2017 Sundance Docs in Focus: THIS IS EVERYTHING: GIGI GORGEOUS

this is everything gigiTHIS IS EVERYTHING: GIGI GORGEOUS
Barbara Kopple provides viewers with a behind-the-scenes look at the YouTube celebrity’s life-changing transition.

Festival Section:
Documentary Premieres

Sundance Program Description:

In 2008, Gregory Lazzarato, a young, nationally ranked Canadian diver, walked away from the pool and began a YouTube channel focused on makeup tutorials. Unwilling to be intimidated by bullies either online or in high school, Lazzarato became the fierce, outspoken Gregory Gorgeous, amassing a loyal following who found strength and inspiration from his public coming out as a gay male.

Despite this success, the Internet personality harbored a secret – one that was revealed in a December 2013 video titled “I Am Transgender.” Motivated by the death of her mother, the YouTube star took on the new name Gigi Gorgeous. Gigi, supported by her loving father and brothers, offers a candid look at her transition, sharing its hallmarks online with her legion of fans as she embraces a new world of possibilities.

In capturing Gigi’s moving transformation, two-time Academy Award-winning director Barbara Kopple (HARLAN COUNTY USA, 1976; AMERICAN DREAM, 1990) puts a spotlight on her subject’s uplifting, empowering message of self-acceptance, as Gigi blossoms into a self-assured, happy – and, yes, gorgeous – young woman.

Some Background:
Director/Producer:

  • Barbara Kopple
    Past Sundance docs:

    SELFIE (short) (2014, producer, presented at Women’s Brunch)
    RUNNING FROM CRAZY (2013)
    AMERICAN STANDOFF (2002, producer)
    MY GENERATION (2000)
    WILD MAN BLUES (1998)
    AMERICAN DREAM (Documentary Grand Jury Prize, Audience Award, and Filmmakers Trophy winner)
    HARLAN COUNTY USA

    Kopple is one of America’s most acclaimed documentarians. In addition to her Oscars, she has been nominated for Emmy Awards several times. Her most recent theatrical doc, MISS SHARON JONES!, debuted at Toronto as was released this past Summer.

Producer:

  • David Cassidy
    Past Sundance docs:

    RUNNING FROM CRAZY

    Cassidy has produced for Kopple for over the past decade, including such films as SHUT UP & SING, THE HOUSE OF STEINBRENNER, MISS SHARON JONES!, and RUNNING FROM CRAZY.

Executive Producers:

  • Adam Wescott and Scott Fisher
    Wescott and Fisher are founders and partners of Select Management Group, which reps Gigi Gorgeous. This is their first Sundance credit.

  • Ian Sander and Kim Moses
    Sander/Moses Productions are prolific television producers, best known for the dramatic series GHOST WHISPERER and PROFILER, and make their Sundance debut with this project. Sandler passed away in May 2016.

Editors:

  • Michael Culyba
    Past Sundance docs:

    RUNNING FROM CRAZY

  • Anne Fratto
    Past Sundance docs:

    FLOW: FOR LOVE OF WATER (2008, assistant editor)

  • Hemal Trivedi
    Past Sundance docs:

    OUTLAWED IN PAKISTAN (short) (2013)

Assistant Editor:

  • Michelle Purpura
    This is Purpura’s first Sundance credit.

Why You Should Watch:
As noted in my Sundance capsule above, Gigi is open and outspoken, giving her fans and the doc’s audience a close-up experience of her transformation. Kopple adroitly employs the confessional form with which her subject is most familiar to perfectly translate her story for the screen.

More Info:
For Sundance screening dates and times, click the film title in the first paragraph.

To experience the festival through the eyes of this year’s filmmakers, follow my Sundance 2017 Twitter list.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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