Bette Bourne is an inconic figure in the British gay community.
His amazing life has seen him journey from being an actor in classic 1960s British TV series, including The Avengers, The Prisoner and Z Cars, to transformation into a radical drag queen founder member and activist of the campaigning Gay Liberation Front, founding the award-winning queer theatre company The Bloolips and more recently winning acclaim around the globe portraying his good friend and fellow gay legend, Quentin Crisp, on stage
For the first time, Bette Bourne tells story of the fight for gay liberation and the real story of the seventies: a decade of near revolution, social change and protest that rocked the establishment and brought us hard won freedoms in gay rights, civil rights and female liberation.
Based on the critically acclaimed play A Life in Three Acts by Mark Ravenhill the film will tell the inside story of how Bette Bourne and the drag troupe, The Bloolips took on the establishment with high heels, frocks and eye shadow.
Living, breathing history - naughty bits and all -the kind you never find in the history books.
A fascinating mixture of the personal and the political, the film will use key moments in Bette’s life to reveal events that defined the gay rights movement in the UK.
As a well known actor in the early 70’s Bette had appeared alongside Sir Ian Mackellan and stared in famous early cop show Z-Cars but he gave it up to take on the fight for gay rights.
When people started to talk about the arrests and the suicides, of lives wasted, I suddenly felt very angry. It was a very quick thing: I looked back over my life to that point and wanted everything to change.
Along with other famous names from the GLF including Stuart Feather, Bette was instrumental in using drag to confront and shatter not only the establishment view of gay life but also gay men’s own views of their lives and sexuality.
led a life with great personal strength and bravery but he’s also been involved
in a political and social struggle from which I’ve benefited enormously.
By meeting the
people who were on the front line – including Stuart Feather, Lavinia Co-op and Andrew Lumsden - we’ll be telling the first hand story of the early days of
the Gay Liberation Front, the first Pride marches and also Bourne’s
ground-breaking Bloolips theatre company.
A POWERFUL STORY THAT’S NEVER BEEN TOLD
This is the first documentary that's been made about the UK's modern moment of revolution when the forces of gay rights joined with black civil leaders, unions and feminists to take on the establishment and fight for the freedoms that we all take for granted today.
For the first time in over 40 years the original members of the Gay Liberation front will tell the story of the moment that gay rights stepped out of the closet and onto the streets. The contribution of these campaigners who risked their jobs, relationships and freedom to demand their rights has never been properly told and this documentary is a chance to bring their story to the mainstream.
What We Need & What You Get
The producers have already invested enough money to get through the research and pre-production stages. We’ve also been given support and sponsorship from equipment suppliers and raised enough money to shoot the film. Shooting starts in the next few weeks.
What we’re looking for now is the money to take the film through the crucial stages of editing, finishing and onto release. We’ve set ourselves the target of having a cut ready to submit to the London Film Festival selection process in July 2011, with the aim of a world premiere at the Festival in October 2011.
We’ve lined up an exciting and exclusive range of incentives and rewards for investors. We’re adding to our offering all the time but so far, by supporting the production of this vital film you could:
receive a limited edition pre-release version
of the film with extended interviews with Bette and Mark;
join Bette for a sumptuous high-tea at the
West End restaurant of Michelin starred chef Richard Corrigan;
bag yourself an invitation to the filmed
performance of the play;
have your play or film script reviewed by one
of the world’s top literary agencies;
have lunch with documentary maker, Chair of
BRITDOC and Grierson judge, Christopher Hird… pitch him your ideas or get fantastic
book yourself dinner with Mark Ravenhill at exclusive
London private members club Blacks.
Other Ways You Can Help
The gay community has an amazingly powerful network and we'd love your help to get the message out that. We'd love it if you could tell people about this project and point them to this site.
You can also head to our Facbook page and hit LIKE and put a message of support on your wall, encouraging your friends to find us and LIKE us.
Finally, you can follow us on TWITTER @bettebournefilm