MAGNOLIA PICTURES ACQUIRES U.S. RIGHTS TO SUNDANCE DOCUMENTARY ‘INVISIBLE BEAUTY’, AN ESSENTIAL MEMOIR OF FASHION PIONEER BETHANN HARDISON
Magnolia Pictures announced today that they have acquired U.S. rights to INVISIBLE BEAUTY, a beautiful and essential story of fashion icon Bethann Hardison, directed by Hardison and Frédéric Tcheng (HALSTON, DIOR AND I). The Lisa Cortés-produced documentary, of which Naomi Campbell is an executive producer, world-premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and most recently screened at Tribeca. The film shines a spotlight on the singular and unapologetic Hardison, one of the fashion industry’s most influential icons who, as a pioneering Black model, modeling agent and entrepreneur, has pushed the boundaries of fashion culture and has been at the forefront of progress throughout her career. Magnolia will release INVISIBLE BEAUTY in theaters on September 15.
In her lifetime, Hardison has seen the pendulum swing toward and away from the Black model. At every setback, she spoke up and rallied her colleagues and clients in the industry to advance change. Now in her 70s, the Brooklyn native is writing her memoir, taking stock of her own legacy at a moment when the fashion industry was shaken by discrimination. In INVISIBLE BEAUTY, Tcheng and Hardison trace her impact on fashion from runway shows in the 1970s to roundtables about the lack of racial diversity in the early 2000s. Featuring intimate interviews with luminaries including Iman, Tyson Beckford, Tracee Ellis Ross, Zendaya, Fran Lebowitz, Pat Cleveland, Naomi Campbell, and Stephen Burrows, INVISIBLE BEAUTY is an absorbing record of the racial evolution of fashion and an original contemplation on the life of an unparalleled trailblazer.
“Bethann and Frédéric have created a gorgeous, evocative memoir that serves as a cinematic blueprint for what it really means to be a maverick, and a shrewd catalyst for change,” said Magnolia Pictures co-CEO Dori Begley.
“Often I have said I didn’t think I had a story to document but once I got out of my way and allowed the collaboration with Frédéric, it made me a believer,” said Hardison. “The impact of hearing the responses of the audience has made me know further that this is and will be a film of legacy. Being recognized by Magnolia to partner has been an aspiration of mine and now to go as far as we can is the goal.”
“Our collaboration with Bethann has been on a very special journey and I’m excited to continue with Magnolia, a true cinema lover’s distributor, on the road to meet our audience,” said Tcheng.
Directed and written by Bethann Hardison and Frédéric Tcheng, INVISIBLE BEAUTY is produced by Lisa Cortés. Executive producers are Hallee Adelman, John Boccardo, Derek Esplin, Ivy Herman, Rick Rosenthal, Nancy Stephens, Andrea Van Beuren, and Naomi Campbell. Co-Executive producers are David Chan, Heidi & Chris Stolte, Robina Riccitiello. A Cortés Filmworks Production, In Association with a Lane B Production, Vogue Studios, Whitewater Films, and JustFilms/Ford Foundation.
The deal was negotiated by Magnolia co-CEO Dori Begley and SVP of Acquisitions John Von Thaden, with Josh Braun of Submarine and Jason Ishikawa of Cinetic on behalf of the filmmakers.