PRESS RELEASE —
NEW YORK, NY (April 28, 2020) – NEON announced today that Elissa Federoff and Christina Zisa have been promoted to President of Distribution and President of Publicity, respectively. Under their leadership, the company most recently made history with four Academy Award® wins for Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, which grossed over $54 million at the box office becoming the third highest grossing foreign language film ever released in the US. On May 8th, NEON will launch Matt Wolf’s highly acclaimed Sundance documentary Spaceship Earth across an innovative footprint of both traditional and non-traditional venues, as a way to address current limitations. Both Federoff and Zisa have been with NEON since its inception in January 2017.
“Elissa Federoff and Christina Zisa have been the cornerstone to NEON’s success since we launched. In a very short time, they’ve broken multiple Box Office records as well as changed the history of the Academy Awards forever. Personally and professionally they embody all the things that make NEON a unique and special place for filmmakers and films to thrive. Cinema’s future looks bright with these caretakers at the helm, and I can’t wait to see what they accomplish next,” said NEON CEO and Founder Tom Quinn.
Federoff, previously Executive Vice President of Theatrical Distribution, has been overseeing the company’s release strategy across all its titles, positioning NEON as a major theatrical player with both the commercial chains and art circuits. She has also been instrumental in ramping up NEON’s direct-to-consumer capabilities with virtual cinema. Federoff previously held stints at The Orchard, boutique label RADiUS, Oscilloscope Laboratories and Lionsgate.
Zisa, previously Executive Vice President of Publicity, created and implemented all awards, events and publicity campaigns for the NEON slate including Parasite, Honeyland, and I Tonya. Her out-of-the-box and ingenious awards campaigns have garnered 16 Oscar nominations, 7 Academy Awards, including the historic SAG Ensemble and Best Picture wins for Parasite. Zisa previously worked with Quinn at boutique label RADiUS.
In just three years, NEON has garnered 12 Oscar nominations, 5 wins, including Best Picture, and already grossed over $150M at the Box Office with films such as: Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11, the highest grossing documentary of 2019; Tim Wardle’s Three Identical Strangers, winner of the Sundance Special Jury Award for Storytelling which surpassed $13M at the box office; and Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya, which garnered multiple Academy Award® nominations, one win for Allison Janney and amassed over $30M in box office in North America
The company continues to be a force, with recent acquisitions including: Pig starring Nicolas Cage; Brandon Cronenberg’s Possessor; Max Barbakow’s sought after Palm Springs starring Andy Samberg, which NEON acquired with Hulu; Josephine Decker’s Shirley starring Elisabeth Moss; The Painter and the Thief directed by Benjamin Ree; Amy Seimetz’s SXSW critical sensation She Dies Tomorrow; and the documentary Gunda directed by Viktor Kossakovsky and executive produced by Joaquin Phoenix. Recent releases include: the critically acclaimed Cannes hit Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes® and Independent Spirit Awards; Tamara Kotevska and Ljubo Stefanov’s award-winning and record- breaking Honeyland, which is the first non-fiction feature to land Academy Award® nominations for Best Documentary and Best International Feature Film in the same year; Alejandro Landes’ cinematic thriller Monos (the Colombian selection for the Academy Awards®); Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz‘s horror film The Lodge starring Riley Keough; Julius Onah’s Luce starring Naomi Watts and Octavia Spencer; Tom Harper’s Wild Rose starring Jessie Buckley; John Chester’s The Biggest Little Farm; Chinonye Chukwu’s Clemency starring Academy Award® Nominee Alfre Woodard; and the electrifying documentary about Aretha Franklin, Amazing Grace.
After their successful collaboration on I, Tonya in January 2018, 30WEST (Dan Friedkin’s and Micah Green’s strategic venture) partnered with NEON’s Tom Quinn (Founder & CEO) and Tim League (Co-Founder) to become majority investors in the company.