British filmmaker Beeban Kidron has been directing feature films since the late 1980s. In recent years, Kidron has gained commercial success directing such films as Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. As a teenager, Kidron was a runaway: at the age of seventeen, she even worked as an exotic dancer. However, Kidronís artistic skill was undeniable and she became a prize-winning photographer before leaving her teens. Kidron studied at the national Film and Television School before directing documentaries. Kidron later began directing films for the BBC; gaining international attention with her made for television film, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (1990). The film, based on Jeanette Winterson's novel, tells the story of a young lesbian's coming of age in a fanatically Pentecostal household. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit was widely acclaimed on the festival circuit, particularly in gay and lesbian themed festivals, and went on to earn Kidron a British Academy Award.
In 1992, Kidron made her Hollywood debut with the comedy-drama Used People, featuring Shirley MacLaine as a widowed Jewish woman courted by an Italian stranger who claims to have been watching her from afar for many years. The film also featured supporting performances from popular actresses Marcia Gay Harden, Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy and Sylvia Sidney. Kidron ventured to NYC's South Bronx for her return to nonfiction filmmaking: Hookers, Hustlers, Pimps and Their Johns aired to huge Christmas audiences on England's Channel 4.
In 1995, Kidron had her first true Hollywood hit with the comedy To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. The film, which starred Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo as drag queens stranded in the American mid-West, even earned Swayze and Leguizamo each a Golden Globe nomination in 1996. (07/09)