2021 Sundance Docs in Focus: RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT

Courtesy of Sundance Institute


RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT
Mariem Pérez Riera profiles the pioneering, EGOT-winning star of stage and screen.

Festival Section:
US Documentary Competition

Sundance Program Description:

Talented, energetic, and full of joy, Rita Moreno has been dazzling audiences for over 70 years. Whether showcased on television, film, or stage, her artistry transcends singing, dancing, and acting, as she continuously reinvents herself and pushes creative limits. Moreno is a pioneer and one of the most authentic performers of our time, and she has the EGOT status to prove it.

With intimate access to her subject, director Mariem Pérez Riera creates a loving cinematic journey that details the life of a groundbreaking artist who truly embodies the American Dream. From her early years in Puerto Rico to her childhood as an immigrant in New York City to the racial bias she faced in the studio system, Moreno consistently broke down barriers, overcoming sexism and identity discrimination with pure integrity. RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT is both a revelatory portrait and a celebration of a magnetic, intriguing woman whose courage is an inspiration to all.

Some Background:

Director/Producer:
Mariem Pérez Riera
First Sundance credit. Pérez Riera is a filmmaker and editor whose past work has screened at Tribeca and Havana, among other events. Her son, Marcel Ruiz, played “Alex,” the grandson of “Lydia,” Rita Moreno’s character in the reboot of ONE DAY AT A TIME.

Producer:
Brent Miller
Past Sundance docs:
Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You (2016)

President of production, Act III Productions. The Emmy-winning Miller also executive produced Sundance fiction feature alum I CARRY YOU WITH ME.

Executive Producers:
Norman Lear
Founder/CEO, Act III Productions. Lear is an Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning creator of numerous classic television shows, including All in the Family, Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons, Good Times, Maude, ONE DAY AT A TIME and its recent reboot, which included Rita Moreno in its cast. He was profiled in the Sundance-premiering documentary NORMAN LEAR: JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU. Lear also executive produced I CARRY YOU WITH ME.

Lin-Manuel Miranda
Past Sundance docs:
WE ARE FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME (2020)

Miranda is the Oscar-nominated and Emmy-, Grammy-, and Tony-winning creator of IN THE HEIGHTS and HAMILTON.

Michael Kantor
Past Sundance docs:
TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM (2019)
MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL (2019)
WORDS FROM A BEAR (2019)
MAYA ANGELOU: AND STILL I RISE (2016)
NORMAN LEAR: JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU

Executive producer, American Masters. Kantor also serves as as executive producer for fellow US Documentary Competition title AILEY and Premieres title AMY TAN: UNINTENDED MEMOIR. Before coming to the PBS series, for which he has received several Emmy nominations, Kantor was an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning director whose work appeared on PBS, HBO, and Bravo.

Regina K Scully
Recent past Sundance docs:
AGGIE (2020)
FEELS GOOD MAN (2020)
ON THE RECORD (2020)
THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS (2020)
US KIDS (2020)
KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE (2019)
ALWAYS IN SEASON (2019)
THE GREAT HACK (2019)
306 HOLLYWOOD (2018)
GENERATION WEALTH (2018)
BISBEE ’17 (2018)
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? (2018)
THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING (2018)

Founder/CEO, Artemis Rising Foundation. Scully is an Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated social entrepreneur and philanthropist focused on transforming culture through media, education, and the arts. She also co-executive produced fellow 2021 US Documentary Competition title REBEL HEARTS and Premieres title BRING YOUR OWN BRIGADE.

Lyn Davis Lear
Past Sundance docs:

THE FIGHT (2020)
THE GREAT HACK
WHERE’S MY ROY COHN? (2019)
CESAR’S LAST FAST (2014)

Lear is a philanthropist and social and environmental activist who also serves on the Sundance Institute Board of Trustees. Her husband is legendary television producer Norman Lear. Lear also produced BRING YOUR OWN BRIGADE and co-executive produced REBEL HEARTS in this year’s lineup.

Co-Producer:
Ilia J Vélez Dávila
First Sundance credit. Vélez Dávila has an extensive background producing films and advertising in Puerto Rico. She has associate produced two of Pérez Riera’s previous films.

Associate Producers:
Laura Reich
First Sundance credit. Reich has a background directing and/or producing web series, shorts, feature films, commercials and other media.

Kevin Klauber
Past Sundance docs:
HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY: THE REN & STIMPY STORY (2020)

In addition to serving as associate producer, Klauber edited this project together with Pérez Riera. He also cut past Sundance docs including HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY, ICARUS (2018), KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK (2015), UNDER THE ELECTRIC SKY (EDC 2013) (2014), and 20 FEET FROM STARDOM (2013).

More Info:
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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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