The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls
The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls is the first time that the irrepressible Kiwi entertainment double act, Jools and Lynda Topp's extraordinary personal story has been told.
The film offers a revealing look into the lives of the World's only comedic, country singing, dancing, and yodeling lesbian twin sisters. As well as rarely seen archive footage and home movies, the film features a series of special interviews with some of the Topp's infamous comedy alter-egos including candid chats with the two Kens, Camp Mother and Camp Leader, the Bowling Ladies and the Posh Socialite sisters, Prue and Dilly.
Celebrating their half century this year (2009), the Topp Twins have attained a unique status within New Zealand culture, and their fans range from hard core political activists, to sheep farmers and 'Ladies who Lunch'. Their ability to relate to all kinds of people, and their natural gift for humour, has helped them cross from the fringes to the mainstream. It has often been said that if the story of the twins was fictional nobody would believe it. From rural backwaters to busking on the streets of Auckland, to performances at the Rugby World Cup and London’s West End stage, their appeal is infectious. From support act to Split Enz, Billy Bragg, and Midnight Oil to headlining their own hugely successful tours in Australia, Canada, the USA and Britain. The twins have morphed from radical activists into Kiwi 'national treasures' and 'cultural ambassadors', and finally, according to the Glasgow Herald, into New Zealand's 'finest artistic export since lamb cutlets!'
By 1998 only a decade later, Lynda Topp, as Camp Mother, came close to winning the mayoral elections in Auckland, and the Topp Twins were firmly entrenched in the bosom of Kiwi culture with their own prime time TV Series Do Not Adjust Your Twinset.
The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls is a big story. Its not just the story of two sisters but also of 50 years of New Zealand history. Half a century of cultural changes and the foundation of a national identity. Part concept film, part biopic, part historical record, part comedy, the twins share their journey from ‘coming out’ to Jools' recent brush with breast cancer with much laughter, honesty and wisdom. It is a film about two truly unique New Zealanders which ends up saying as much about us as it does about them.
The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls is directed by award-winning ex BBC documentary filmmaker, Leanne Pooley. Director of Photography was shared by Leon Narbey (Whale Rider), one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed cinematographers, and Wayne Vinten, (Best Cinematography NZ Film and TV Awards 2008). The film was produced by Arani Cuthbert of Diva Productions, who has also managed the twins for much of their career.
Melbourne International Film Festival, Audience Award; Qantas Film and TV Awards NZ, Best Feature Film, Best Original Music; Toronto International Film Festival, The Cadillac People's Choice Award; Festival International Du Film Documentaire Oceanien (FIFO), Special Jury Award; Goteborg International Film Festival: Audience Award - Best Feature Film; Florida Film Festival, Audience Award - Best International Feature Film; Portland Film Festival, Best Feature Documentary; Nashville Film Festival, Audience Award - Best Documentary, Best GLBT Film; River Run Film Festival, Audience Award - Best Documentary; Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Juried Award Best Documentary; Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival, Elle Flanders Award for Best Documentary Film.
Colour, 35mm, Dolby Digital