“Good Ol’ Freda,” the documentary about former Beatles Fan Club president Freda Kelly, will premiere at this year’s South By Southwest festival, Kathy McCabe, one of the film’s co-producers along with Ryan White, said in a phone interview Tuesday.
“We’re really excited because it’s been 18 months,” she said. “They haven’t totally announced it yet, but they’ve just put out the featured films. It’s just going to be rolling out this week.” A website for the film also is now live at www.goodolfreda.com.
The first showing of the film will be March 9. And McCabe confirmed that Kelly will be at the festival for a week attending screenings and for Q&A sessions.
“Oh yes, she is coming! She is very excited about it,” McCabe said. “She just can’t hardly believe it. She’s so modest she can’t believe anybody would be interested in her story. So this to her is unbelievable.”
Beginning this week, the producers will also launch a new round of fund-raising for $75,000 for post-production costs through the Southern Documentary Film website.
“We had our first initial fundraising on Kickstarter. Now we’re into the post-production costs to actually get this thing onto the festivals. We’ve been accepted in two more festivals and more and more people are inviting us just based on this South By Southwest thing. We have to get the film finished and there are some pretty high bills associated with post-production, not only the music and the photographs and the footage, but things like color correction and sound editors and things like that,” she said.
“So we’re going back out and posting a Kickstarter update (Wednesday). And all the people that have helped us all along we’re asking for their help once again with tax-deductible donations to help get us get to the finish line.
The film has gotten to this point with only seven people involved, she said.
“We are a skeleton crew. Seven people have pulled this off.”
McCabe says they hope to be able to include Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr and Beatles music in the film, which is still unfinished. “This film is turning out so beautfully. It’s a beautiful little film about the days before people in the U.S. had even heard about the Beatles.” She said the DVD that Kickstarter donors are to receive will be available at mid-summer “at the earliest.”
The film became a reality in November, 2011, when a Kickstarter.com campaign to raise money passed its goal of $50,000 two days ahead of schedule. “We did it!,” McCabe said at the time.
Director Ryan White said the film would be a very personal story. “Freda and I have spent many months going over her stories, so we’ve begun to shape the narrative from that sense. Her voice will guide the film. It will be a very personal film in that way,” he said in November, 2011.
In our interview with Freda Kelly, she said the release of “Please Please Me” signaled a big change in the work of the fan club. “When ‘Please Please Me’ went to number one in the charts, everything just exploded,” she said.
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