Produced concurrently and in partnership with Ira Sachs’ acclaimed feature film KEEP THE LIGHTS ON (2012, Music Box Films) with support from the New York Public Library, IN SEARCH OF AVERY WILLARD is an illuminating portrait of one of queer art’s most fascinating and elusive innovators.
Broadway photographer, physique artist, gay activist, experimental filmmaker, drag historian, leatherman, pornographer: New York City artist Avery Willard produced a lifetime of historically significant work that has remained widely unseen for decades. Through rare interviews with collaborators, friends and preeminent cinema historians, filmmaker Cary Kehayan traces Willard’s provocative career from the 1940s through the 1990s. Featuring newly restored, never-before-seen archival films and photographs, this revealing documentary tells the story of a lost trailblazer of the queer art movement – a man who was as ambitious as he was self-sabotaging.
Executive produced by Ira Sachs (Forty Shades of Blue, Love Is Strange) and Lucas Joaquin (Beasts of the Southern Wild, Keep the Lights On) and featuring an original score by Daniel Quinn (Cosmonaut), IN SEARCH OF AVERY WILLARD has screened at over 25 U.S. and international film festivals and was released by Music Box Films as part of the Keep the Lights On DVD and Blu-ray editions.