Neon has acquired North American rights to the romantic dramedy Anora, the latest feature from award-winning indie filmmaker Sean Baker (The Florida Project). It will be released in theaters sometime next year.
Mikey Madison, Mark Eydelshteyn, Yuriy Borisov, Karren Karagulian, and Vache Tovmasyan star in the pic, shot on 35mm by DoP Drew Daniels, the synopsis for which remains under wraps. Samantha Quan, Alex Coco, and Baker served as producers. FilmNation Entertainment is handling worldwide rights, having already licensed 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.
News of the acquisition follows Neon’s announcement of They Follow, a sequel to David Robert Mitchell’s cult classic horror It Follows, on which Mitchell is set to reteam with star Maika Monroe. Neon will produce, distribute and handle international sales. Other titles on the company’s international sales slate include Ava DuVernay’s acclaimed Venice title Origin, which releases in U.S. theaters on December 8, and We Bury the Dead starring Daisy Ridley.
Anora marks the eighth writing and directing endeavor for Baker and comes following his 2021 dark comedy, Red Rocket, starring Simon Rex, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. His previous film, 2017’s The Florida Project, premiered to critical acclaim in the Directors’ Fortnight section of Cannes and wound up bringing star Willem Dafoe an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, as Baker was named Best Director by the New York Film Critics Circle. Baker previously helmed titles including 2015’s Sundance-premiering Tangerine, shot on a handful of iPhones, which won an Independent Spirit and two Gotham Awards, and 2012’s Starlet, which claimed the Independent Spirit Awards’ Robert Altman Award. Other past works include 2008’s Prince of Broadway and 2004’s Take Out, both of which snagged the John Cassavetes prize at the Independent Spirits.
In addition to the aforementioned, Neon’s currently slate includes Justine Triet’s Palme d’Or winner Anatomy of a Fall, Alice Rohrwacher’s La Chimera, Wim Wenders’ Perfect Days, which marks Japan’s Oscar selection, Robot Dreams from Pablo Berger, and Pamela Adlon’s directorial debut Babes starring Ilana Glazer and Michelle Buteau. Other titles releasing this year include William Oldroyd’s Eileen, starring Thomasin McKenzie and Anne Hathaway, and Michael Mann’s Ferrari.
The deal was negotiated by Neon’s VP of Acquisitions Jason Wald with FilmNation’s CEO Glen Basner on behalf of the filmmakers.