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Beeban Kidron

Beeban Kidron

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: London, England, GB Profession: director, camera operator, photographer, stripper

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Trained in the British TV industry, Beeban Kidron has come to specialize in modest, eccentric character- driven comedy-dramas, often dealing with relationships between women. A runaway at 17, she worked as a stripper before becoming a prize-winning photographer while still in her teens. Kidron began her filmmaking career helming a fiction short ("Alex" 1985) before co-directing (with Amanda Richardson) "Carry Greenham Home" (1984), a political documentary about a group of women encamped at the Greenham Nuclear Power Plant to promote nuclear disarmament. Kidron was so committed to this school project--she was attending England's National Film and Television School at the time--that she lived at the site herself for more than seven months. After another nonfiction project for TV, Kidron segued to long form fiction with "Vroom" (Channel 4, 1988), an affable English road movie set in the northern city of Lancashire which proved a hit at the 1988 London Film Festival.Kidron gained international attention as the director of the BAFTA award-winning telefilm, "Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit" (BBC, 1990), based on Jeanette Winterson's novel about a young lesbian's coming of age in a fanatically Pentecostal...

Trained in the British TV industry, Beeban Kidron has come to specialize in modest, eccentric character- driven comedy-dramas, often dealing with relationships between women. A runaway at 17, she worked as a stripper before becoming a prize-winning photographer while still in her teens. Kidron began her filmmaking career helming a fiction short ("Alex" 1985) before co-directing (with Amanda Richardson) "Carry Greenham Home" (1984), a political documentary about a group of women encamped at the Greenham Nuclear Power Plant to promote nuclear disarmament. Kidron was so committed to this school project--she was attending England's National Film and Television School at the time--that she lived at the site herself for more than seven months. After another nonfiction project for TV, Kidron segued to long form fiction with "Vroom" (Channel 4, 1988), an affable English road movie set in the northern city of Lancashire which proved a hit at the 1988 London Film Festival.

Kidron gained international attention as the director of the BAFTA award-winning telefilm, "Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit" (BBC, 1990), based on Jeanette Winterson's novel about a young lesbian's coming of age in a fanatically Pentecostal household. The film won widespread acclaim on the festival circuit, particularly in several gay and lesbian themed festivals. Kidron's acclaimed comedy-drama, "Antonia & Jane" (1990)--her first to get released theatrically in the US--chronicled the long-sustained friendship of two very different women. Her first American feature was "Used People" (1992), an ensemble comedy-drama about a recently widowed Jewish woman (Shirley MacLaine) courted by an Italian stranger (Marcello Mastroianni) who claims to have been watching her from afar for many years. The film also featured strong supporting performances from Marcia Gay Harden, Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy and Sylvia Sidney. Kidron next ventured to NYC's south Bronx for her return to nonfiction filmmaking. "Hookers, Hustlers, Pimps and Their Johns" aired to huge Christmas audiences on England's Channel 4.

Kidron's next feature generated reams of publicity long before it hit the screens. Promoted as an outrageous comedy boasting established he-men Wesley Snipes and Patrick Swayze and the ascendant John Leguizamo as drag queens stranded in the American mid-West, "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar" (1995) was actually a mild comic outing calculated to play to Middle American values and multiplexes. The director was in increasingly advanced stages of pregnancy during the extended shoot. The production only received insurance on the condition that executive producer Steven Spielberg commit to finishing helming chores should Kidron become otherwise engaged.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

3.
  Swept From the Sea (1997) Director
5.
  Shades of Fear (1994) Director
7.
  Used People (1992)
8.
10.
  Vroom (1988) Director

CAST: (feature film)

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Milestones close milestones

1972:
Family friend gave her a camera to distract her during a lengthy recuperation from surgery at age 11 (date approximate)
1978:
Ran away from home at age 17 (date approximate)
:
Worked as a stripper
:
Began career as prize-winning photographer in her teens
:
Worked for two years as assistant to Magnum photographer Eve Arnold
:
Traveled for two years before returning to England to study filmmaking
1984:
Directed first documentary film, "Carry Greenham Home" with Amanda Richardson while at film school
1985:
Made first fiction short, "Alex"
1986:
Worked for British TV where she directed the documentary "The Global Gamble"
1988:
Directed first feature film, "Vroom" (broadcast on Channel 4)
1992:
Directed "Used People," which starred Shirley MacLaine, Marcello Mastroianni and Kathy Bates
1995:
Directed Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo in the comedy "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar"
2000:
Directed the television movie "Cinderella," starring Kathleen Turner
2004:
Directed Renée Zellweger in "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason"
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Education

National Film and Television School: - 1981 - 1984

Notes

Kidron was named after an Indian princess. She was 15-years-old before her father realized he had gotten the name wrong. (She pronounces it bee-BAN).

"To be a filmmaker is to be on the London underground and hear people having a raging argument about your film"--Beeban Kidron (July 17, 1990)

"The world is a very small place. I think there are only 12 relationships in the world and you keep on having them."--Beeban Kidron (quoted in Entertainment Weekly, November 15, 1991)

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Spencer Style. Music promoter.

Family close complete family listing

son:
Noah Kidron Style. Born October 27, 1994; father Spencer Style.

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