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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Monday 04 January 2021

New Feature Length Documentary On The Life Of Audrey Hepburn Has Brighton Connection

Theatre Royal Brighton features in a new feature-length documentary on the life of Hollywood and cultural icon, Audrey Hepburn.
Writer & Director Helena Coan

The Brighton-shot scene focuses on Audrey's dancing prowess, as her original ambition was to be a ballerina, and features Royal Ballet principal dancer Francesca Hayward (Cats) who plays 'Hollywood-era Audrey' at the height of her fame.

The documentary film titled Audrey - produced by Salon Pictures and Universalwas written and directed by 26-year-old London-based Helena Coan: 

"The film provides intimate interviews with those who knew Audrey best, woven around rare archival footage. 

"However, we have taken it one step further and worked with multi award- winning British choreographer, Wayne McGregor CBE, to create dance sequences, one at Theatre Royal Brighton, inspired by Audrey's love of ballet to build a beguiling and emotionally affecting portrait. 

"Dance brings a heightened sense of drama and theatre to the film, as well as a rich visual language which has not yet been used in documentary."

Audrey Hepburn won her first Academy Award at the age of 24 and went on to become one of the world's greatest cultural icons: a once-in-a-generation beauty, and legendary star of Hollywood's Golden Age, whose style and pioneering collaboration with Hubert de Givenchy continues to inspire. But who was the real Audrey Hepburn? 

Malnourished as a child, abandoned by her father and growing up under Nazi occupation in Holland, Hepburn faced a life-long battle with the traumas of her past, which thwarted her dreams of becoming a ballet dancer, and cast a shadow over her personal life. 

Yet she found inner peace using her superstardom for good as a global ambassador for UNICEF and bringing her life full circle; first a victim of war, then a source of relief to millions. 

Helena Coan's own career in the film industry started at a young age after graduating in English from UCL in 2015. 

From writing and directing a series of short films including Keepsake, which was shown at film festivals all over the world, she then went on to direct a documentary about world-renowned car designer Frank Stephenson in 2018, Chasing Perfect, currently available on Netflix. 

"In the true sense of the phrase, making 'Audrey' has been a labour of love," says Coan. 

"Through interviews with her son Sean Ferrer, granddaughter Emma Ferrer and with people with whom she lived and worked, a beautiful yet conflicted woman came to life. 

"But the constant theme was love – lost, gained but always given."

'Audrey' is available to rent and own on digital. CLICK HERE to view the trailer.

by: Mike Cobley


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