Alfre Woodard’s Prison Drama ‘Clemency’ Heads to Neon for US Rights

The film, written and directed by Chinonye Chukwu, won the Grand Jury Prize at last month’s Sundance Film Festival

Indie distributor Neon announced on Wednesday that it has acquired U.S. rights to the Alfre Woodard-starring drama “Clemency” from ACE Pictures Entertainment.

Writer-director Chinonye Chukwu’s film premiered last month at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize in the Dramatic category .

Woodard stars as Bernadine Williams, the warden of a maximum-security prison whose years of carrying out death row executions have begun to take a toll. As she prepares to execute another inmate, Bernadine must confront the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is sanctioned to kill.

“Clemency” also stars Aldis Hodge (“Hidden Figures”), Richard Schiff (“Man of Steel,” “The West Wing”) and Wendell Pierce (“The Wire”).

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

“Making ‘Clemency’ has been a life-changing soul journey,” Chukwu said in a statement, “and I am thrilled to partner with the team at Neon to share the film with audiences across the country.”

At Sundance, Neon premiered Todd Douglas Miller’s stunning cinematic event “Apollo 11,” which will initially release in Imax theatres exclusively on March 1, as well as John Chester’s “The Biggest Little Farm.” In addition, the company picked up the rights to Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska’s documentary “Honeyland,” Alejandro Landes’ cinematic thriller Monos, Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala’s horror film “The Lodge,” Abe Forsythe’s Lupita Nyong’o-led “Little Monsters” and Julius Onah’s “Luce.”

Neon recently garnered an Oscar nod for “Border,” and its upcoming slate includes: Tom Harper’s “Wild Rose” starring Jessie Buckley; and Bong Joon-Ho’s highly-anticipated drama “Parasite.”

The deal for “Clemency” was negotiated by Neon and Paradigm on behalf of the filmmakers.

Chukwu is repped by Paradigm and Grandview. Hodge is repped by Paradigm, The Priluck Company, and Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca, Fischer, Gilbert-Lurie, Stiffelman, Cook, Johnson, Lande & Wolf LLP. Pierce is repped by Paradigm and Essential Talent Management. And Schiff is repped by Paradigm, Leverage, and Nelson Davis LLP.