Anonymous & Fremantle pair with Penny Lane for ‘Mrs America’ beauty doc

Anonymous Content and Fremantle have linked up with Penny Lane’s prodco Spinning Nancy on a documentary exploring the changing role of American womanhood through the Mrs. America Beauty Pageant’s near half-century history.

Mrs. America will be directed by Lane, who set up her prodco with producer Gabriel Sedgwick in 2019, and has Nick Shumaker (Nothing Lasts Forever) and Jessica Grimshaw (DNA Of Murder) attached to produce for Anonymous.

Fremantle’s recently appointed global head of docs, Mandy Chang, is attached for Fremantle with Sedgwick onboard for Spinning Nancy. Broadcast/streamer partners have not been confirmed but the projects is being co-financed by Anonymous Content and Fremantle.

The Mrs. America Beauty Pageant, established by husband-and-wife team David and Elaine Marmel, focused on celebrating the role of married women in society. The film will “look at what the pageant tells us about America’s shifting and contested myths – of wives, of women, of ourselves and the feminist lexicon.”

“The Mrs. America Beauty Pageant has long represented a certain perspective on what it means to be a woman in the United States, which over the years has shifted considerably and continues to do so,” said Shumaker and Grimshaw.

“We are so excited to partner with Fremantle, Spinning Nancy, and the incredible Penny Lane to explore the massive impact the pageant has had on our society as we as a culture redefine the expectations of womanhood and vice versa.”

Chang added: “To partner with such a brilliant team speaks to our ongoing ambition at Fremantle to deliver best-in-class documentary films created by the best talent in the world.”

Fremantle has been expanding its factual output over the past 18 months, launching a new production arm in Spain in 2021 with the head of non-fiction at Movistar+, Fernando Jerez, and hiring Chang in May of that year.

The company has also launched UFA Documentary in Germany, while shows on the slate have included water scarcity documentary Day Zero for China’s Tencent, climate research documentary Arctic Drift (an international version of UFA’s Expedition Arktis), and Samuel L. Jackson-fronted series Enslaved.

Most Recent