Strand nets ‘Cockettes’

After theatrical bow, Sundance Channel will b'cast film

HOLLYWOOD — Strand Releasing has acquired North American rights to gender-bending documentary “The Cockettes,” with the Sundance Channel picking it up for U.S. pay television. The two entities also agreed to collaborate on the film’s marketing campaign.

Directed by Bill Weber and David Weissman, “Cockettes” is the story of a flamboyant ensemble of women, gay men and babies who, in the late ’60s and early ’70s, decked themselves out in gender-bending drag and glitter for a series of all-singing, all-dancing midnight shows at San Francisco’s Palace Theater.

The group may be best, or at least most vividly, remembered for its 1971 underground film “Tricia’s Wedding.” A parody of the White House wedding of President Nixon’s daughter, it featured a transvestite Tricia, a drunken Mamie Eisenhower, a party-crashing Lady Bird Johnson and a drag Eartha Kitt who laced the punch with LSD.

Following the film’s San Francisco premiere May 10, the Sundance Channel will broadcast the film once on June 21 as a national sneak preview. Pic’s national theatrical rollout begins June 28. Yoram Pelman’s Tomorrow Films is selling “The Cockettes” internationally.

A critical and audience hit at Sundance and Berlin this year, pic also won Weber and Weissman the best director award at the recent U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen.

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