brock McGillis, special guest at the screening

Now an influential role model, Brock McGillis is a former Ontario Hockey League goalie who played for Concordia in Montreal and professionally in the U.S. and Europe. He was the first pro hockey player to openly come out as gay. He now gives back to the sport by training young Canadian hopefuls and speaking at schools across the country. His mission: eliminate the homophobic language that remains all too common in hockey today.

About director Paul Émile d’Entremont

Acadian filmmaker Paul Émile d’Entremont was born in Nova Scotia and lived there for most of his life. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in philosophy. He currently makes his home in Vancouver. Over the years, many documentaries by d’Entremont have screened and won awards on the national and international festival circuit, including Last Chance (2012, NFB), Naufrages (2009, Phare‑Est Média), Reema, There and Back (2006, NFB) and Alone, Together (2000, NFB). D’Entremont has also built a reputation as a talented filmmaker at Radio-Canada and RDI. Standing on the Line (Franchir la ligne) is his most recent NFB production. D’Entremont uses film to condemn discrimination, populist nationalism and homophobia in an impressive body of work whose overriding focus is human nature.

Shannon Amen by Chris Dainty (2019 | 15 min)
Electronic press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/shannon-amen

Shannon Amen will also be screening at the festival. This animated short unearths the frantic, passionate and pained expressions of a young woman as she struggles to reconcile her sexual identity with her religious faith.


Related Products

Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailers, synopses: Shannon Amen | Standing on the line

Associated Links


Media Relations

  • Nadine Viau
    NFB Publicist – Montreal
    C.: 514-458-9745

  • Lily Robert
    Director, Communications and Public Affairs, NFB
    C.: 514-296-8261

  • About the NFB

    Founded in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a one-of-a-kind producer, co-producer and distributor of distinctive, engaging, relevant and innovative documentary and animated films. As a talent incubator, it is one of the world’s leading creative centres. The NFB has enabled Canadians to tell and hear each other’s stories for over eight decades, and its films are a reliable and accessible educational resource. The NFB is also recognized around the world for its expertise in preservation and conservation, and for its rich and vibrant collection of works, which form a pillar of Canada’s cultural heritage. To date, the NFB has produced more than 14,000 works, 6,500 of which can be streamed free of charge at nfb.ca. The NFB and its productions and co-productions have earned over 7,000 awards, including 11 Oscars and an Honorary Academy Award for overall excellence in cinema.