Docs

Kino Lorber picks up Sundance prizewinner “Framing Agnes”

Kino Lorber has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to the Sundance prizewinner Framing Agnes (pictured), which it has slated for a December theatrical release. Directed by Chase Joynt and based on his 2020 ...
June 6, 2022

Kino Lorber has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to the Sundance prizewinner Framing Agnes (pictured), which it has slated for a December theatrical release.

Directed by Chase Joynt and based on his 2020 short of the same name, Framing Agnes centers on the eponymous (and pseudonymous) transgender woman who participated in a famous gender study at UCLA in the 1960s conducted by the sociologist Harold Garfinkel. Employing the transcripts from these sessions, Joynt mounts a series of period-specific re-enactments starring a cast of trans performers and academics, which both reveal the narrowness of contemporary perspectives on transness (then and now), and foregrounds the values of community and lineage in trans culture.

The hybrid doc made its world premiere at this year’s Sundance in the festival’s NEXT strand, which spotlights “bold, innovative and forward-thinking” approaches to the documentary form. At the fest’s conclusion, it took home both the NEXT Innovator Award for Joynt and the NEXT Audience Award.

Framing Agnes takes a novel and fascinating approach to exploring how trans people past and present are perceived and represented,” said Kino Lorber SVP Wendy Lidell, who negotiated the distribution deal for the doc with the filmmakers’ representatives from UTA Independent Film Group. “By combining tropes of dramatic and documentary filmmaking, Chase enables the audience to see the trans community through fresh eyes, and in their own words. We believe it will make a huge contribution to the ongoing conversation around trans rights and look forward to sharing it far and wide.”

In addition to directing, Joynt co-wrote the film with Morgan M. Page and also served as a producer, alongside Samantha Curley and Shant Joshi.

The announcement of the Framing Agnes deal comes a little more than two weeks after Kino Lorber picked up another formally innovative Sundance premiere, Nina Menkes’ Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power, which employs clips from hundreds of films to chronicle and analyze how the sexist “male gaze” has shaped the visual grammar of filmmaking since its inception. Kino has slated a TBD fall release for Menkes’ essay film, which will subsequently make its streaming debut on Kanopy.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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