i’m gonna make you love me is a full-length documentary film about the life of Brian, who in the 1980s, was a transgendered woman named Tish. She was one of New York’s most famous downtown divas. “Tish was a glamorous busty lusty Fellini-esque beauty, cabaret chanteuse, and good time girl,” says journalist Michael Musto, in the film. Then, after more than a decade as Tish, she transitioned back to Brian. Now in his sixties, Brian’s iterations include army wife and loving husband; sex worker; club performer; actor; author; playwright; AIDS survivor; and counselor. His unique odyssey is a moving and thought-provoking look at gender identity. It’s also a love story, a tale of survival, and a colorful hearkening back to a gritty Manhattan and the glory days of access television. i’m gonna make you love me is not political or a polemic documentary piece. It’s about the universal desire to feel comfortable in one’s own skin, and the reality that some of us have to work much harder to get there.
Produced in association with Picturebox and Sol Morada Productions / Entertainment and Strategy.
About the Filmmakers
Karen Bernstein (Producer / Director)
In her role as a series producer for American Masters and producer of ELLA FITZGERALD – SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR (1999), Bernstein received a national Emmy award for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series. For producing LOU REED – ROCK AND ROLL HEART (1998), she received a Grammy award. Since then she has directed multiple feature documentaries including PRODUCING LIGHT and transFIGURATION. RICHARD LINKLATER – DREAM IS DESTINY, a Sundance and SXSW entrant, is about to be distributed nationally by IFC Films and Hulu, with overseas distribution by the sales agent, Dogwoof. 2015 also saw the release of a Galan Inc. documentary that Karen Bernstein co-produced with Latino Public Broadcasting, CHILDREN OF GIANT.
Nevie Owens (Producer / Editor)
Most recently known for her editorial work on Sundance/ SXSW entrant, RICHARD LINKLATER – DREAM IS DESTINY and THE TELLER AND THE TRUTH which screened at Austin Film Festival. For four years, Nevie honed her skills as an assistant editor to Sandra Adair on many projects including ROLLING KANSAS, Academy Award-nominated BEFORE SUNSET, and an untitled Richard Linklater football documentary. Her work as a feature editor on JUMPING OFF BRIDGES, directed by Kat Candler and BURNED has screened at festivals throughout North America and most recently, Nevie Owens completed the popular feature documentary, THE SPIRIT MOLECULE, with director Mitch Schultz. In addition to the numerous feature films, documentaries and shorts benefiting from her editing work, Nevie Owens has enjoyed success with her own projects MEXIPHOBIA and CANCERPANTS because of her friendly and knowledgeable approach to filmmaking.
Deborah Eve Lewis