EXCLUSIVE: Mimi Steinbauer’s Los Angeles-based outfit Radiant Films has boarded U.S. and international sales rights to Toronto Film Festival documentary No Ordinary Man, about jazz musician and trans icon Billy Tipton.
The film, co-directed by Aisling Chin-Yee (The Rest of Us) and Chase Joynt (Framing Agnes), charts the life of American musician Tipton whose story, for decades since his death, was framed as an ambitious woman passing as a man in pursuit of a music career.
In the movie, Tipton’s story is re-imagined and performed by trans artists as they collectively paint a portrait of an unlikely hero. Together, the filmmakers join Tipton’s son Billy Jr. to reckon with a complicated and contested legacy. We debuted first footage of the film earlier this year.
Written by Amos Mac (co-founder of trans magazine Original Plumbing) and Chin-Yee, the film also features leading voices in the trans community including Marquise Vilsón, Scott Turner Schofield, Susan Stryker, C.Riley Snorton and Thomas Page McBee.
No Ordinary Man was made in partnership with Canada Media Fund, Telefilm Canada, SODEC, SODEC Tax Credit, Documentary Channel, CAVCO and TVO. It is produced by Sarah Spring of Parabola Films. Montreal-based distributor Les Films du 3 Mars holds all Canadian rights.
“We are thrilled to come on board No Ordinary Man on the cusp of its world premiere at TIFF, one of the most prestigious festivals in the world,” said Steinbauer, president and CEO of Radiant Films International. “Billy Tipton’s life is an incredible legacy for the trans community and the film’s message is more important than ever. The filmmakers’ unique approach to storytelling captured us in the way only a few films can, and we are so proud to be part of its journey.”
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