The Best Work You May Never See: Hubert Davis Directs White Ribbon's "Boys Don't Cry"


Robert Goldrich
Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2019


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This short titled Boys Don’t Cry has launched to coincide with Anti-Bullying Day in Canada. The public service piece is from Toronto-based Bensimon Byrne and its sister shop Narrative for White Ribbon, a movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equity, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity.

The three-minute film was directed by Hubert Davis, whose documentary short Hardwood earned him Oscar and News & Documentary Emmy Award nominations. Produced by Toronto-based Untitled Films, Boys Don’t Cry ponders what boys are and are not allowed to feel. It follows the life of a boy from infancy to young adulthood, showing how various inputs throughout his life, including episodes of bullying, tragically lead him towards committing gender-based violence.

National research has found that one in five students is affected by bullying and half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16. White Ribbon wants to spark a conversation about the importance of healthy self-esteem, compassion, and emotional intelligence in boys. 

“As a society we still live with negative, outdated concepts of manhood, with very toxic results,” Davis said. “If we want to prevent gender-based violence, we need to address what’s at the roots of it.”


Client White Ribbon Agency Bensimon Byrne/Narrative, Toronto Joseph Bonnici, executive creative director; David Mueller, associate creative director/writer; Debbie Chan, associate creative director/art director; Brittany Dow, strategist; Michelle Pilling, producer. Production Untitled Films, Toronto Hubert Davis, director; Tom Evelyn, exec producer/producer. Editorial Rooster Post Production Michelle Czuker, editor; Mellissa Khan, exec producer. Postproduction Alter Ego Darren Achim, online editor; Hilda Pereira, producer; Clinton Homuth, colorist. Audio Berkeley Jared Kuemper, director/engineer; Tyna Maerzke, producer. Casting Jigsaw Casting Shasta Lutz

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