The anthology feature world premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on July 14 as part of the Special Screening section, and will be released theatrically later this year.
News of the distributor’s donation comes as a number of wealthy countries were able to send delegations to the Cannes Film Festival, which ends this weekend, but many more were missing from the Croisette due to an international disparity in vaccine development and distribution.
The Neon donation will support real-time COVID-19 response and assistance through the distribution of funds, tests, supplies and vaccines to the countries and areas that are hardest hit worldwide. Variety has inquired about the sum of the company’s donation, but hasn’t yet heard back.
“The Year of the Everlasting Storm” is helmed by a prestigious group of international filmmakers including Jafar Panâhi, Anthony Chen, Malik Vitthal, Laura Poitras, Dominga Sotomayor, David Lowery and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. The film features one story from each auteur, who chronicles the pandemic via a love letter to cinema and its storytellers. Brad Becker-Parton, Andrea Roa and Jeff Deutchman produced, with Panâhi, Tom Quinn and David Kaplan serving as executive producers.
Variety’s Peter Debruge said in a review that the film provided “seven escape routes, each one reconnecting us to a world inevitably transformed by the pandemic — a world where art lives on.”
“Our partnership with Direct Relief builds on the mission we started with when we embarked on this project — creating global collaboration and connection during an unprecedented moment in history,” said producer Deutchman.
“The Year of the Everlasting Storm” joined two other Neon titles premiering at Cannes this year: Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Memoria,” starring Tilda Swinton, and Julia Ducournau’s “Titane.” The company’s upcoming slate also includes Pablo Larrain’s “Spencer,” Jamila Wignot’s “Ailey,” Céline Sciamma’s “Petite Maman,” and Jonas Poher “Rasmussen’s Flee,” which is executive produced by Riz Ahmed and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.