Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winner 'Clemency,' Lensed by Eric Branco and Edited by Phyllis Housen, Eyes Awards Season Release
May 25, 2019

By Anthony D'Allessandro, Deadline

Chinonye Chukwu’s Clemency, lensed by DP Eric Branco and edited by Phyllis Housen, which took the Sundance Grand Jury Prize Award and was acquired at the fest by NEON, will open on Dec. 27, just in time for awards season.

The film stars Oscar nominee Alfre Woodard as prison warden Bernadine Williams, who has become hardened over the years by her job on Death Row. However, one inmate’s fate (Aldis Hodge) has a serious impact on her as she is forced to confront the psychological and emotional demons that her job has created.  Woodard and Hodge are already generating Oscar buzz and the pic currently counts 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. The pic also stars Richard Schiff (Man of Steel, “The West Wing”) and Wendell Pierce (“The Wire”, Selma).

Clemency was produced by ACE Pictures Entertainment, Bronwyn Cornelius Productions and Julian Cautherley.

NEON recently earned an Academy Award nomination for Border; its upcoming slate also includes: Tom Harper’s Wild Rose starring Jessie Buckley; and Bong Joon-Ho’s highly-anticipated drama Parasite, which is In Competition at Cannes.  NEON was also behind Craig Gillespie’s runaway hit I, Tonya starring Margot Robbie. The pic won a best supporting actress Oscar for Allison Janney and earned two noms for Best Editing and Robbie as Best Actress. NEON also released Matt Spicer’s Sundance and Independent Spirit Award-Winner Ingrid Goes West starring Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen. NEON’s latest doc Apollo 11 has grossed a notable $8.5M at the domestic box office.