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Movies

Everything you need to know about the Helen Reddy biopic I Am Woman

Inspired by Helen Reddy's 1972 feminist anthem, the new Aussie film has been chosen to open the Toronto International Film Festival, featuring a wealth of Australian talent.

By Tiffany Dunk
It's one of the most hotly anticipated Australian film projects in recent years.
And in good news for those eagerly awaiting the Helen Reddy biopic I Am Woman, the film has received an international tick of approval, having been chosen to open the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival's Special Presentation section in September.
As one of the biggest film festivals in the yearly schedule, securing a World Premiere in Toronto is a boon for all those associated with the film, including The Weekly, who have invested in the story of the 1970s feminist icon starring Tilda Cobham-Hervey as Helen.
While the film will open for wide release in early 2020, this screening will give audiences the very first taste of Helen's incredible story, which begins when she arrived in New York in 1966 with a three-year-old daughter in tow, a single suitcase and just $230 in her pocket.
Within weeks she was broke, but her determination to make it in the US wouldn't fade.
Just five years later, she was an international star thanks to her anthem hit I Am Woman, which galvanised an entire generation of women – and their descendants – to fight for change.
The song I Am Woman was released as a single in 1972 and became a no. 1 hit in the US. It has since endured as an anthem for female empowerment. Getty Images
For her part, Tilda is excited to see Helen's story play out on the big screen.
Speaking exclusively to The Weekly, the 24-year-old star says the singer's anthem still has plenty to teach women in 2019 as it did back in 1971.
"We are having exactly the same conversations about women's rights," she says.
"We still need to hear this song. It's interesting how Helen is inspiring a whole new generation."
The film also stars another Aussie-on-the-rise, Danielle Mcdonald (PattiCake$) as legendary rock journalist Lillian Roxon while Evan Peters (American Horror Story, X-Men) also stars as Helen's husband and manager, Jeff Wald.
Unjoo Moon, Helen Reddy and Tilda Cobham-Hervey reunite at the 2019 G'Day USA Gala. Getty Images
Filmed in both Sydney and LA in 2018, the film has also received Helen's tick of approval.
The legendary singer became involved in the project after a chance meeting with Australian director Unjoo Moon at a G'Day USA event six years earlier.
"I could tell she had this extraordinary story but what I was really amazed about – after I left and researched after the event – was that her story had never been told," Unjoo tells The Weekly.
The Aussie star of Patti Cake$ and Dumplin', Danielle Mcdonald, will play Lillian Roxon in the film. Getty Images
Spending close to a year with Helen and her family, Unjoo delved deep into all facets of the legendary singer's life and says that the end result is a product both she – and, she hopes, the Reddy family – are thrilled with.
"We've done it with the upmost respect, in the spirit of who she is and her world," Unjoo says. "I think they are going to be overjoyed with what they see."
I Am Woman is expected to be released to Australian cinemas early next year.

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