Framing Agnes

Audience Award ~ Best of Next!
Sundance Film Festival
NEXT Innovator Award
Sundance Film Festival
Meta to the max. Dizzyingly prismatic yet unfailingly lucid in its examination of the many layers of gender, sexual and racial identity.


Framing Agnes

The pseudonymous Agnes was a pioneering transgender woman who participated in an infamous gender health study conducted at UCLA in the 1960s. Her clever use of the study to gain access to gender-affirming healthcare led to her status as a fascinating and celebrated figure in trans history. In this playful cinematic exercise that blends fiction and nonfiction, director Chase Joynt (No Ordinary Man) uses Agnes’s story, along with others unearthed in long-shelved case files, to widen the frame through which trans history is viewed. Through a collaborative practice of reimagination, an all-star cast of trans performers, artists, and thinkers – including Angelica Ross (Pose), Jen Richards (Mrs. Fletcher), and Zackary Drucker (Transparent) – take on vividly rendered, impeccably vintage reenactments, bringing to life groundbreaking artifacts of trans history. This collective reclamation breaks down the myth of isolation among transgender history-makers, breathing new life into a lineage of collaborators and conspirators who have been forgotten for far too long.

“Formally inventive and wonderfully collaborative. A brilliant and enlivening investigation into the role of trans history and the limits of visibility.” – Shannon Keating, BuzzFeed

“A film of quiet but decisive radicality that builds its own genesis and production into it.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“A vital part of the historical record…uses vintage gender-study interviews as a prism through which to view modern transgender lives.” – Alonso Duralde, The Wrap
Not Rated
Docu-drama, Documentary, LGBTQ+
Chase Joynt
Zackary Drucker, Angelica Ross, Jen Richards, Silas Howard, Max Wolf Valerio, Stephen Ira, Chase Joynt, Jules Gill-Peterson
Winner, Audience Award ~ Best of Next!, Sundance Film Festival
Winner, NEXT Innovator Award, Sundance Film Festival
Nick Allen,

“Framing Agnes,” premiering as part of the festival’s NEXT section, hosts a fascinating discussion about the transgender experience in a way that simultaneously engages with the past and present. It begins with Agnes Torres, a transgender woman who back in the early 1960s participated in a UCLA ...

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