Maria Irene Fornes: The Rest I Make Up

A new lesbian feature film on the life and work of playwright Maria Irene Fornes.


Published:

Even though Cuban-American dramatist Maria Irene Fornes is an award-winning and prolific avant-garde playwright, many queer women today do not know her name. They soon will, if a director and her Kickstarter project are successful!

In 1999, Michelle Memran was interviewing Fornes for an article she was writing for a theater publication. Memran became intrigued by the fearless and original thinking of Fornes and the two became friends, even though Fornes, in her 70s, was already suffering from dementia. Nevertheless, Memran caught much of their time together on film with a Hi-8 camera; the footage of a young woman and an old woman, bound together by the acts of living, remembering, and creating art, is now the basis for a feature film.

Fornes didn’t set out to become a playwright, and Memran reveals she didn't set out to become a filmmaker, either. "Irene’s response to the camera and my response to filming her was a beautiful surprise for us both," says Memran. "Initially the film was our way to keep the creative process alive in each of us, and the process­­—at least at the time­­—was very much the product.

                                                                                                               Fornes and Memran


"Today I am able to see clearly the reason I stayed committed to the project years after I stopped filming (due to Irene’s advancing dementia)," Memran says in an artist's statement. "The reason I kept working with the tapes, combing through hundreds of hours of footage, was because there was a story I had to tell."

The project is well underway but needs funding to complete its production so that the amazing work, mind, and life of Maria Irene Fornes can be shared and enjoyed by women everywhere.

More info on the film here

Contribute to the campaign here

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