2018 Sundance Docs in Focus: WESTWOOD: PUNK, ICON, ACTIVIST

Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Pierre Verdy

Lorna Tucker profiles the uncompromising British designer.

Festival Section:
World Cinema Documentary Competition


Sundance Program Description:

Punk. Icon. Activist. The undisputed Queen of Fashion Dame Vivienne Westwood is known for her subversive and original take on British fashion. Told in her own words, Westwood is a sharp-witted look into Vivienne’s creative process and her life’s journey from 1970s punk protests to fierce independent global figure. Westwood sits alongside Gucci, Dior, and McQueen – but only Vivienne still owns and runs her empire. Today she fights to maintain her brand’s integrity and legacy as it expands to open flagship stores in fashion capitals Paris and New York in the face of global consumerism.

Richly textured with spunk and charm, Lorna Tucker crafts a candid portrait including interviews from Westwood’s inner circle of family and collaborators. At age 76, Westwood is still a controversial figure; in addition to confronting the establishment in fashion, she is fighting to save the environment with no signs of stopping.

Some Background:

  • Lorna Tucker

    This is Tucker’s feature directorial debut and first project at Sundance. She has a background creating video content for musicians, brands, and designers, including Vivienne Westwood.


  • Ellie Emptage and Shirine Best

    Emptage and Best had production and development roles on two previous Sundance docs, THE BENGALI DETECTIVE (2011) and WASTE LAND (2010), and also produced two of Tucker’s earlier short films.

  • John Battsek
    Recent past Sundance docs:

    WE ARE X (2016)
    DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD (2015, executive producer)
    CHUCK NORRIS VS COMMUNISM (2015, executive producer)

    Passion Pictures’ John Battsek also produced 2018 Sundance Doc Premieres title STUDIO 54 and Special Events title and Doc Premieres title THE KING.

  • Nicole Stott
    Recent past Sundance docs:

    DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD (executive producer)
    CHUCK NORRIS VS COMMUNISM (executive producer)
    LISTEN TO ME MARLON (co-producer)

    Stott is head of documentary at Passion Pictures.

Executive Producers:

  • Anna Godas

    Godas is a founder and CEO of London-based sales company and distributor Dogwoof. She is also an executive producer of 2018 US Documentary Competition title KUSAMA – INFINITY.

  • Leo Haidar

    This is the entertainment attorney’s second feature doc producing credit and first at Sundance.


  • Paul Carlin

    Carlin previously cut Sundance narrative feature alumni I’LL SLEEP WHEN I’M DEAD (2004).

Why You Should Watch:
Capturing the iconoclast’s bold personality and punk aesthetic, Tucker balances rich archival material with intimate present-day interviews to create the definitive portrait of the fashion designer and businesswoman.

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

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

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