Roadside Attractions has acquired Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It, the new documentary about EGOT winner Rita Moreno. The film, which debuted at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, will be released June 18 in theatres.
PBS’ American Masters will present the U.S. broadcast premiere of the documentary sometime after the theatrical release.
Directed by Mariem Pérez Riera, the film chronicles Moreno from her early years in Puerto Rico through her childhood as an immigrant in New York City and the racial bias she faced in the studio system, while breaking down barriers and overcoming sexism and identity discrimination with integrity.
In addition to Moreno, others featured in the doc are George Chakiris, Héctor Elizondo, Gloria Estefan, Tom Fontana, Morgan Freeman, Mitzi Gaynor, Whoopi Goldberg, Norman Lear, Eva Longoria, Justina Machado, Terrence McNally, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Karen Olivo.
“Rita is an incredible inspiration to so many, hers is a success story for all women who feel alone as they struggle to assert themselves with courage and bravery against heavy odds,” offered director Pérez Riera. “We are so thrilled to bring Rita to theatres for audiences to spend time with a woman who, when speaking about herself, speaks to and for a lot of us.”
American Masters Pictures and Act III Productions in association with Artemis Rising and Maramar Films present the film. Executive producers are Michael Kantor, Lyn Davis Lear, Norman Lear, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Regina K. Scully; producers are Brent Miller and Pérez Riera. The documentary also has cinematography by P.J. López, music by Kathryn Bostic, and editing by Kevin Klauber and Pérez Riera. It is co-produced by Ilia J. Vélez-Dávila.
Moreno has received all of the most prestigious awards in show business, including the Oscar, the Tony, two Emmys, and a Grammy. She received The Kennedy Center Honor for her lifetime contributions to American Culture and was honored by her peers as the 50th recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. Moreno was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush and the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.
Moreno earned a Tony Award for her work in Broadway’s The Ritz; having earned an Oscar for her performance as Anita in the 1961 film adaptation of West Side Story, she’ll return to the musical in the upcoming remake as Valentina, a new take on the character Doc.