“Framing Agnes,” a narrative-documentary hybrid feature that explores trans life and history, has sold North American distribution rights to Kino Lorber.
Directed by Chase Joynt, the film closely and accurately depicts the journey of trans people past and present through recreations of transcripts from a remarkable 1960s UCLA gender study. a short film by Joynt that premiered and won awards at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, the project features a cast of trans artists and scholars that includes Jules Gill-Peterson, Angelica Ross, Jen Richards, Zackary 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 release from Kino Lorber in December. Joynt and Morgan M. Page wrote the screenplay, produced by Joynt, Samantha Curley and Shant Joshi. Kino Lorber’s senior vice president, Wendy Lidell, negotiated on behalf of the label, with UTA Independent Film on behalf of the filmmakers.
The incumbent Agnes was the pseudonym of a trans woman who participated in Harold Garfinkel’s gender health research at UCLA. As a character, she has long been a leading figure in trans history. In this reimagining, a range of trans stars take on strikingly rendered vintage recreations, bringing groundbreaking trans health artifacts to life. Joynt previously co-directed “No Ordinary Man,” a documentary portrait of jazz musician and cross-cultural icon Billy Tipton. This marks his first solo directorial effort.
“‘Framing Agnes’ takes a new and compelling approach to exploring how trans people past and present are perceived and portrayed,” Lidell said. “By combining the tropes of dramatic and documentary filmmaking, Chase allows audiences 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 about trans rights and we look forward to sharing it widely.
Joynt added that “as a lifelong fan and consumer of the innovative, nimble and impactful titles curated and distributed by Kino Lorber, I couldn’t think of a better place and partner for our film.”