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All about Neon, the tiny US studio which won the Palme d’Or for the 5th consecutive time



Parasite, Titane, Triangle of Sadness, Anatomy of a Fall, Anora. What is the common link between these films? That all these five films went on to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival. But there is also another common link that joins them all. It is NEON, the small American studio that has backed the release of these films into US theatres. What’s more? Parasite won the Oscar for Best Picture, while last year Anatomy of a Fall scooped an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. (Also read: Cannes Film Festival: All We Imagine As Light scripts history, becomes first Indian film to win Grand Prix)

Sean Baker poses with the trophy during a photocall after he won the Palme d’Or for Anora during the Closing Ceremony at the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 25, 2024. (AFP)

About Neon

NEON was founded by Tom Quinn and Tim League. The distributor released their first film in 2017, which was Anne Hathaway-starrer Colossal. Next year was a crucial one, which turned into a success with the release of the film I, Tonya, which won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Allison Janney. NEON keeps it essential to tap into the fresh voices and how to amplify stories that are original and unconventional.

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Over the years, Cannes has proven to be a great success pad for the distribution house, having scooped films from the festival much before their release. Their film Parasite not only won the Palme d’Or, but also turned out to be their biggest success till date, earning around $263 million worldwide.

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NEON Chief Marketing Officer Christian Parkes told Deadline, “We looked back at how Hitchcock released his movies, and (producer) William Castle, we tapped into that to give this film its own voice… Bong is the master magician, and he pulls the reveal just as you think the film is going in one direction, it pivots. We were forced into this same position in marketing. We wanted to lead people down a path, to set up the concept of the secrets, leaving Bong as the master magician in the theater.” The film went on to become the first non-English language film to win the Best Picture Oscar.

With Anora’s Palme d’Or win this week, all eyes are on how NEON performs the same trick again for this release. The Sean Baker film revolves around the life of a young sex worker played by Mikey Madison. Speaking to Screen Daily about their approach to film acquisition, Jeff Deutchman said, “It’s the rare films that are unique enough to break through the noise and demand that people leave their home for the cinema — that’s the single rule we apply to everything we do.”

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