Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Media Studies

Reader 1

Elizabeth Affuso

Reader 2

Carlin Wing

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© 2021 Lucie Boulet-Gercourt


This thesis explores the role of independent film distributor NEON as a leading tastemaker in the American indie sector. Founded in 2017, NEON has distinguished itself from competing studios and streaming services by maintaining a commitment to the theatrical experience and to genres that Hollywood has been historically hesitant to embrace. Using Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of the ‘cultural intermediary,’ I analyze how NEON has demonstrated its viability within the indie sector through its promotional strategies, chosen avenues of distribution, and specific film products. While media industry scholars have recently revisited Bourdieu’s theory in order to study producers of cultural value, film distributors have largely been overlooked as key producers of meaning through their dual role as gatekeeper and tastemaker. I propose that NEON has intentionally adopted a brand meant to connote expertise and ‘good taste’ as a means of both instilling trust in filmmakers and shaping the value of its films for audiences.