"Divine was my close friend and fearless muse. Who else could convincingly turn from teenage delinquent to mugger, prostitute, unwed mother, child abuser, fashion model, nightclub entertainer, murderess, and jailbird? All in the same movie? That’s why I am giving my full blessing to a new documentary feature film, I AM DIVINE, to be directed by award-winning filmmaker Jeffrey Schwarz." — John Waters
As outrageous and fun as its subject, I Am Divine combines movie clips, rare home movies and photos, television appearances and live performance footage with brand new interviews with John Waters, Ricki Lake, Mink Stole, Tab Hunter, Holly Woodlawn, Michael Musto, Bruce Vilanch, mother Frances Milstead (who provided her final interview just months before she passed away), and many more of Divine's family, friends, colleagues, and devotees.
I Am Divine is destined to be the definitive biographical portrait of Harris Glenn Milstead, a.k.a. Divine, honoring him in just the way he always craved—as a serious artist and immortal star. Filmmaker Jeffrey Schwartz tells Divine's entire story, from his early days as a misfit youth in Baltimore through his rise to infamy as a cult superstar. Like the characters he portrayed in numerous films, Divine was the ultimate outsider. He transformed himself from a bullied schoolyard fat kid to a larger-than-life personality and underdog royalty as his alter-ego Divine. Divine stood up for millions of gay men and women, female impersonators, punk rockers, the ample figured, and countless other socially ostracized people. With a completely committed in-your-face style, he blurred the line between performer and personality and revolutionized pop culture.
The First Looks Work-in-Progress Screening Series is a new, quarterly collaboration between Venice Arts and the International Documentary Association. The program offers the public and members of the film community advance access to new documentaries in progress, and the opportunity to participate in behind-the-scenes conversations with filmmakers and creators.
When & Where
Now in its twenty-second year, Venice Arts is a nonprofit arts organization that is committed to providing high-impact arts education for low-income youth in the areas of photography, filmmaking, and multimedia. In addition to its core Art Mentoring & Education Program, Venice Arts implements regional, statewide, and international Documentary Programs with both adults and children; presents exhibitions, public programs, and workshops for adults centered around documentary photography and film through its Gallery & Public Programs; and consults on media arts, visual storytelling, and arts education locally and internationally through its Consulting & Training Program. It is the philosophy of Venice Arts that self-expression, particularly through the arts, has the potential to transform and empower young people to see greater possibilities for themselves and for their communities.
To find out more about Venice Arts, visit www.venicearts.org.