Refinery29 Makes Push Into Films With Neon Partnership

'Assassination Nation'

The first two projects distributed through the partnership will be 'Assassination Nation' and 'Little Woods.'

Refinery29 is expanding from its digital roots into the film business. 

The female-centric media company has inked a deal with Neon to identify, purchase and co-distribute films. The partnership with the studio behind I, Tonya and Three Identical Strangers will mark Refinery29's first foray into feature-length films after it has dabbled in primarily digital video production. 

The first films distributed through the partnership will be Sam Levinson's comedy crime film Assassination Nation and Tessa Thompson starrer Little Woods. Assassination Nation, which debuted at Sundance and is due out Sept. 21, stars Hari Nef, Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Abra, Bella Thorne and Maude Apatow as a group of high school seniors caught up in a data hack that exposes their deadly secrets. Little Woods, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, is a Nia DaCosta-directed crime thriller that also stars Lily James. 

For Refinery29, the deal expands on early content production efforts, including the Shatterbox short film project, which ushered in the directorial debuts of Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart. The digital brand has also produced some serialized programming including Facebook Watch's Strangers. Through the partnership, Refinery29 is expected to provide funding and also influence decision-making, seeking out projects that align with its brand.

"Since its inception, Neon has established itself as a major player in the industry, disrupting  the way the next generation consumes and views films, which aligns with how we speak to and challenge our audience and the media industry as a whole," said Refinery29 chief content officer Amy Emmerich. "Following the success of our short film series, Shatterbox, we are excited to expand our storytelling and experiential offerings and make our mark on the feature film business."

Neon, the upstart studio launched in 2016 by Tom Quinn and Tim League, has made a name for itself on the festival circuit, acquiring such projects as Anne Hathaway starrer Colossal, Oscar-winner I, Tonya, Sundance debut Ingrid Goes West and, more recently, documentary Three Identical Strangers. Neon had previously announced its acquisitions of Assassination Nation and Little Woods.  

"We're excited to be working with Refinery29 and launching films like Assassination Nation and Little Woods for the company's smart, passionate audience of women and to bolster our shared dedication to female filmmakers and female-driven films," said Neon senior vp Christina Zisa. "We couldn't think of a better brand and partner to align with than Refinery29, as their commitment to creating and supporting content that speaks to young women today is unparalleled."