Céline Sciamma’s ‘Portrait Of A Lady On Fire’ Joins The Criterion Collection Library In 2020


Read the press release down below that announces Céline Sciamma’s critically acclaimed “Portrait Of A Lady On Fire,” which just won the Cinematography award at New York Film Critics Circle earlier this week, will be added to the Criterion Collection library.

The NEON film has been firmly in the awards hunt for months after big debuts at Cannes, Telluride, New York, and Middleburg Film Festivals.

The film was also nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Independent Spirit Awards. Sciamma’s film is not the official selection for France for the Best International Feature category at the Oscars. Amazon Studios’s “Les Miserables” was selected.


New York, NY (December 6, 2019) – NEON and The Criterion Collection are excited to announce the addition of Céline Sciamma’s award winning, Portrait of a Lady on Fire to The Criterion Collection library.  The Cannes winner was recently nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Language Film, nominated by the Hollywood Critics Association for Best Foreign Language Film and was awarded Best Cinematography by the New York Film Critics.

Set in France, 1760, Marianne is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young woman who has just left the convent. Because she is a reluctant bride-to-be, Marianne arrives under the guise of companionship, observing Héloïse by day and secretly painting her by firelight at night. As the two women orbit one another, intimacy and attraction grow as they share Héloïse’s first moments of freedom. Héloïse’s portrait soon becomes a collaborative act of and testament to their love.

Peter Becker, President of The Criterion Collection remarked, “Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire took our breath away when we first saw it at Telluride, and we are ecstatic that we will be able to give the film the loving special edition treatment it deserves.”

NEON added, “We couldn’t be more thrilled that our first collaboration with The Criterion Collection is Céline’s breathtakingly beautiful and utterly captivating Portrait of a Lady on Fire.”

Portrait of a Lady on Fire debuted at Cannes where it won the Best Screenplay award and has since gone one to play at festivals across the country to standing ovations and multiple jury awards.  Portrait of a Lady on Fire is being hailed by critics as the best film to emerge this fall, earning 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.  NEON will release the film in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, December 6th.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire was written and directed by Céline Sciamma and features extraordinary performances by Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel in a timeless and singularly provocative love story.


A little more than 2 and a half years since inception, NEON has grossed over $100M at the Box Office and continues to push the boundaries and take creative risks on bold content with films such as: Bong Joon Ho’s critically acclaimed, record-breaking drama PARASITE, which unanimously won the Palme d’Or this year at Cannes and when released on October 11 broke multiple box office records including highest per screen average of the year and highest per screen average for a foreign language film of all time.  The film has since on to amass over $19mm and counting. Other noteworthy releases include Todd Douglas Miller’s APOLLO 11, the highest grossing documentary in the world at $16M and growing, 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.

With other recent acquisitions such as the critically acclaimed Cannes hit PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE, NEON continues to be an impressive force at festivals. Recent releases include: Alejandro Landes’ cinematic thriller MONOS (the Colombian selection for the Academy Awards®); 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; Tamara Kotevska and Ljubo Stefanov’s award-winning HONEYLAND (the Macedonia selection for the Academy Awards®)and the electrifying documentary about Aretha Franklin, AMAZING GRACE. Its upcoming slate also includes: Chinonye Chukwu’s CLEMENCY starring Academy Award® Nominee Alfre Woodard and Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz‘s horror film THE LODGE starring Riley Keough.

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.

Since 1984, the Criterion Collection has been dedicated to publishing important classic and contemporary films from around the world in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements. No matter the medium-from laserdisc to DVD and Blu-ray to streaming on the Criterion Channel-Criterion has maintained its pioneering commitment to presenting each film as its maker would want it seen, in state-of-the-art restorations with special features designed to encourage repeated watching and deepen the viewer’s appreciation of the art of film.

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Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of AwardsCircuit.com. Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times, CNN.com, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.