Catherine Gund

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Catherine Gund
Catherine Gund Saalfield

Alma materBrown University
Known forfilm production, directing, writing, activism
AwardsAudience Award for Best Documentary Frameline, Grand Jury Best Documentary Award Outfest, Golden Starfish Award for Best Documentary, John Dewey Award for Distinguished Public Service, New York Women's Foundation Vision Award, Cleveland Film Festival Someone to Watch Award

Catherine Gund (born Catherine Gund Saalfield; 1965, Geelong, Australia)[1] is a producer, director, writer, and activist[2] who founded Aubin Pictures in 1996.[3] Catherine Gund's films have been featured in numerous film festivals and on national television networks.

Early life[edit]

Catherine Gund was born in Geelong, Australia but grew up in Ohio.[4] She attended Brown University and received a dual degree in Art/Semiotics and Women's Studies,[5] and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.[6]


Upon graduation, Gund moved to New York City to do the Whitney Independent Study Program and joined ACT UP. She co-founded DIVA TV (Damned Interfering Video Activist Television), the AIDS activist video collective affiliated with ACT UP/NY whose productions included DIVA TV, Target City Hall, Pride, "'69-89", "Like a Prayer", and "Stop the Church". During this time, she also became involved with Paper Tiger Television, a collectively produced weekly public access show, and contributed to shows from 1987-1989.[7] [8] Much of her early video work from this time is held at the New York Public Library as a part of their AIDS Activist Videotape Collection.

Gund's activist video work focused on AIDS activism and the LGBTQ community. Her work in the early '90s included Bleach, Teach, and Outreach (1989, co-produced with Ray Navarro) to document the emergence of a city-sponsored needle exchange program to combat the spread of HIV; Keep Your Laws Off My Body (1990, co-produced with Zoe Leonard) about censorship and legislation against privacy and lesbian bodies; Among Good Christian Peoples (1991, co-produced with Jacqueline Woodson) based Woodson’s humorous essay about growing up as a black lesbian Jehovah’s Witness; I’m You, You’re Me: Women Surviving Prison Living with AIDS (1992, co-produced with Debbie Levine); Sacred Lies, Civil Truths (1993, co-produced with Cyrille Phipps) 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; Not Just Passing Through (1994, co-produced with Polly Thistlethwaite, Dolores Perez, Jean Carlomusto) a four-part documentary about constructions of lesbian history, community and culture; Cuz It's A Boy (1994, about the murder of Brandon Teena); Positive: Life with HIV (1993-1995, senior associate producer & segment producer) 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.[9]

In 1996, Gund founded Aubin Pictures as a nonprofit documentary film company. She produced her first film When Democracy Works that same year, in a three-part focus on stories of multi-issue organizing against the rising radical right’s scapegoating and bigotry. Three years later she produced Hallelujah! Ron Athey: A Story of Deliverance about controversial and iconoclastic performance artist Ron Athey,[10] and co-directed Object Lessons along with Catherine Lord, which uses the creation of a gallery exhibition to question received ideas about lesbian visibility, community, culture, and identity. In 2000 she produced On Hostile Ground, a documentary about three abortion providers working in the USA, in places where providers are scarce and abortion is avoided by most medical schools, hospitals and doctors, broadcast on the Sundance Channel;.[11][12] In 2004 she produced Making Grace, documenting the journey of a lesbian couple trying to have a baby.

