|Decades ago, Julia Scotti performed as Rick Scotti, and appeared on bills with Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock. Now, the trans comedian returns to the stage as “the crazy old lady of comedy,” in this tender, funny, and triumphant comeback story.|
|FUNNY THAT WAY – the richly funny, moving, and timely documentary portrait of trans comedian Julia Scotti, a finalist on AMERICA’S GOT TALENT, who returned to comedy (and Showtime) in a different gender after a 20 year hiatus?|
Audiences are taken on an entertaining emotional roller coaster in this tender, funny and triumphant comeback story directed by Susan Sandler (writer of Golden Globe nominated CROSSING DELANCEY) with 1091 Pictures releasing the film on June 1st on all major VOD platforms.
“Julia’s life story is an important and touching one, and we are excited and honored to support its telling through the release of Susan Sandler’s wonderful film”, said Carly Reicho, Director of Film Distribution at 1091 Pictures.
In the comedy boom of the1980’s Rick Scotti was a busy guy– a headliner in clubs across the country– when he came to the dawning realization that nothing felt right. At a time when the words gender dysphoria and gender reassignment surgery were rarely heard, Rick’s true awakening at age forty-seven led to a year of hormonal treatments, surgery, and a new identity as Julia Scotti.
And then everyone turned away—former wives, friends, family, comedy world buddies, and most painfully Julia was shut out from any contact with her children. She reinvented herself, spent a decade teaching, and then several years ago, stepped back on stage at an open mic and began her journey back to the world she loves. And just as she returned to comedy, her children reached out to her after 15 years of silence.
Shot over a period of five years, Julia Scotti: Funny That Way tracks Julia’s triumphant comeback, the rough life on the road, and the complex process of reuniting with her children, as comedy becomes the shared language of identity, healing, and joy.DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT
I fell in love with Julia Scotti one July night in 2015 after seeing her explosively funny and moving comedy set. Later, huddled in a noisy bar, I began to see around the edges of the private Julia–delicate, vulnerable, and real. As we began to exchange histories an undeniable link emerged. A sisterhood. We are women of a certain age with a shared sensibility, and a willingness to say yes to truth, no matter where it takes us. Julia’s story deepens our understanding of not only the transgender experience, but of the human experience of longing to be who we truly are, no matter the price. And by that example, she invites us to be free.
The Italian word corposo refers to a rich, full-bodied wine. Rich and full-bodied is also an appropriate descriptor for the life of comedian Julia Scotti.
Since 1980, Julia has been honing her craft in clubs and theaters throughout the United States and Canada, performing for the first 20 years as Rick Scotti, and now, after a life-changing hiatus, returning as Julia Scotti. Her second act has been the very definition of Corposo.
The new and improved Julia has been described by colleagues and press as, among other things, “a force of nature”, and “a comedy chainsaw flying through the room”.
As Julia says, her comedy always has to be “fearless and honest”, and America can feel both in her performances. Since coming back to comedy in 2011, she has been named one of the Top Five Transgender Comedians in the Country by Advocate Magazine, and has performed at LGBTQ events across the country, and was one of the winners of the Laughlin Laugh Festival in Nevada. But she wasn’t done yet.
Simon Cowell said that “you genuinely made me laugh” as she introduced herself to a national audience on Season 11 of America’s Got Talent. She was the first transgender comedian to appear on national television and was a quarter-finalist on the show.
Not content to sit on her laurels, Julia went on to record her first, best-selling comedy CD entitled, “Hello Boys I’m Back!” and is gearing up to record her second one. This year, she is being featured on the Showtime Television Network Special, “More Funny Women of a Certain Age.”
As “Julia Scotti: Funny that Way” directed by Susan Sandler premiered at Nantucket Film Festival, Julia suggested that the film have “Part I” added to the title, because she’s only just begun. If Julia were a wine, she’d be aged just right. And she’d definitely be molto Corposo.
Susan Sandler’s screenplays and teleplays include the Golden Globe nominated Crossing Delancey and Friends At Last, as well as projects for Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, TNT, and Columbia. Her work for the stage has been produced in New York, at major theatres across the country, and around the world. Her plays include Crossing Delancey (which she adapted for the screen), Under the Bed, The Renovation, The Moaner, If I Were A Train and The Find, and for NPR’s “Playing on Air,”The Burial Society . Sandler’s work is published by Smith and Kraus, Vintage Press, and Samuel French. She is on the faculty at NYU Tisch Film & Television. Julia Scotti: Funny That Way won Audience Choice at the Paley Center for New Media Doc Pitch, and is her directing debut.