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Neon Gets More Financial Firepower with Help from ‘Cuckoo’ Producers

Neon is bolstering its production and distribution capabilities with a new financial investment from the producers of its most recent film, “Cuckoo,” which just screened at the SXSW Film Festival.

Indie-studio Neon has formed a strategic financial partnership with Waypoint Entertainment, a production company led by producer Ken Kao that’s been behind films like “The Favourite” and “The Nice Guys.” Together, the two companies will work on a slate of genre films intended for theatrical release.

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The deal is non-exclusive, and no details on the slate of films were announced today — but the films will be indies in the $10 million+ range. The investment should give Neon a bit more financial firepower to compete with the likes of A24. Neon will handle global distribution on each of Waypoint’s titles via its newly-launched international sales division.

“Ken Kao and the Waypoint team have long demonstrated their commitment and unique ability to create bold, beautiful cinema,” said Neon Founder and CEO, Tom Quinn. “We’re beyond thrilled to join forces and continue to ramp up NEON’s production of films from the most revelatory, groundbreaking auteurs around the globe.”

“I am excited to announce our strategic alliance with NEON to expand our slate,” said Kao, co-founder president of Waypoint Entertainment. “Our joint venture will focus on the underserved market of larger independent films, specifically in the $10M+ range that often get overlooked by studios and streamers. This collaboration echoes our mutual ethos of championing films with innovative storytelling and ensuring they resonate deeply with hungry audiences.”

“Cuckoo,” the first collaboration between Neon and Waypoint, stars Hunter Schafer and Dan Stevens. It opens in theaters this spring, and led to the new deal. Next up for Waypoint is a modern adaptation of “Hamlet” from director Aneil Karia that stars Riz Ahmed, as well as “She Rides Shotgun,” a crime thriller starring Taron Egerton from director Nick Rowland.

Neon’s “Immaculate” with Sydney Sweeney opens in theaters on Friday, and the distributor also premiered Pamela Adlon’s “Babes” at SXSW last week. Neon just won an Oscar for Palme D’Or winner “Anatomy of a Fall” from director Justine Triet. Upcoming on the studio’s slate are Steven Soderbergh’s “Presence,” Theda Hammel’s “Stress Positions,” and David Robert Mitchell’s “It Follows” sequel, “They Follow.”

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