The Extraordinary Life of April Ashley
This documentary tells the epic story of how one transgender woman changed Britain and how Britain changed for transgender people. April, who died last year at the age of 86, was one of Britain’s most prominent transgender women – a model, dancer and restaurateur whose life took her from the slums of wartime Liverpool to the height of Knightsbridge society. In the late 1950s April became a dancer in an infamous Parisian nightclub, before travelling to Casablanca to undergo pioneering gender reassignment surgery. Returning to Britain she became a model for Vogue before being outed by a tabloid newspaper. From then on her life was a rollercoaster involving celebrity friendships, a landmark divorce trial at the Royal Courts of Justice, and an MBE for services to transgender equality. Through April’s story, and interviews with a stellar cast of contributors, the film will take the audience inside the intimate reality of the transgender experience, and explore how this celebrated trailblazer paved the way for future generations of transgender people.
“There’s absolutely no overstatement in the title of this documentary about a woman who refused to be defined by what others thought she was…an effervescent film.” The Telegraph
“There are lots of stellar contributors…It’s Ashley, though, who steals the limelight. The strength, humour and sheer guts of a woman dragged over the coals for daring to become herself is breathtaking to witness.” The Guardian