SAN SEBASTIAN — William A. Kirkley (“Excavating Taylor Mead”) is preparing a still-to-be-titled follow-up to “Orange Sunshine,” whose international premiere took place Wednesday Sept. 21 at the San Sebastian Festival’s Savage Cinema sidebar. “Orange Sunshine” work premiered at SXSW, then segued to the Newport Beach Fest. It is produced by Andrew Fuller at Orange Sunshine Productions.
The new Kirkley documentary portrays Michael Kennedy, attorney to the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a shadowy LSD-worshipping organisation featured in “Orange Sunshine” and Timothy Leary.
“Kennedy also represented the Weathermen, the Black Panthers, the Chicago 7, Jerry Rubin and the Yippies, Native Americans at the protests at Wounded Knee, César Chávez and migrant workers, the list goes on and on,” Kirkley told Variety at San Sebastian.
Kirkley added that the film will be “a somewhat true-crime documentary of all of these monumental cases and their impact on law and culture, and the love story between him and his wife and partner Eleanora, who were together for 50 years,”
“Orange Sunshine” does feature surfing action. But it is part of a larger mix. In a memorable archive footage scene, surfing star Mike Hynson, star of Bruce Brown’s “The Endless Summer,” is filmed smoking a roach on the beach, surveying the waves. Hynson’s friend asks for the roach. Hanson stands up, gets the surfboard, and goes surfing, without removing the roach from his lips, comes back and gives the roach to his friend.
“Orange” chronicles –with neither nostalgia nor prejudice– the birth and history of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a church founded in the early ‘60s by family members, friends and surfers with the mission of changing the world, via the popularisation of LSD and hash. The church members moved quickly from personal consumption to become the largest distributors of hash and LSD in the world for a decade.
“I grew up in Orange County where much of the story takes place and the impact that the Brotherhood had on OC, and the rest of the world was monumental. I felt it has gone largely unnoticed,” Kirkley told Variety.
“In the end, it was about a group of families and friends that were truly revolutionaries and held true to their beliefs even to this day fifty years later. It wasn’t about money or fame, it was about turning on the world. I think that’s fascinating,” he added.
Distribber.com is handling the distribution for “Orange Sunshine” on various digital platforms. Release date will be announced in the coming weeks. Led by CEO Nick Soares, distribber.com is one out of three branches of GoDigital, along with Amplify Releasing and GoDigital Worldwide.
International sales are handled by Kevin Iwashina’s Preferred Content, whose slate includes So Yong Kim’s “Lovesong” and Diego Luna’s “Mr. Pig.”
The heads of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, Michael and Carol Randall, attended the San Sebastian premiere alongside the film team. They had never shared their story before this feature.
Kirkley is represented by @view-finder International Director and DoP Agency.