Filmmaker Ryan White is on a roll. The 2004 Duke University graduate’s newest documentary, Good Ol’ Freda, just had its world premiere at SXSW, and will screen at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival on Friday, April 4. The film (tagline: “Behind a Great Band, There Was a Great Woman”) tells the story of Freda Kelly, the Beatles’ secretary from 1962 to 1973 and longtime trusted friend. Read Billboard and Indiewire stories about the origins of Good Ol’ Freda, Kelly’s history with the band, and how White managed to clear the rights to original Beatles recordings from Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and the estates of John Lennon and George Harrison.
White made his first short films as a Duke undergrad at the Center for Documentary Studies, and received a CDS Certificate in Documentary Studies. White and fellow certificate grads Gwendolyn Oxenham and Rebekah Fergusson, along with Oxenham’s boyfriend Luke Boughen, then went on to make Pelada, the award-winning 2010 feature documentary about a journey to twenty-five countries told through the lens of pick-up soccer. After this year’s Full Frame festival (April 4–7), White will return to CDS to to screen clips and talk to students in director Tom Rankin’s undergraduate class about trying to make it as an independent documentary filmmaker.
Next up for White, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, a behind-the-scenes look at the high-profile challenge to California’s Prop 8; the case is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court and poised to be the first federal ruling on same-sex marriage. White was awarded a grant from the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program and Fund to develop the project.
Excerpt of Good Ol’ Freda from distributor ro*co films