We’re excited to announce that the Anton Wagner and Edimburgo Cabrera fonds is now available for research on-site at The ArQuives! Thanks to our amazing Assistant Archivist, Nicole for processing this remarkable collection.

Anton and Eddie have been essential forces in documentary filmmaking in Toronto, Canada, Cuba, and elsewhere internationally for the last several decades.

These records were primarily used in the research, production, and distribution of Wagner’s films on queer and trans communities (with a focus on drag and, often, on Black and Latino communities) in Toronto from the mid-twentieth century into the 2000s. The collection includes video recordings on MiniDV and VHS cassettes (and some DVDs), as well as textual records, photos, and some other item types.

Anton Wagner was born in Austria in 1949; he lived in the United States for a period before moving to Canada in 1969. Wagner holds a BA in Theatre and Film from York University, a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies, also from York University, and a PhD in Canadian Drama from the Graduate Centre for the Study of Drama at the University of Toronto. Wagner has worked as an independent documentary film producer and director since 1972. In addition to queer and trans topics, Wagner’s work also addresses (nuclear) war, decarceration, and the politics of post-Revolution Cuba.

In 1993, he founded Anton Wagner Productions, Inc., through which he has released thirteen documentaries: Aerobic Champions: The Birth of a Sport (1993), Our Hiroshima (1995), The Photographer: An Artist’s Journey (1997), Forbidden Fruit: The Unashamed Lives of Female Impersonators (1999), At the Crossroads: Faith in Cuba (1999), Latin Queens: Unfinished Stories of Our Lives (2000), Hiroshima and Nagasaki (2000), Tourism Toronto Presents: Toronto Gay Pride (2001), Mary McCarthy: Our Lady in Havana (2001), In Exile: American Draft Resisters and Deserters in Canada (completed in 1972, premiered in 2001), Divas: Love Me Forever (2002), John Herbert: Fortune and Men’s Eyes (2003), and Liselda’s Birthday (2005).

Wagner’s partner, Edimburgo (Eddie) Cabrera, was born in Havana in 1960. Cabrera studied ballet and modern dance at the National School of the Arts and the National School of the Performing Arts, and worked with the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, the Teatro Musical de la Habana, and the Cabaret y Teatro Tropicana. He moved to Toronto in 1993, where he met Wagner. Since 1997, Cabrera has been involved in a number of video projects with Wagner, working as a production assistant on The Photographer and directing Divas and Liselda’s Birthday.

Several of Anton and Eddie’s documentaries can be watched on Youtube, for free.

If you’d like to access this wonderful collection, please contact our Reference Archivist, Daniel at queeries@arquives.ca

Photo credit: Edimburgo Cabrera and Anton Wagner at Michael Chambers’ home in 2000. Copyright Michael Chambers.