Gund's productions under her film production company include "Dispatches from Cleveland”[13] about how communities in Cleveland united to fight for justice in the face of police violence after the death of Tamir Rice; Chavela [14] about the life and legend of lesbian Mexican ranchera chanteuse Chavela Vargas; Emmy-nominated 'BORN TO FLY: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity [15][16] (formerly "How to Become an Extreme Action Hero") about the life and work of choreographer Elizabeth Streb and What’s On Your Plate?, a documentary directed by Gund and two eleven-year-old girls about healthy, sustainable eating from a kid's perspective, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival [17] and was featured in the Discovery Channel's Planet Green.[18] Gund's documentary, A Touch of Greatness, about the revolutionary teaching practices of elementary school teacher Albert Cullum, was nominated for an Emmy.[citation needed] The film also won best documentary awards at Hamptons International Film Festival.[citation needed] [19]

Her documents and videos have been featured in numerous TV Shows and films, including VICE Special Report: Countdown to Zero,[20] How to Survive a Plague, United in Anger, and the 2012 documentary Koch.

Gund currently serves on boards of several organizations including Art for Justice, Art Matters, Bard Early Colleges, Osa Conservation, and The George Gund Foundation. She is also a founding member of the Third Wave Foundation, an organization focused on supporting the activities of young women and transgender youth. She was the founding director of BENT TV, the video workshop for LGBTQI youth, and was on the founding boards of Iris House, Working Films, Reality Dance Company, and The Sister Fund. Previously, Gund has served on the boards for, The Robeson Fund of the Funding Exchange, The Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School, and the Astraea Foundation.[21]


  • America (2019)
  • Dispatches from Cleveland" (2017)
  • Chavela (2017)
  • BORN TO FLY: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity (2014)
  • What's On Your Plate? (2009)
  • Sesame Street: Rhyme Time (2009)
  • Motherland Afghanistan (2006) - as producer [22]
  • Making Grace (2004)
  • Touch of Greatness (2004) - as producer [23]
  • On Hostile Ground (2000)
  • Object Lessons (1999)
  • Hallelujah! Ron Athey: A Story of Deliverance (1998)
  • When Democracy Works (1996)
  • Positive: Life with HIV (1993-1995)
  • Cuz It's Boy (1994)
  • Western Artists/African Art: The Artists Speak (1994)
  • Not Just Passing Through (1994)
  • B.U.C.K.L.E. (1993)
  • Sacred Lies, Civil Truths (1993)
  • I’m You, You’re Me: Women Surviving Prison Living with AIDS (1992)
  • AIDS Activist Videotape Collection (1987 - 1992) documents the Montreal AIDS conference among other documents and candid encounters captured during the AIDS crisis.
  • Among Good Christian Peoples (1991)
  • DIVA TV (1989-1991) includes "Target City Hall", "Pride", "Like a Prayer", "'69-'89", and "Stop the Church"
  • Keep Your Laws Off My Body (1990)
  • Ends and Means (1990) Produced by Catherine Gund and DeeDee Halleck. Documents the proceedings of the Anti-Communism conference at Harvard University. Video.
  • Bleach, Teach, and Outreach (1989) co-producer (with Ray Navarro).
  • Paper Tiger Television (1988)


Selected bibliography[edit]

  • "There are Many Ways to Say Hallelujah" in Pleading in the Blood: The Art and Performances of Ron Athey (2013)[24]
  • What’s On Your Plate? Kids And Their Families Talk About What They Eat, Where It Comes From and Why That Matters, with Mary Jeys and Cassie Wagler (2011)
  • "The Education of Young Donors is a Two-Way Street," in "The Chronicle of Philanthropy" (1999)[25]
  • "Lucky," with Scot Nakagawa in Queerly Classed, ed. Susan Raffo (1997)[26]
  • "Memorials" in Encyclopedia of AIDS: A Social, Political, Cultural, and Scientific Record of the Epidemic, ed. Raymond A. Smith (1997)
  • "Till Death Do Us Part" in Generation Q: Inheriting Stonewall, eds. Seth Silberman and Robin Bernstein (1996)[27]
  • "Lesbian Marriage... (K)not!" in Sisters, Sexperts, Queers: Beyond the Lesbian Nation, ed. Arlene Stein, Plume (1993, reprinted from OUTWEEK #13, 1989)[28]
  • "Shocking Pink Praxis: Race and Gender on the ACT UP Frontlines," with Ray Navarro, in Inside/Out: Lesbian Theories, Gay Theories, ed. Diana Fuss (1991)[29]
  • Women, AIDS and Activism, The ACT UP Women’s Book Collective (co-author) (1990)


