Neon Picks Up Directors’ Fortnight Winner ‘A Chiara’ – The Hollywood Reporter

Wrapping up a busy and fruitful Cannes film market, pioneering indie distributor Neon nabbed North American rights to Italian director Jonas Carpignano’s A Chiara, winner of the Directors’ Fortnight section’s Europa Cinemas Cannes Label prize for best European film.

A Chiara is the final film in Carpignano’s Calabrian trilogy, and the follow-up to his 2017 feature A Ciambra, which likewise won Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight section. The latest feature focuses on a young female protagonist, delivering what The Hollywood Reporter‘s critical called “arguably Carpignano’s most accomplished and affecting film to date.”

Written by Carpignano, A Chiara stars Carmela Fumo, Claudio Rotolo and Swamy Rotolo. The drama follows the Guerrasio family and friends who gather to celebrate Claudio and Carmela’s oldest 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. It is a happy occasion, and the close-knit family is in top form. However, everything changes the next day when the father disappears. Chiara starts to investigate, and as she gets closer to the truth, she is forced to decide what kind of future she wants for herself.

Neon had an undeniably successful two weeks in Cannes. The indie studio debuted three films, scoring their second Palme d’Or winner in a row, following Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite in 2019, with Julia Ducournau’s Titane. The company also premiered Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memoria starring Tilda Swinton, which tied for the jury prize, and the anthology feature The Year of the Everlasting Storm. Near the tail end of the festival, Neon also acquired the audience favorite The Worst Person in The World from Norwegian writer-director Joachim Trier, which went on to win the best actress award for star Renate Reinsve.

Jeff Deutchman and Mason Speta negotiated the A Chiara deal for Neon with Fionnuala Jamison from mk2 Films. A Chiara is a Stayblack and Haut et Court production. Producers are Jon Coplon, Paolo Carpignano, and Ryan Zacarias.

Carpignano’s preceding feature A Ciambra, which was executive produced by Martin Scorsese, was Italy’s official entry to the 2018 Oscars.

Neon’s upcoming slate includes Pablo Larrain’s Spencer, Jamila Wignot’s Ailey, Céline Sciamma’s Petite Maman, and Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Flee, executive produced by Riz Ahmed and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

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