Emmy nominated filmmaker, director, and, producer, Sarah Townsend documents famed British comedian, actor and entertainer, Eddie Izzard in Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story. Sarah’s seven-year-long journey to fulfill her dream with this film project mirrors Eddie’s personal rise to stardom. The narrative angle Sarah chose to tell was not an easy one nor was it simple to portray on film. A seasoned producer in the world of theater with intricate connections, Sarah did not have automatic entrance into the moving picture genre of storytelling. The cross over to film from theater began by producing a series of DVD’s, and then short film debuts* which finally opened wide the opportunity to write, direct and produce a feature documentary. The new venture was spurred on by Eddie, himself. He invited Sarah to film a narrative of his personal journey toward fame, ironically, at a time when Eddie suffered a major crisis – both personally and careerwise. Eddie trusted Sarah to present his life with the utmost integrity and honesty knowing their long history together. The trust was a viable connection that allowed them both to embark on a memorable journey exposing the heart and soul of skilled professionals.
The documentary opens and closes with dazzling scenes from Sarah’s production of Eddie Izzard: Live from Wembley 2009. Eddie’s concert housed an audience of 44,000 fans. The heart of the documentary Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story spans a seven-year expedition of Eddie’s pilgrimage toward a self-discovery—one being his sexual predilection. Even though Sarah knew there was a solid story to tell it did not excuse the projects difficulties. There were many things that went wrong with the project from finances to simply a lack of knowledge about how to film. Sarah comments, “…one whole year’s worth of unusable footage, anyone?” Charting the rugged course of Eddie Izzard’s biography, Sarah eloquently draws one into a compelling story where truth is revealed and dreams are realized. There is no fairy dust to be seen, only good old fashioned hard work and perseverance. Sarah continues, “I hope that I have not made a fairytale but instead a narrative where encouragement and hope abound so that when we fall down, we can choose to pick our self up, dust our self off and start again in order to achieve our dreams.” Sarah truly captured the essence of Eddie’s never failing belief in his talent, skill and his love to entertain defining his unique persona. Sarah’s interpretation of Eddie’s faith to believe is powerful and emotionally moving. It’s a fascinating dare for all of us to believe!