NEON Acquires North American Rights to Lauded Filmmaker Sean Baker’s “Anora”

Sean Baker - Filmmaker

Indie Studio Strikes Second Major Deal This Week After “It Follows” Sequel “They Follow”

Los Angeles ( November 2, 2023 ) -

Award-winning studio NEON has acquired the North American rights to award-winning filmmaker Sean Baker’s new romantic dramedy “Anora.” Mikey Madison, Mark Eydelshteyn, Yuriy Borisov, Karren Karagulian, and Vache Tovmasyan star in the feature produced by Samantha Quan, Alex Coco and Baker. Drew Daniels served as director of photography and shot the film on 35mm. The film shot at the beginning of the year on location in Brooklyn and is currently in post-production, with NEON planning a theatrical release in 2024.

While the film’s synopsis is currently under wraps, “Anora” is the eighth writing and directing endeavor for Baker, and his follow up to his 2021 critically acclaimed dark comedy, “Red Rocket,” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and starred Simon Rex. His previous film, “The Florida Project” (2017), premiered in the Director’s Fortnight section at the Cannes Film Festival to widespread critical acclaim. The film scored an Academy Award nomination for Willem Dafoe for Best Supporting Actor, and Baker was named Best Director by the New York Film Critics Circle. Additional titles of Baker’s include “Tangerine” (2015), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won an Independent Spirit and two Gotham Awards; Starlet (2012), which the Robert Altman Independent Spirit Award; and “Prince of Broadway” (2008) and “Take Out” (2004), both of which were nominated for the John Cassavetes Independent Spirit Award.

The deal was negotiated by NEON’s VP of Acquisitions Jason Wald with FilmNation’s CEO Glen Basner on behalf of the filmmakers. FilmNation Entertainment is handling the worldwide rights, and has licensed rights internationally to Le Pacte in France, Lev in Israel, Kismet in Australia and New Zealand, and Focus Features/Universal Pictures International for the rest of the world.

This week, NEON announced its producing, releasing and handling international sales on “They Follow” starring Maika Monroe from writer/director David Robert Mitchell, the highly-anticipated sequel to the 2014 cult classic It Follows. Additional titles on its international sales slate include Ava DuVernay’s “Origin,” which has been met with critical acclaim since its world premiere in Venice and will release in US theaters on December 8, and “We Bury the Dead” starring Daisy Ridley.

In addition to Anora, NEON’s slate includes: Pamela Adlon’s directorial debut “Babes” starring Ilana Glazer and Michelle Buteau; Michael Mann’s “Ferrari,” set for a Nationwide release on Christmas Day; Palme d’Or winner “Anatomy of a Fall” from Justine Triet; Alice Rohrwacher’s “La Chimera;” Wim Wenders’ “Perfect Days,” the Japanese selection for ‘Best International Film’ at the Academy Awards this year and starring Cannes ‘Best Actor’ award-winner Koji Yakusho; and “Robot Dreams” from Pablo Berger.

About NEON
In only six years, NEON has garnered 25 Academy Award nominations (6 in this past awards season alone), 5 wins, including Best Picture, and has grossed over $200M at the box office. The company continues to push boundaries and take creative risks on bold cinema such as Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite,” which made history winning four Academy Awards, becoming the first non-English-language film to claim Best Picture. The film also unanimously won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and grossed over $54M at the domestic box office.

The current NEON slate includes: 2023 Palme d’Or winner “Anatomy of a Fall” from Justine Triet, Alice Rohrwacher’s “La Chimera,” Wim Wenders’ “Perfect Days” (Japan’s official selection for 2024), and “Robot Dreams” from Pablo Berger, all of which premiered at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. Additional titles releasing this year include William Oldroyd’s Eileen, as well as Michael Mann’s Ferrari and Ava DuVernay’s Origin, both of which premiered out of the 2023 Venice FIlm Festival.

NEON has amassed a library of over 80 films, with noteworthy releases including: the Oscar-nominated documentaries “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” and “Fire of Love,” 2022’s highest grossing documentary, “Moonage Daydream,” and three-time Academy Award nominee Ruben Östlund’s “Triangle of Sadness.” It also includes “Flee,” which made history becoming the first film to score an impressive trifecta of Oscar nominations; “The Worst Person in The World,” which was nominated for Original Screenplay and International Feature Film; “Spencer,” which earned Kristen Stewart an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress; the record-breaking “Honeyland,” which is the first non-fiction feature to land “Academy Award” nominations for Best Documentary and Best International Feature Film in the same year; Julia Ducournau’s Palme d’Or winner, “Titane,” and Craig Gillespie’s “I, Tonya,” which garnered multiple Academy Award nominations, one win for Allison Janney and amassed over $30M in domestic box office.

The studio has several projects in various stages of development and production including: Cuckoo, the feature film debut of Hunter Schafer; “The Painter and the Thief” narrative remake; Asif Kapadia’s “2073,” Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The End,” a golden-age musical starring Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton, “Seeking Mavis Beacon” from director Jazmin Jones, and “Cassandra at the Wedding,” based on the Dorothy Baker novel.

Other noteworthy NEON releases include:Bishal Dutta’s It Lives Inside, which NEON co-produced; “Infinity Pool” from Brandon Cronenberg; David Cronenberg’s “Crimes of The Future,” romantic comedy Palm Springs; “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” and “Petite Maman” from French filmmaker Celine Sciamma; Todd Douglas Miller’s “Apollo 11,” 2019’s highest grossing documentary in the world; and Tim Wardle’s “Three Identical Strangers,” winner of the Sundance Special Jury Award for Storytelling, which surpassed $13M at the box office.