HANDBAG - Where are we now?
"You see, I am a fag hag. Fag hags are the backbone of the gay community. Without us, you're nothing! We have been there all through history guiding your sorry ass through the underground railroad! We went to the prom with you!”
- Margaret Cho, I'm The One That I Want book and tour.
It’s almost embarrassing that it’s been SO LONG since I thought of making Handbag, but we know now that it’s a pretty normal journey for an independent film like ours. And happily, we've finished the film and she's out there in the world! After really pushing for the last few years, raising all the money ourselves to get her across the line and hawking her to all and sundry, we've made a distribution deal with the spectacular team at OUTtv for release in Canada, the USA, UK and New Zealand. South Africa and Australia - stand by!
The film has had two beginnings - in 2004, when I first stated filming my friends and kids at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras with a kernel of a doco idea, and then a restart in 2013 when Phoebe and I teamed up to kickstart the process again and get the film finished and released. And here we are - NINE YEARS LATER!
In that time we've raised money through our first Pozible crowd funding campaign to pay for the sections of the film shot in the USA. I found a dedicated group of US-based crew to help me film in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington and New York to capture the pop culture and academic side of the story.
We've also crowdfunded twice more to pay for the Australian leg of the shoot, our Mardi Gras float, and to pay for editing and music. In 2016 we also held a charity screening for the half-finished movie, to raise some pesky final funds for licensing and animation. We even had one dedicated fan show up to the screening with $500 in cash to pop in the kitty! Sadly the sounds failed us at the last moment, so I was forced to narrate some of the scenes AND sing the backing tracks, but our enthusiastic (and tipsy) audience joined in for the world's first karaoke screening of HANDBAG.
The making of HANDBAG has been a wild and unpredictable rollercoaster of ups and downs, peppered with tragedy, seat-of-the-pants funding, prevailing upon the kindness of literally everyone we know, and a whole lot of laughs. The making of this movie could be a movie all by itself!
Finally, though, we're done. The film is completed and we're happy to be able to share it via OUTtv with (most of) the world. if you haven't seen it yet - and you want to email hello@handbagthemovie for the password and access to watch!
THANK YOU everyone for helping us to make this dream come true and shine a big bold spotlight on the wonderful women who have helped support gay men through the decades. What a fine and wonderful group of humans you are!
As we say in my country - Love Youse All.
Monica Davidson, director, Handbag