Carrie had some sort of power. But she was just like me…like any of you. She had hopes, she had fears, but we pushed her. And you can only push someone so far before they break. Carrie (2013), dir. Kimberly Peirce
Twenty years ago, filmmaker Kimberly Peirce came to the 1997 Sundance Directors Lab to workshop her film Boys Don’t Cry. The film is based on the real-life story of Brandon Teena—a trans man from the small town of Falls City, Idaho, portrayed by Hilary Swank—who adopts his male persona among an unaware new group of friends. As he tries to find love and acceptance in his newfound social circle, he begins a relationship with Lana Tisdel (played by Chloë Sevigny), who doesn’t know about his gender history. The intense story eventually culminates with the cruel and violent crimes committed against Brandon by two of his acquaintances.
Director and writer Kimberly Peirce is pictured above at the Directors Lab at the Sundance Mountain Resort in Provo, Utah, working with actress Summer Phoenix (sister of River and Joaquin) as she workshops the script. Boys Don’t Cry was released two years after her time at the Directors Lab. In 2000, Swank took home both an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award for her performance as Brandon, and Sevigny received nominations for both an Oscar and Golden Globe as well.
This Is Jane, the true story of a Chicago woman who founded and ran the underground abortion service Jane. Kimberly Peirce is directing, and John Lesher, Williams and Peter Heller are producing.
The drama penned by Dan Loflin is based on Laura Kaplan’s nonfiction book The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service. Jane was run by a group of women who taught themselves how to perform abortions in the years before Roe v. Wade. From 1968-73, they helped more than 11,000 women by providing safe – albeit illegal – services denied by the medical establishment. They also provided health education and counseling. Williams will play the role of Jane founder, known as Jenny.
By the time you read this, I’ll be back home in Lincoln. I’m scared of what’s ahead, but when I think of you I know I’ll be able to go on. You were right. Memphis isn’t far at all. I’ll be making a trip out on the highway before too long. I’ll be waiting for ya.