Juno Films announced today the acquisition of US rights to TOVE, a Finnish biopic about bisexual Swedo-Finnish author and illustrator Tove Jansson, creator of The Moomins. The film, which premiered at TIFF 2020, is directed by Zaida Bergroth (Maria’s Paradise), written by Eeva Putro, and produced by Andrea Reuter and Aleksi Bardy. TOVE broke box office records in Finland last year year in spite of the pandemic, and now ranks as the highest grossing Swedish-language Finnish film in the last 40 years. Juno Films plans to release the film in theaters across America in June, for Pride Month. The deal was negotiated by Elizabeth Sheldon, founding partner and Chief Executive Officer of Juno Films.
Set from 1944 to 1956, the Swedish-language film shows how painter Tove Jansson finds worldwide success from an unexpected side project, in the midst of artistic struggles and an unconventional personal life. Alma Pöysti stars as Jansson, alongside Krista Kosonen and Shanti Roney. Pöysti has previously played Jansson on stage at Helsinki’s Svenska Teatern, and like the artist has dual Swedo-Finnish nationality.
Jansson’s creation, The Moomins, are a family of pale, round fairy tale characters with large snouts. In all, nine books were released in the series, together with five picture books and a comic strip released between 1945 and 1993. The Moomins have since been the basis for numerous television series and films.
"The portrait of the artist Tove Janssen vividly brings to the screen a woman who defied the bourgeois norms of post War Europe to live a life of artistic and sexual freedom,” says Elizabeth Sheldon. “Director Zaida Bergroth’s luscious drama will leave audiences enchanted. We are very proud to add this film to our slate of films by and about bad ass women.”
Juno Films announced today the acquisition of US and Canadian rights to the documentary THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOY IN THE WORLD, premiering in the World Documentary Competition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Kristina Lindstom and Kristian Petri and produced by Stina Gardell's Stockholm-based Mantaray Film, the film follows former child star Björn Andrésen (Death in Venice), as he wistfully reflects on his life of stardom. Juno Films will release the film in theaters in May 2021. The deal was negotiated by Elizabeth Sheldon, founding partner and Chief Executive Officer of Juno Films. Film Boutique recently announced that they have acquired Worldwide Sales Rights.
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOY IN THE WORLD follows Björn Andrésen, who was thrust to international stardom at the age of fifteen based on his iconic looks. In 1969, filmmaker Luchino Visconti travelled throughout Europe looking for the perfect boy to personify absolute beauty in his adaptation for the screen of Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice. One year later he discovered Björn Andrésen, a shy Swedish teenager whom he brought to international fame overnight and led to spend a short but intense part of his turbulent youth between the Lido in Venice, London, the Cannes Film Festival and the so-distant Japan. In 1971 at the London premiere of Death in Venice, the director proclaimed his Tadzio as “The world's most beautiful boy.” Fifty years after the premiere, Björn takes us on a remarkable journey made of personal memories, cinema history, stardust and tragic events in what could be Björn’s last attempt for him to finally get his life back on track.
“We live in a world of celebrity and rarely have the chance to see the intimate and often hidden life behind the image. Bjorn reveals himself on camera layer by layer in a personal quest to both answer his own questions about his childhood and to take responsibility for his actions,” says Elizabeth Sheldon. “In doing so, we are invited in to consider the consequences of sudden stardom and the price of being a celebrated idol.”
“We filmed The Most Beautiful Boy in the World during five years in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Paris, Budapest, Venice, and Tokyo, following in Björn's footsteps,” says director Kristian Petri. Co-director Kristina Lindstrom adds “It is a story about obsession with beauty, about desire and sacrifice, about a boy whose life was changed forever when the film director Luchino Visconti declared him to be the, ‘World’s most beautiful boy.’ Who was this boy and what happened to him? This film lets us listen to the boy's own story. He, who was made into an image by others, an icon, a fantasy, which took over his young life.”
“We are honored to have the world premiere of our film at Sundance,” says producer Stina Gardell. “The film is a palimpsest of cinema history and personal biography that audiences will celebrate. We are thrilled to partner with Elizabeth and Juno Films for the North American release.” Kristina Lindström (director) is a filmmaker, journalist, and author. She has directed highly acclaimed documentaries including Astrid Lindgren (2014), Palme (with Maud Nycander, 2012) which was awarded with two Guldbagge Awards, Wonderboy (2003), The Era - Punk in three parts (2017) and Silence (with Kristian Petri , 2020). Kristian Petri (director) is a filmmaker, writer, and culture journalist with a distinctly personal voice that transcends genre and form. Petri's two shorts, Once Upon a Time and The Crack, were selected for the Semaine de la Critique competition in Cannes in 1991 and 1992. His first feature film Between Summers (1995) was awarded with a Guldbagge Award and nominated for a Golden Globe and to best film at European Film Awards. It was also selected for the prestigious Quinzaine des Realisateurs in Cannes.
