Rita Moreno Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It
Over a career spanning more than 70 years, Rita Moreno defied both her humble upbringing and relentless racism to become a celebrated and award-winning actor. Born into poverty on a Puerto Rican farm, Moreno and her seamstress mother immigrated to New York City when Moreno was five years old. After studying dance and performing on Broadway, Moreno was cast as any ethnic minority the Hollywood studios needed filled: Polynesian, Native American, Egyptian and so on. Despite becoming the first Latina actress to win an Academy Award for her role as Anita in "West Side Story" (1961), the studios continued to offer Moreno lesser roles as stereotypical ethnic minorities, ignoring her proven talent. Beyond the racism she experienced as a Latina actor, American master RITA MORENO: THE GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT will explore the lesser-known struggles Moreno faced on her path to stardom, including pernicious Hollywood sexism and sexual abuse, a toxic relationship with Marlon Brando, and an attempted suicide a year before she won her Oscar. The documentary will demonstrate Moreno's talent and resilience as she broke barriers and paved the way for new generations of artists by refusing to be pigeonholed and fighting for Latinx representation in a variety of genres.
Mariem Pérez Riera
Morgan Freeman, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Eva Longoria, Whoopi Goldberg
- "Pérez Riera takes great care to explain the hardships that Moreno faced from within Hollywood. the director leans into the racism Moreno that stalled out her career."
- We Live Entertainment
- "This documentary shines the light on the resilient, fearless, inspirational, and most decorated Latina actress of all time, Rita Moreno. A living legend who paved the way for Latinas today."
- In Their Own League
- "February 20, 2021
Riera mercifully doesn't wallow in West Side Story, and instead shares Moreno's power as an activist and an EGOT-winning performer who continues to break barriers as an 87-year-old..."
- Chicago Reader
- San Francisco Int'l Film Festival
- Cleveland Int'l Film Festival
- Seattle Int'l Film Festival
- Miami Int'l Film Festival
- Sundance Film Festival
- Sarasota Film Festival