We dove back into the [virtual/remote] edit room this summer, and with the benefit of refreshed perspectives plus support from our new Consulting Editor Doug Blush (Six Feet from Stardom), we re-imagined the structure of our film.
This involved filming some new material with BeBe in Minneapolis that we are now working to integrate with the rest of the story right away.
Be safe, and take good care of yourselves & your loved ones.
More to come,
Emily & Team BEING BEBE
A celebration of Queer Black Excellence unlike any other, BeBe’s new live touring show NUBIA is produced in collaboration with five other incredible drag performers of color: Bob the Drag Queen, Shea Coulee, Peppermint, Monique Heart, and The Vixen. As BeBe said, their sold-out 3-night showcase in NYC right before the Covid lockdown proves that “Black entertainment does sell, Black entertainment makes money, and Black entertainment is very entertaining!”
BeBe is poised to have a really big 2020! She stars in a new TLC reality TV series called Drag Me Down the Aisle. The pilot of the show aired in March 2019, and TLC has ordered a full season which they have begun filming this fall. This ensures that BeBe will continue to be in the public eye next year, with potential to reach even broader audiences.
We’re delighted to announce that we’ve pre-sold the film to OUTtv for SVOD and linear broadcast rights in 5 territories: Canada, India, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. We’re very excited about this big win for the film as it guarantees the film will be accessible to fans by the same platform that distributes RuPaul’s Drag Race in those territories – and it still leaves the UK, US, and other European and international territories available to us for bigger opportunities. OUTtv has agreed to a festival holdback as well, so we can still also have a festival life for the film. Looking forward to collaborating with this esteemed outlet for quality LGBTQ content!
We won a couple grants! Couldn’t be more grateful to the Lucius and Eva Eastman Fund, and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation for supporting this film in 2019.
[Photo taken by Bat-Sheva in 2015 after I’d just found out about our previous grant from New York State Council for the Arts!!]
BEING BEBE was selected by the Edit Center as the project for their fall editing intensive.
Each of the 10 passionate and thoughtful Edit Center students took on a handful of hours of footage from our verite archive and crafted it into a scene. We learned volumes from exploring the material from their fresh and different perspectives, and have integrated some of the students’ most exciting work into the rest of our working rough cut. The students and teachers – only one of whom had ever watched Drag Race before (!) – responded with tremendous enthusiasm to BeBe and the depth, humor and intimacy of our unparalleled archive of material. It was a wonderful experience all around.
Thanks Writer’s Guild of America East, Kickstarter, and Liz Cook Mowe for inviting me to present our campaign for BEING BEBE at the Independent Documentary Filmmaker Summit! Jam-packed afternoon of important and transparent sustainability conversations – the kind we all need to be having more of in this industry.
Wow. WE DID IT. We SURPASSED our goal, thanks to 658 wonderful backers!! The progress was slow and steady – but it’s still felt like a roller coaster and a half! So excited and ready to get this movie finished and out into the world thanks to all of you. Stay tuned.
On the season premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars (Season 3), our very own BeBe Zahara Benet was “RuVealed” to be the top secret “10th queen” – a mystery that’s drawn a whole lot of speculation and debate among RPDR fans since August.
This gives a whole new generation of fervent Drag Race fans the chance to get to know and love BeBe like we do. BeBe was the very first winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race back in 2009 (Season 10 will air this spring), and since then, Drag Race has become an Emmy-award winning pop culture phenomenon.
All Stars is a super popular spinoff of Drag Race that brings back contestants who previously competed on the show – and they’ve never brought back a previously crowned queen – until now.
We are so grateful and humbled to have been awarded a grant from the New York State Council for the Arts (NYSCA) to help us move forward with the editing of BEING BEBE. Many thanks to our fiscal sponsor, Women Make Movies, for your guidance with navigating the world of grants and foundation fundraising.
I’m a pretty superstitious lady. But after a major push from 2014-2015, I feel confident that we’re at least 95% in-the-can with shooting this film.
Documentaries like this one are really crafted in the edit, so I can’t wait to really dig in. I’m tremendously proud of the dedication and efforts our team made – despite extremely limited resources – to gather all the berries we need to make this pie.
I’m extremely grateful to everyone who has participated in this film – both on-camera and off – especially the friends and family who have supported me throughout this period of intensive and unpredictable shooting.
I’m also grateful for Amy’s frozen enchilada meals. I think I have eaten twice my body weight in that convenient deliciousness over the course of this past year.
BEING BEBE was selected for a special Peer Pitch program hosted by Docs In Progress in Silver Spring, Maryland. The event was sponsored-in-part by the D-Word, in conjunction with the AFI Docs Film Festival.
Many thanks to my fellow filmmakers who shared their inspiring works-in-progress, as well as Erica Ginsberg at Docs In Progress and Melissa Houghton with Women In Film & Video for the support and incredibly encouraging feedback!