New York-based Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired the U.S. rights to Aisling Chin-Yee and Chase Joynt’s No Ordinary Man, a look at the life of the late jazz musician and trans culture icon Billy Tipton.
Produced by Sarah Spring, the film premiered at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival. It later picked up awards at the 2020 Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival; the 2020 Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM); the 2021 Reelout Film Festival in Kingston, Ontario; and the Mardi Gras Film Festival in Sydney, Australia.
O-Scope will release the film later this year.
In No Ordinary Man, Tipton’s (pictured) story is re-imagined and performed by trans artists as they collectively paint a portrait of an unlikely hero. The film features leading voices and breakout stars in the trans community, including Marquise Vilsón, Scott Turner Schofield, Susan Stryker, C. Riley Snorton and Thomas Page McBee, among others.
The deal was negotiated by Mimi Steinbauer and Andrew Neel of Radiant Films International, who acquired the documentary after its world premiere at TIFF. Radiant is handling worldwide sales on the film, which was recently screened at the European Film Market (EFM) Online.
Chin-Yee and Joynt said in a statement: “We are thrilled to join the team at O-Scope and can’t wait for audiences to spend time with these extraordinary stories — Tipton’s life and death offer us myriad ways to think about the power of gender, race, family, and media in shaping trans lives both in the past and in the future. There couldn’t be a better time to continue these conversations in the U.S.”
Adam Tauch of the Beastie Boys launched O-Scope in 2008. The film production and distribution outfit, an extension of Yauch’s recording studio of the same name, has an in-house DVD distribution and production arm.