From Cannes: Neon and Hulu Acquire Celine Sciamma's Highly Acclaimed "Portrait of a Lady on Fire" From MK2 Films

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Amidst an extremely competitive landscape, NEON and Hulu have acquired North American rights to Céline Sciamma’s highly acclaimed film, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, at the Cannes Film Festival as part of their exclusive film and content output licensing agreement.

The groundbreaking and unforgettable love story that critics have been hailing as a masterpiece is screening In Competition. NEON is planning a traditional theatrical release for the film this year, which will include an awards campaign in all categories. Portrait of a Lady on Fire is one of the best reviewed films screening in competition at the festival.


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Brittany, 1770. Marianne (Noémie Merlant), a painter, is commissioned to do the wedding portrait of Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), a young woman who has just left the convent. Héloïse is a reluctant bride to be and Marianne must paint her without her knowing. She observes her by day, to paint her secretly.

NEON and Hulu remarked “From the moment we saw this beautiful and captivating love story, we knew we had to release this film. From Celine’s writing and directing, to the absolutely absorbing performances, we couldn’t be more excited for audiences to experience this sensationally moving piece of cinema on the big screen.”


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“We are thrilled by how audiences and buyers from around the world have responded to the ground breaking and emotionally gripping Portrait of a Lady on Fire. It is sure to cement Céline Sciamma’s reputation as one of the most exciting directors of her time. We are thrilled to be partnering with NEON to bring this progressive and potent piece of cinema to the big screen across the country. They are one of the most dedicated and passionate distribution teams in North America,” mk2 films remarked.

The film stars Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luana Bajrami and Valeria Golino. It is produced by Bénédicte Couvreur and is a Lilies Film production. The deal was negotiated by Jeff Deutchman on behalf of NEON and Hulu and Fionnuala Jamison from mk2 films on behalf of the filmmakers. mk2 films is selling the world.


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The film joins NEON’s highly acclaimed PARASITE by Bong Joon-ho, which also just screened In Competition at the Cannes Film Festival, and Hulu’s growing premium film offering, which includes Academy Award nominated Minding the Gap, Grammy-winning The Beatles: Eight Days a Week, and upcoming critically-acclaimed documentary Ask Dr. Ruth.

Mk2 films has 5 films competing for the Palme d’Or including Mati Diop’s Atlantics, Xavier Dolan’s Matthias and Maxime, Corneliu Porumboiu’s The Whistlers and Justine Triet’s Sybil. Notably 3 are directed by women. They are also screening 2 films in the Un Certain Regard section.

About Neon

2018 was a record-breaking year for NEON, with the release of Craig Gillespie’s runaway hit I, Tonya starring Margot Robbie and the Academy Award winner for best supporting actress, Allison Janney, as well as Tim Wardle’s Three Identical Strangers, winner of the Sundance Special Jury Award for Storytelling, which has surpassed $13m at the box office. Three years after inception, the company continues to push the boundaries and take creative risks on bold content.


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NEON recently released Todd Douglas Miller’s cinematic event, Apollo 11, which has earned almost $9m in box office and continues to play in theaters after 12 weeks. They also launched Harmony Korine’s The Beach Bum, the electrifying Amazing Grace, Nia Dicosta’s Little Woods, and John Chester’s inspirational film, The Biggest Little Farm. Upcoming releases include Tom Harper’s Wild Rose, Julius Onah’s Luce, Alejandro Landes’ Monos, Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala’s The Lodge, Chinonye Chukwu’s Sundance award winner, Clemency and Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite which is in competition at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

After their successful collaboration on I, Tonya, in January 2018, 30WEST (Dan Friedkin's and Micah Green's strategic venture) partnered with NEON's Tom Quinn (Founder & CEO) and Tim League (Co-Founder) to become majority investors in the company.

About HULU

Hulu is the leading premium streaming service offering live and on-demand TV and movies, with and without commercials, both in and outside the home. Launched in 2008, Hulu has grown to more than 28 million customers in the U.S. and is the only service that gives viewers instant access to current shows from every major U.S. broadcast network; libraries of hit TV series and films; and acclaimed Hulu Originals like Emmy® and Golden Globe Award-winning series The Handmaid’s Tale, Emmy® Award-nominated The Looming Tower, Catch – 22, Shrill, The Act, Marvel’s Runaways and Castle Rock, and Oscar®-nominated documentary film Minding the Gap, as well as live news, entertainment and sports from 21st Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal, CBS Corporation, The CW, Turner Networks, A+E Networks and Discovery Networks – all in one place. Upcoming Hulu Originals include Four Weddings and a Funeral from Mindy Kaling; Wu-Tang: An American Saga from Brian Grazer and The RZA; and Little Fires Everywhere from Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.

Head of Internal Sales Fionnuala Jamison dealt with NEON/Hulu in Cannes and says "Portrait of a Lady on Fire is an emotionally gripping and visually ravishing tale of forbidden love and burning desire, so masterfully crafted it is sure to propel Céline Sciamma as one of the most exciting directors of her time. We are thrilled to be partnering with such a dedicated distribution team in the U.S. and look forward to sharing with American audiences this progressive and potent piece of cinema.”

About mk2 films

A leader in world art-house cinema, mk2 films produces, co-produces, sells and distributes each year, a dozen new films by established directors such as Jia Zhang-Ke, Pawel Pawlikowski, Olivier Assayas, Corneliu Porumboiu, and exciting young talents like Mati Diop, Justine Triet, and Danielle Lessovitz to name just a few.

mk2 is also a prominent arthouse exhibitor with theaters in Paris, Spain, and Canada.

2019 is already a historic year for mk2, with five films competing for the Palme d’Or for the second year in a row — three of which are directed by women — and two films in the Un Certain Regard section.

Following recent critical and box-office successes like Academy Award nominated Cold War by Pawel Pawlikowski (Best Director, 2018 Cannes FF), Ash is Purest White by Jia Zhang-ke, and hit documentary Maria by Callas, mk2 films has just revealed they are co-producing and selling Joachim Trier’s upcoming film The Worst Person in the World.

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