This week in Film — Sara Sugarman on VERY ANNIE MARY

On Dec. 1, TCM’s 14-week series Women Make Film comes to a close with movies on death, endings and a little song and dance. When it’s all said and done, TCM’s series will have screened 100 movies from all six filmmaking continents, and it’ll be up to the 2001 screwball comedy Very Annie Mary to bring down the curtain.

“It meant an awful lot to me,” Welsh writer/director Sara Sugarman says. “I mean, I wrote all my little films, and Annie Mary, sitting in Wendy’s kitchen, listening to her and her friends talk.”
Wendy is Wendy Phillips, a cleaning lady in Wales who Sugarman happened across while en route to a community center that a dramaturge at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts told her about. It was the mid-’90s, and Sugarman was looking to make the leap from acting to directing. She had a script, now she needed faces and a place. 
“But before I got there, I saw a sign of the name of this village,” Sugarman recounts. A friend of hers used to live there, so Sugarman called her up. “And she went: ‘Go and knock on Wendy’s door at number 65 and send my love.’ And I knocked on Wendy’s door at 65, and she said, ‘Come in, love, have a cup of tea.’ And I never got to the top of the valley. I never got to that community center.”

Boulder Weekly Vol. 28, No. 15, “A little film about lovely people.”