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Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Matt Sweeney (Superwolf) to score Westerly, a documentary film about transgender surf icon Peter Drouyn’s controversial struggle to become a woman.

| 29 November 2012 | Reply

Santa Monica-based production company Westward Productions, founded by Beau Willimon and Jordan Tappis, have teamed up with directors Alan White and Jamie Brisick, and musicians Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Matt Sweeney, on Westerly, a 90-minute feature documentary chronicling the life of Westerly Windina, formerly known as Peter Drouyn.

Peter Drouyn was one of surfing’s first superstars. A true visionary, he dominated the international competitive ranks in the ’60s and ’70s, invented man-on-man surfing, and introduced surfing to China.

But there was much he kept private. As a child, Peter liked to dress up in women’s clothes. During his competitive years, he was hypersensitive and introspective amid a culture that was often macho, myopic, and sexist. For most of his career he felt ostracized. In the ’80s he drifted away from competitive surfing and all but disappeared.

In 2002, Peter suffered a traumatic surfing accident that nearly drowned him. Not long after, his feminine side emerged. “It was a supernova,” said Westerly. “It just kicked in one night, and suddenly Peter went, Westerly was there.” In 2008, Peter Drouyn announced on Australian national television that he was living as a woman. His new name, she said, was Westerly Windina.

Westerly will explore Westerly’s past as a man, present as a transgender woman, and urgent desire for completion (i.e., gender-reassignment surgert). Featuring interviews with surfing legends, Westerly’s friends, family and contemporaries, and blistering action footage shot in Australia, Hawaii, Africa, and Indonesia, Westerly will follow Westerly through this new chapter of her enigmatic journey.

“It’s an amazing and unique human story,” says directors White and Brisick. “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.”

“Jordan and I are passionate about stories that challenge the imagination and explore the vastness of the human spirit,” says producer Beau Willimon.  “Westerly does both – it’s a provocative portrait of continual reinvention while searching for one’s true self.”

About the filmmakers: Alan White is an internationally acclaimed commercial and feature film director. Hailing from Australia, he has won every major international advertising award from the Cannes Lions to the Clios and became the first director to win an Emmy® for “Outstanding TV Commercial”.

Former pro surfer Jamie Brisick has written extensively about surf culture for over 20 years. A Fulbright Scholar, he has directed several films about surfing and skateboarding, among them The Life and Concrete Powwow.

Academy Award ® nominee Beau Willimon is a screenwriter, playwright and producer.  He received Academy Award ®, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for the screenplay for Ides of March,  based on his play Farragut North.  He is currently the creator and show-runner for the Netflix original series House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey, directed by David Fincher.

Jordan Tappis is the president and founder of music entertainment company Record Collection and co-founder of Westward Productions. He began his career as a professional surfer.  Recently he produced the documentary God Bless Ozzy Osbourne.

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy has, over the past quarter of a century, made an idiosyncratic journey through, and left an indelible mark on, the worlds of indie rock and independent cinema.

Matt Sweeney is a musician and album maker who straddles the worlds of “big” records and “deep” music. His guitar work is featured on “big albums” albums by Johnny Cash (American V and VI), Adele (21), Neil Diamond (Home Before Dark), Kid Rock (Born Free), Dixie Chicks (Taking The Long Way), and the deathmetal pioneer Josh Groban (Illuminations).

Estimated release: Winter 2013

Westerly aims to raise $50K on Kickstarter. Funding ends December 17, 2012.

To pledge and/or spread the word, visit:

Category: Articles

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ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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