Chinonye Chukwu’s prison drama Clemency, which won Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize, has been acquired by NEON. Chukwu’s win made her the first Black female director to win the top prize from Sundance this year.

According to Deadline, NEON has bought the U.S. rights to the film, starring Alfre Woodard as a prison warden who comes face to face with her guilty conscience when she is tasked with putting an inmate (Aldis Hodge) to death. The role is already making some feel Woodard might be up for Oscar contention. Wendell Pierce, Danielle Brooks, Richard Schiff and LaMonica Garrett also star in the film. Along with directing, Chukwu also wrote the movie’s screenplay.

Chukwu said in a statement that making Clemency “has been a life-changing soul journey,” adding, “I am thrilled to partner with the team at NEON to share the film with audiences across the country.”

Currently, Clemency holds a rare 100 percent fresh score from Rotten Tomatoes.


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