Synopsis: Manchester’s Vogue ball scene is revealed in this documentary exploring notions of love, community and creativity, as preparations are underway for an upcoming competition. This is a celebration of the queer heroes of this scene, which takes its inspiration from the US model of competing Houses.
Over the course of a year we developed a relationship with the House Mothers and members and charted the buildup to the Manchester ICONS Vogue Ball. We’ve explored themes from the internal politics of Vogue to its external politics like disenfranchisement of black youth, LGBT issues, a shrinking welfare state, a dearth of art spaces and modes of expression, a reductive and commercialized gay scene and a lack of safe spaces for the truly different. We also looked at personal stories; people coming to love and accept themselves, young mothers
gaining back their sense of self, people receiving applause, adulation and respect for the first times in their lives after years of bullying and abuse from their peers, people abandoned by their families finding a new family through Vogue. We discovered that a lot of the reasons that gay black men were seeking an aspirational artistic outlet through Vogue in the 1980s, were the same reasons that Northern youth was seeking Vogue now; social persecution for their sexuality and way of life, rejection from their family and a need for a safe space in which to express themselves as LGBT and POC people.
Amy Watson (DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER) used to make commercials until her mind exploded and she decided to only make things she believed in and that she thought other people might like too. She works full time as a gardener at a British stately home (really) and does film making around that.
Dennis Keighron-Foster (DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER) is a queer single papa of twins with a background in interior design. His ambition has always been to tell people’s stories and he is therefore surprised that this is his first documentary. Amy and Dennis met at a rave five years ago, fell in platonic love and made a film about their shared love of the Manchester ballroom scene. This is their first film and was self-funded, independent of any production company or business sense.