The documentary Jewel’s Catch One is screening as part of the BFI London Film Festival’s SONIC program on October 8th & 9th, and it certainly looks like one it’ll be interesting to catch.
Jewel’s Catch One tells the story of Jewel Thais-Williams and her popular ‘Jewel’s Catch One’ nightclub – often called the Studio 54 of the West. It was a hub for cutting edge fashion & music for over 42 years in LA before it closed last year. While Jewel opened her doors to everyone – all races & sexual orientations – the club became a target of racism & homophobia, especially during the AIDS crisis. She even turned her parking lot into a soup kitchen during that time, to make sure people could get care, when so many were being ostracized. Jewel became a civil rights leader, and then ultimately a healer, who has now saved countless lives through her Village Healthcare Foundation.
The documentary has been a labor of love for the last six years for filmmaker C. Fitz, who met Jewel after volunteering to direct a 3 minute short for charity – and realising there was a much greater story to tell. The film is narrated by CCH Pounder and features exclusive interviews with Sharon Stone, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Thelma Houston, Sandra Bernhard, Bonnie Pointer, Thea Austin, Jenifer Lewis – and also features footage from Madonna’s 2000 album release party there (she was also rumoured to learn to Vogue at the club!). It, also, of course, features some of the best songs from the disco age!
Take a look at the trailer below. You can buy tickets for the BFI London Film Festival screenings here: https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/lff/Online/jewelscatchone