Neon Takes U.S. Rights to Chinonye Chukwu’s Sundance Grand Jury Winner Clemency, Marking a Historic First Time a Black Woman Has Won This Top Prize at the Festival


NEON has acquired the U.S. rights from ACE Pictures Entertainment to Chinonye Chukwu’s Clemency starring Academy Award® Nominee Alfre Woodard (12 Years A Slave, Cross Creek).

The prison warden drama garnered rave reviews following its World Premiere at Sundance, receiving the Grand Jury Prize and tremendous praise for Woodard’s performance.  Clemency, which critics lauded as “powerful” and “profound”, is already garnering early Oscar buzz for Alfre Woodard’s emotional performance.

Years of carrying out death row executions have taken a toll on prison warden Bernadine Williams. As she prepares to execute another inmate, Bernadine must confront the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is sanctioned to kill.  Clemency also stars Aldis Hodge (Hidden Figures), Richard Schiff (Man of Steel, “The West Wing”) and Wendell Pierce (“The Wire”, Selma). The film was produced by ACE Pictures Entertainment, Bronwyn Cornelius Productions and Julian Cautherley.

“Making Clemency has been a life-changing soul journey,” said Director/Writer Chinonye Chukwu, “and I am thrilled to partner with the team at NEON to share the film with audiences across the country.”

The deal was negotiated by NEON and Paradigm on behalf of the filmmakers.

Clemency currently holds a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

At Sundance, NEON premiered Todd Douglas Miller’s stunning cinematic event Apollo 11, which will initially release in IMAX theatres exclusively on March 1, as well as John Chester’s The Biggest Little Farm.  The company picked up some of the hottest acquisitions out of the festival, nabbing the rights to Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska’s documentary Honeyland, Alejandro Landes’ cinematic thriller Monos, Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala’s horror film The Lodge, Abe Forsythe’s Little Monsters, and Julius Onah’s Luce.

NEON recently garnered an Academy Award® nomination for Border; its upcoming slate also includes: Tom Harper’s Wild Rose starring Jessie Buckley; and Bong Joon-Ho’s highly-anticipated drama Parasite.

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