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'Westerly' Documentary to Tell Story of Surf Icon Peter Drouyn's Journey into Becoming a Woman [Kickstarter Video]

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood November 26, 2012 at 4:05PM

"Westerly," a doc about transgender surfer Peter Drouyn's controversial journey toward becoming a woman, is in the works with producers Beau Willimon and Jordan Tappis. Alan White and Jamie Brisick will direct the film, with musicians Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Matt Sweeney also on board.
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Westerly
Westerly surfing

"Westerly," a doc about transgender surfer Peter Drouyn's controversial journey toward becoming a woman, is in the works with producers Beau Willimon and Jordan Tappis. Alan White and Jamie Brisick will direct the film, with musicians Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Matt Sweeney also on board.

Drouyn was a surf icon during the '60s and '70s, but beneath the traditionally macho and sexist surf culture he was hiding himself. He disappeared from the scene in the '80s. Then, after a 2002 surfing accident that nearly killed him, he began his transition into becoming a woman. "It was a supernova. It just kicked in one night, and suddenly Peter went, Westerly was there," she says.

Westerly Windina is the name Drouyn emerged with in 2008 when she announced on Australian TV that she was living as a woman.

The filmmakers state, “Peter Drouyn becomes aware of the woman within and transforms into the Westerly Windina of the 21st Century in a country and a subculture still so completely at odds with the very idea of this kind of gender bending.” Willimon adds, "it’s a provocative portrait of continual reinvention while searching for one’s true self.”

You can help get the film made by supporting the Kickstarter campaign. Watch the promo video with Westerly below.

This article is related to: Documentary, News, News, Documentaries


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.