Boutique distributor and sales agent Juno Films has acquired the worldwide rights (excluding ANZ) to Josie Hess and Isabel Peppard’s feature documentary Morgana.
The deal follows the film’s North American launch at Fantasia Film Festival.
The 71-minute indie doco follows Morgana Muses, who in her late 40s was an unhappy housewife in Albury. By 50, she had moved from Australia to Berlin and become a feminist pornography icon.
Produced by House of Gary’s Karina Astrup, the film – shot over five years – combines interview and verite footage with Morgana, handmade miniature elements, animation, archival footage, and Morgana’s own erotica films.
Astrup negotiated the deal with Juno CEO and co-founder Elizabeth Sheldon, with release plans to be announced at a later date.
Sheldon said: “Morgana is the rare portrait of a middle-aged woman confronting and rejecting expectations (of heteronormativity) through sex and art. Filmmakers Isabel Peppard and Josie Hess capture Morgana’s metamorphosis from middle-class suburban housewife, to star of her own erotic films and it is a wild ride. Cast upon a world stage in which she is the object of desire, we also see the private moments of depression, doubt and loneliness that make Morgana fully human. Juno Films is proud to release a film that celebrates such a courageous and inspiring woman.”
Astrup said: “Morgana has been one of the most special documentary productions of my career. I was absolutely captivated by her story, as it was something I had never seen in a documentary before and I strongly believed in its power to heal, challenge judgements, and open hearts and minds.
“Finding a partner like Juno Films to represent this project is like finding the perfect home for it and we are so excited to work together with the team in bringing this story out to the world. I truly believe the film is launching in the perfect time for what is topical in the field of women’s stories and sexuality representation.”
Morgana premiered at last year’s Melbourne International Film Festival, and was recently included in Sydney Film Festival’s virtual line-up. At this year’s Gold Coast Film Festival, it took home the Best Australian Independent Film Award.