Beeban Kidron

Beeban Kidron

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.