One of the pioneers of queer cinema, Writer/Director Todd Stephens (“Edge of Seventeen”, “Gypsy 83”, “Another Gay Movie”) is completing his Ohio trilogy with “Swan Song,” a fictionalized memoir of a flamboyant hairdresser in 1980’s small town Sandusky.
“Mister Pat was a revelation; out, loud and proud in a very different era,” says Stephens, who was 17 when he first saw the older man on the dance floor at The Universal Fruit and Nut Company in Sandusky, Ohio. “My trilogy is inspired by my Ohio hometown. The first two films were about trying to escape it, and the last is about embracing where you came from.”
Legendary actor Udo Kier (“Downsizing”, “My Own Private Idaho”, “Andy Warhol’s Dracula”) has signed on to star as Pat. Kier says, “After 50 years in the business, this is one of the best scripts I have seen.” Stephens remarks, “Udo Kier has been one of my idols all my life. I am thrilled to have someone play the character who can imbue it with such authenticity.”
Also joining the team is producer Stephen Israel (“Boy Culture,” “G.F.B.”, “Miles”) who says, “Todd and I have been talking about working together for over ten years. Between us, I think we’ll make something world class that we can be proud of – and makes a contribution to LGBTQ cinema while preserving an important part of our history that’s in danger of being forgotten.”
Stephens launched a Kickstarter campaign at kickstartswansong.com and plans to shoot on location in Sandusky in May. “‘Swan Song’ is a love letter to a man who changed my life by always having the courage to be fabulous,” says Stephens. His film “Another Gay Movie” was one of the largest indie releases of the decade and spawned a successful sequel. “Edge of Seventeen” is consistently listed as one of the most influential queer films of all time.