Lydia Dean Pilcher’s big moment had arrived.
After producing movies for Wes Anderson and Mira Nair, Pilcher was finally sliding behind the camera herself. “Radium Girls,” her feature directing debut, was set to open in New York City in April when the coronavirus struck, grinding the cultural life of Gotham to a standstill and imperiling the business and art form she loves.
Instead of despairing, Pilcher got creative. Juno Films, the movie’s distributor, pushed the debut back to the fall and set about fashioning a COVID-compliant release strategy for the indie drama. When it finally opened in October, it screened at drive-in theaters and had special virtual showings. To raise awareness, the distributor and filmmakers of “Radium Girls” — which documents the true story of female factory employees who contracted radiation poisoning due to poor working conditions — partnered with environmental groups like the Sierra Club and gave them a cut of the profits from special screenings that tapped their mailing lists.
"…Radium Girls proves engrossing, thanks to its powerful real-life tale and the excellent performances by leads King and Quinn, who make us fully care about their character’s fates."
— Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter
"A worthy entry in the category of workers’ rights movies, “Radium Girls,” like “Silkwood,” is based on actual events. Directors Lydia Dean Pilcher and Ginny Mohler reveal a little-known part of history with a loudly beating feminist heart and a narrative grounded in reality."
— Kristen Yoonsoo Kim, New York Times
“With the words "teen" and "activist" becoming increasingly synonymous, this historical drama is incredibly relevant and feels made to appeal to and encourage today's passionate youths."
— Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media
“Radium Girls” is a story based on hauntingly true events that question the themes displayed in today’s society.”
— Molly Given, AM/METRO
"Morgana" Is The Feminist Mid-Life Anti-Crisis Porn Doc You Didn't Know You Needed.
Read full review at Bust Magazine
One of the best things about Fantasia is that you can always count on finding an excellent documentary—last year it was “Phantom of Winnipeg,” and this year it’s “Tiny Tim: King for a Day.” The documentary is lovingly and efficiently put together by director John von Sydow, who covers the life story of the high-voiced, ukulele-strumming, "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" entertainer within a 75-minute run-time, while giving careful attention to each of the saga's different shades of black. As the film’s recollects Tiny Tim’s ascent to pop culture stardom and immediate fall, von Sydow’s documentary becomes all the more heartbreaking and unforgettable.
Read full review on rogerebert.com
Juno Films, the boutique distributor and world sales agent, has acquired Worldwide rights (excluding Australia/NZ) to Josie Hess and Isabel Peppard’s feature-length documentary film, Morgana. The announcement comes as the film enjoys a critically acclaimed North American launch during Fantasia Festival in Montreal (screening digitally Aug 20 - Sept 2), with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 100.
After 20 years as a dutiful housewife stuck in a loveless, sexless marriage, Morgana has had enough of her dreary life. Desperately lonely and starved of intimacy, she books a male escort for one last hurrah before ending it all.
Her final night takes an unexpected turn when her relationship with the escort opens up a new world of personal and sexual freedom. Instead of killing herself, Morgana makes an award-winning porn film about their date, moves from suburban Australia to Berlin, and becomes a celebrated feminist porn director and star.
Filmed over five years, chronicling Morgana’s journey from repressed housewife to international “sex-positive at any age” icon, and her struggles with self-acceptance and mental health, the inspiring and uplifting film takes the audience on a wild ride that is both intimate and universal.
The 71-minute feature documentary film had its world premiere in its home country at the Melbourne International Film Festival. It combines intimate interview and verite footage with Morgana Muses, handmade miniature elements, animation, archival footage, and Morgana’s own erotica films.
Morgana is produced by Karina Astrup of House of Gary. It is the first feature length film from directors Hess and Peppard.
The deal was negotiated between Elizabeth Sheldon, Juno’s CEO and co-founder, and Producer Karina Astrup, on behalf of the filmmakers. Release plans will be announced at a later date.
Directors - Isabel Peppard and Josie Hess:
"We set out to make this film because we had never seen a character like Morgana before. A woman reclaiming her sexual identity in a very public and radical way at an age where many women start to feel invisible. So many of the themes spoke strongly to us, the human need for intimacy and touch, the search for community and belonging, the acceptance of body and self, and the redemptive power of creativity and art. We are really grateful to be able to bring Morgana's story to a wider audience through Juno Films. It's incredibly exciting to be part of a team that is willing to champion age-positive, sex-positive representation in cinema."
Juno Films is thrilled to announce the launch of JUNO FILMS @ HOME to all of our theatrical partners. We know that many in our art house community are struggling during these challenging times to keep their doors open and provide critically acclaimed content to your patrons. We are here to make it easy and profitable.
Drop us a note if you would like to learn more.
We sincerely hope everyone remains safe and we look forward to seeing you at the theater when we return.