Anonymous Content, Fremantle, and Spinning Nancy are to partner on a new original documentary, Mrs. America. Penny Lane (Hail Satan?, Listening to Kenny G) is set to direct the premium feature documentary which will explore the changing role of American womanhood through the Mrs. America Beauty Pageant’s near half-century history.
Nick Shumaker (Nothing Lasts Forever, Architecton) and Jessica Grimshaw (A Wilderness of Error, DNA of Murder ) will produce the project for Anonymous Content alongside Fremantle’s new Global Head of Documentaries, Mandy Chang (Collective, Writing with Fire, Welcome to Chechnya) and Gabriel Sedgwick (Hail Satan?, Listening to Kenny G) for Spinning Nancy. Amanda Branson-Gill and Whitney Sudler-Smith (Southern Charm, Ultra Suede) will also produce. Anonymous Content CEO Dawn Olmstead and CCO David Levine will executive produce the project which is co-financed by Anonymous Content and Fremantle.
The Mrs. America Beauty Pageant, established by husband-and-wife team David and Elaine Marmel, focused on celebrating the role of married women in society. A nostalgically familiar, yet extraordinary, feather and sequin-filled ride through U.S. history, culture, and society, the film will look at what the pageant tells us about America’s shifting and contested myths – of wives, of women, of ourselves and the feminist lexicon.
“The Mrs. America Beauty Pageant has long represented a certain perspective on what it means to be a woman in the United States, which over the years has shifted considerably and continues to do so,” said Anonymous Content’s Nick Shumaker and Jessica Grimshaw. “We are so excited to partner with Fremantle, Spinning Nancy, and the incredible Penny Lane to explore the massive impact the pageant has had on our society as we as a culture redefine the expectations of womanhood and vice versa.”
Mandy Chang, Global Head of Documentaries at Fremantle said: “I’m thrilled to be working with Anonymous Content and Spinning Nancy to bring this incredible story to life. Penny and Gabriel are two of the most talented and idiosyncratic creatives working in documentary filmmaking today, and I have no doubt will make a film that will make you think, laugh and feel real affection for the characters, whilst entertaining us with skilful storytelling. To partner with such a brilliant team speaks to our ongoing ambition at Fremantle to deliver best-in-class documentary films created by the best talent in the world.”
“Having the chance to collaborate with Anonymous and Fremantle is a total dream come true.” said director Penny Lane. “I cannot wait to immerse myself in the world of Mrs. America – past, present and future. What an incredible opportunity to learn and think deeply about womanhood, marriage and American values. Plus, sequins! So many sequins!”
Penny Lane is represented by Amanda Lebow at CAA.