“Framing Agnes,” a documentary-fiction hybrid film that explores transgender lives and history, has sold the distribution rights in North America to Kino Lorber.
Directed by Chase Joint, the film closely and accurately depicts the journey of transgender people past and present by re-enacting texts from the landmark gender study at UCLA in the 1960s. Based on a short story by Gwent that premiered and won awards at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, the project features a cast of transformed artists and academics including Jules Gill Peterson, Angelica Ross, Jane Richards, Zachary Drucker, Max Wolf Valerio, Silas Howard and Stephen Ira.
The film will premiere in New York at NewFest on June 5, followed by a theatrical performance by Kino Lorber in December. Joynt and Morgan M. wrote. Paige Screenplay produced by Gwent, Samantha Curley and Chant Joshi. Wendy Lidell, Senior Vice President of Kino Lorber, on behalf of the label, negotiated with UTA Independent Film on behalf of the filmmakers.
The titular name Agnes was a pseudonym for a transgender woman who participated in Harold Garfinkel’s research on sexual health at the University of California. As a character, I have always stood as a figurative icon of fleeting history. In this re-imagining, a cast of mutant stars reenact visibly vintage, bringing to life the pioneering artifacts of transient healthcare. Joynt previously co-directed “No Ordinary Man,” a documentary by jazz musician and cross-cultural icon Billy Tipton. This represents its first single output voltage.
“‘Framing Agnes’ takes a fascinating new approach to exploring how we understand and represent trans people in the past and present,” Liddell said. “By combining the tropes of dramatic and documentary filmmaking, Chase allows audiences to see the transgender community through new eyes, and in their own words. We believe he will make a significant contribution to the ongoing dialogue about trans rights and look forward to his broad participation.”
“As a fan and consumer of the innovative, brilliant and impactful titles curated and distributed by Kino Lorber, I couldn’t think of a better venue and partner for our film,” added Joynt.