Neon Buys Cannes Directors’ Fortnight Winner ‘A Chiara’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Continuing the winning lap in 2021 Cannes Film Festival, indie studio NEON obtained distribution rights in North America for the “A Chiara. “

Jonas Carpignano’s film won the top prize in the Fortnight section of the Cannes directors. This is a companion film to his 2017 “A Ciambra,” for which he received the same award that year. Critics raved about the film’s exploration of young women’s identities and Carpignano’s ability to create lasting interest in a fictional family across multiple films.

“A Chiara” is about Claudio and Carmela Guerrasio, who gather with family and friends to celebrate their eldest daughter’s 18th birthday. There is a healthy rivalry between the birthday girl and her 15-year-old sister Chiara, as they compete on the dance floor. A joyful occasion suddenly changes when the chief disappears. As Chiara investigates, she discovers the truth about her family and is faced with decisions about the kind of life she wants to build.

The Europa Cinema Label jury commented that the film “reflects a genre already widely covered in cinema, but this time from a new perspective. This story […] Well structured and built. The amateur cast in all of the roles performed extremely well, and the imaginative sound design contributed to the film’s appeal.”

Carpignano wrote the script. Stars Carmela Fumo, Claudio Rotolo and Swamy Rotolo. Tim Curtin served as director of photography, with sound by Giuseppe Tripodi, production design by Marco Ascanio Viarigi, editing by Affonso Goncalves, and music by Oscar nominees Benh Zeitlin and Dan Romer.

Jeff Deutchman and Mason Speta negotiated the NEON deal with Fionnuala Jamison from mk2 Films. “A Chiara” is a product of Stayblack and Haut et Court. The producers are Jon Coplon, Paolo Carpignano and Ryan Zacarias.

“A Ciambra,” executive produced by Martin Scorsese and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, is a 2018 Italian Academy Award winner. Carpignano’s first film Mediterranea earned him the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award at the Gotham Independent Film Awards, was voted best director of 2015 by the National Board of Review and received Independent Spirit Award nominations for Best First Picture, Best First Screenplay, and Best Actor.

NEON burned down the Croisette this year, winning the Palme d’Or for the second time in a row for Julia Ducournau’s “Titane,” after their sensational “Parasite.” They premiered Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s film “Memoria”, starring Tilda Swinton, which won the Jury Prize, as well as the story collection “Five Eternal Storms”. On Friday, the studio received an instant favorite “World’s Ugliest” from Norwegian writer and director Joachim Trier, which took home the Cannes Best Actress award for Renate Reinsve.

Upcoming films from the company include Pablo Larrain’s “Spencer”, Jamila Wignot’s “Ailey”, Céline Sciamma’s “Petite Maman” and Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s “Flee”, produced by Riz Ahmed and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau .



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