LIFE WITH ORSON WELLES: THE MAN BEHIND THE LEGEND
Beatrice Mori di Gerfalco Welles and writer-producer-director Dax Phelan have teamed up for a six-episode original docu-series, Life with Orson Welles: The Man Behind the Legend. The daughter of Orson Welles and his third wife Paola Mori, Welles is a countess from an Italian noble family that dates back to 400 AD, a stage and film actress (Chimes at Midnight, Don Quixote), and the manager of the Orson Welles estate. Lon Haber is repping the film in Berlin.
Directed by Phelan and reminiscent of IFC’s Dinner for Five, the series will be a collection of casual but revealing dinner conversations, during which Welles, Phelan, and a revolving door of special guests discuss Orson Welles and his work, Beatrice’s unique life and upbringing, the films Beatrice and Welles made together, and the private side of her father that few people ever got to see or know.
“Much is known about my father as this legendary Renaissance man, but very little is known about what he was really like in private and the extraordinary gypsy life we lived off the set,” Welles said. “I plan to dispel a few old rumours and spread some new ones.”
“The show will provide audiences with a rare glimpse into the private life of Welles through never-before-heard personal stories and insights from the one person who knew him best,” Phelan added. “Forget what you think you know.”
Welles and Phelan recently served on the producing team behind Orson Welles’s final film, The Other Side of the Wind. The film had its world premiere at the 75th Venice Film Festival and was released by Netflix on November 2, 2018. The National Board of Review honoured the film with the prestigious and rarely given William K. Everson Film History Award. The National Society of Film Critics honoured the film with its Film Heritage Award. The film has also appeared on over three dozen year-end “Top 10” lists, including Film Comment, The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times, RogerEbert.com, et al.
Welles also appeared in Mark Cousins’ documentary, The Eyes of Orson Welles, which premiered at Cannes and will be released by Janus Films in April 2019, and Morgan Neville’s documentary, They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead, which had its world premiere at Telluride and was released by Netflix on November 2, 2018.
Phelan recently wrote an adaptation of the New York Times best seller, “n the Sanctuary of Outcasts, for producer Stratton Leopold (Mission: Impossible III) and is currently adapting the life story of record-breaking aviatrix Jennifer Murray for Leopold and Eric M. Klein (Jasmine).
Eric M. Klein will produce Life with Orson Welles: The Man Behind the Legend with Phelan and James Su (The Other Side of the Wind) will executive produce.
The Orson Welles Estate is represented by Jim Hornstein. Phelan is represented by Danny Passman at Gang, Tyre, Ramer, & Brown, and Terence E. Groves at Maximfilms Australia.
Photo credit: Beatrice Welles with her parents, Orson Welles and Paola di Gerfalco, Contessa di Gerfalco (Paola Mori)