  1. ^ Schulman, Sarah (2007-04-20). "Catherine Gund Interview" (PDF). Act Up Oral History Project (071): 1.
  2. ^ Krach, Aaron (1998-12-10). "'Hallelujah!' Activist Catherine Gund Delivers Ron Athey to the Screen". Indiewire. Retrieved 2014-11-03.
  3. ^ Pictures, Aubin (2015), "Aubin Pictures: About", Aubin Pictures, retrieved 2015-12-23
  4. ^ Schulman, Sarah. "ACT UP Oral History Project". ACT UP Oral History Project. MIX - The NY Lesbian & Gay Experimental Film Festival. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  5. ^ Alumni US, Contact Information. Brown University Retrieved 25 April 2017. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ Staff. "Alumni Page". Brown University. Brown University. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  7. ^ Cvetkovich, Ann (2003). "AIDS Activism and the Oral History Archive; Activist Grief".
  8. ^ Krach, Aaron (1998). "VIDEO INTERFERENCE:The AIDS Activist Videotape Preservation Project Strives to Archive Activism for the Future". A&U.
  9. ^ Aubin Pictures Filmography Retrieved 14 March 2017. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ Kendall, Thomas (1999). "Catherine Gund-Saalfield".
  11. ^ "FILM IN REVIEW; 'On Hostile Ground'". Retrieved 2013-12-05.
  12. ^ Aufderheide, Pat (1 April 2002). "Sundance's saving grace". Archived from the original on 2 February 2014.
  13. ^ Petryszyn, Kelly (March 28, 2017). "A Documentary Takes on Racial Injustice Post-Tamir Rice". Cleveland Magazine. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  14. ^ "Chavela Vargas Film". Chavela. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  15. ^ "37th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards Nominees". PBS. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  16. ^ Silverstein, Melissa (2014-03-08), "SXSW Women Directors: Meet Catherine Gund", Indiewire Women and Hollywood, retrieved 2014-11-03
  17. ^ Masters, Charles (2009-02-06), "Berlin sidebar gives something to chew on", The Hollywood Reporter, retrieved 2014-11-03
  18. ^ Wallace, Hannah (2010-02-18). "Nancy Drew Meets Food, Inc".
  19. ^ Catsoulis, Jeannette (2005-07-20). "Highs and Lows of Lesbian Parenting". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-12-01.
  20. ^ "Review: 'Vice Special Report: Countdown To Zero' And Watch Full Episode". Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  21. ^ "Aubin Pictures: Staff". Aubin Pictures. Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  22. ^ Heffernan, Virginia (2007-02-13), "In Doctor's War, Battles Are Fought in Maternity Ward", The Hollywood Reporter, retrieved 2014-12-01
  23. ^ "Independent Television Service", IVTS, 2015, retrieved 2015-12-23
  24. ^ Johnson, Dominic (2013-11-12). "Pleading in the Blood: the Art and Performances of Ron Athey". ISBN 9781783200351.
  25. ^ Gund, Catherine (1999-01-14). "The Chronicle of Philanthropy; The Education of Young Donors is a Two-Way Street".
  26. ^ "Lucky". Archived from the original on 24 December 2010. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  27. ^ Bernstein, Robin (2000-04-07). Silberman, Seth Clark, ed. "Generation Q: Gays, Lesbians, and Bisexuals Born Around 1969"s Stonewall Riots Tell Their Stories of Growing Up in the Age of Information".
  28. ^ Stein, Arlene (1993). "Sisters, sexperts, queers : beyond the lesbian nation".
  29. ^ Fuss, Diana (2013-04-15). "Inside/Out: Lesbian Theories, Gay Theories". ISBN 9781135200916.