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Good Ol’ Freda

For the first time and in her own words, Freda Kelly tells how she went from Liverpool typist to the heart of The Beatles' musical revolution.

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  • Director Ryan White
  • Producers Kathy McCabe, Ryan White, Jessica Lawson
  • Screenwriters Ryan White, Jessica Lawson
  • USA 2013
  • 86 mins
  • Sales ro*co

Freda Kelly was a teenage typist who became a devoted fan of The Beatles as soon as she saw them playing at The Cavern Club one fateful lunch hour. She started running the band’s fan club and Brian Epstein gave her a job as secretary. She would dedicate her time to both roles for as long as The Beatles existed, a close witness to their triumphs and their trials as they changed pop music and the world forever. Still working as a secretary and living in the working-class Liverpool environment her erstwhile employers left behind for international stardom, Freda’s loyalty to the band remains evident as she tells her story for the first time in Ryan White’s lovely, affectionate and revealing documentary. Freda is a self-effacing and sometimes reluctant observer of history but she is also open and devoid of bitterness, her insight such that it sheds new light on a saga that has been recounted many times. It’s testimony to her contribution that the surviving Beatles approved of the film; their music, which features alongside original versions of songs they covered, makes for a gear soundtrack.

Michael Hayden

Director biography

Ryan White is the producer/director of Pelada, an award-winning documentary about a journey around the world to 25 countries told through the lens of casual football. The film premiered at SXSW in 2010 and played in over 20 film festivals worldwide and was distributed by PBS International and Cinetic. White is a Sundance fellow for his upcoming documentary Perry v. Schwarzenegger, a behind-the-scenes look at the Supreme Court case that ended Proposition 8 and allowed gay marriage to resume in California. The film was recently acquired by HBO. Previously, White had a longstanding collaboration with eight-time Emmy winner Sherry Jones.

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