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“Uncle Gloria: One Helluva Ride!” is a darkly funny stranger than fiction film full of family drama and fireworks. During a nasty divorce, Butch, the 67 year-old Jewish macho and homophobic owner of a South Florida auto-wrecking company hides from the law…as a woman setting of a twisting tale of discovery. Naming herself after her two idols – Gloria Estefan and Gloria Steinem, she decides to remodel herself in much the same way Butch once lovingly restored his old cars. As a senior citizen, she undergoes a risky sex change operation, becomes a dominatrix then a transgender activist, finds, love all while trying to reconcile with her dysfunctional family.

The film was selected for a prestigious Film Independent Documentary Lab Fellowship with the International Documentary Association, as it’s fiscal sponsor. It is produced, directed and edited by two-time Emmy-award former PBS producer, Robyn Symon. 

While it has a twisting plot and lots of humor, Uncle Gloria is an important film about letting go of labels and accepting people for who they are regardless of their gender expression.  With the cultural spotlight on gender rights and specifically transgendered people, this film couldn’t be timelier.

Letting go of labels and accepting people for who they are is the core message of our film and our plan for community outreach. Gloria’s personal transformation, her attempts to reconcile with her family and her gender-bending relationship with Dan’s forces us to look beyond gender labels and accept people for who they are- in their hearts not their parts.

Another inspiring message of the story is that regardless of how old you are, it’s never to late to be who you want to be or do what you want to do with your life. As Gloria, who was 66 when she had her sex change operation, reminds us, “if you want to do something, do it now because tomorrow may never come.”

We are crowd funding to raise money to complete the film and enter into Top Tier International Film Festivals in the Fall.

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About the Filmmaking Team

Robyn Symon – Producer/Director/Editor

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Two-time Emmy winning Producer/Director/Editor Robyn Symon is a former PBS producer specializing in documentary films about people who transform the world around them. She has produced hundreds of hours of television programming for various networks including PBS (Voices of Vision), Discovery Health( Health & Family), CNBC, HGTV, Travel Channel (Florida!) and many others.

Here independent documentary feature films have secured international distribution deals including Transformation: The Life & Legacy of Werner Erhard (Screen Media Films) and “Behind the Blue Veil (Journeyman Pictures) which the New York Times called “deadly serious” and Hollywood Reporter called “powerful.” Her films and television programs have been shown theatrically throughout the world, on television and on every major digital platform including Hulu, Netflix and Amazon.

 

Manuel Tsingaris - Story Consultant/Editor

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Manuel has been an editor for twenty years. His experience ranges from documentaries and commercials, to music videos and magazine style programming. Some of his recent projects include: The Storm that Swept Mexico, a two-hour film that aired on PBS in May 2011; Writ Writer; A Dream in Doubt, which follows a Sikh man’s journey to find peace and justice after his brother is killed four days after 9/11; China Blue, a documentary on child labor in China and Long Gone, a documentary about hobos and the very human desire for community, belonging and family. Manuel was also a contributing Editor on the critically acclaimed mini documentary series, Life 360, a co-venture between ABC/Nightline and PBS.

 

Douglas Blush, A.C.E. - Story Editor

Doug Blush is an award-winning director, producer, editor, writer and cinematographer whose recent credits include, as Supervising Editor, the 2013 theatrical hit 20 FEET FROM STARDOM, winner of the Best Documentary Oscar in 2014. He was Editor and Associate Producer of 2012’s Academy Award nominated and double Emmy Award winning THE INVISIBLE WAR, and recently worked on THE HUNTING GROUND, which premiered at Sundance 2015. Doug has taught filmmaking for many years, including seminars and classes at USC, UCLA, Syracuse University and Northwestern University. Doug and his wife and film partner Lisa Klein own MadPix, Inc, an independent production, post production and film consulting company in Los Angeles.


 

 

 
 

 

 
 

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