the success of a24: how this distribution company is changing the film industry

From Academy Award winners and nominees Moonlight and Lady Bird to cult classics such as The Bling Ring and Spring Breakers, A24 is everywhere. A24 was started in 2012 by David Fenkel, Daniel Katz and Peter Hodges after they left their jobs in production to start something fresh and new. According to an article in GQ style, the trio “had grown up admiring the rich world of ’90s independent cinema, and they noticed a void where those movies had once been”. So they moved to New York, rented an office and got to work.

Lady Bird (2017) Dir. Greta Gerwig

Cut to six years later, A24 produced films have been present at every Academy Awards since 2016, with Brie Larson winning Best Actress in a leading role for Room (2015), Barry Jenkin’s Moonlight (2016) winning Best Picture and Greta Gerwig’s box office hit Lady BIrd garnering five nominations and grossing $48,958,273 domesticallyFirst Reformed (2018), starring Ethan Hawke, has already gained nominations at the Independent Spirit Awards and Ari Aster’s psychological thriller Hereditary (2018) is being pushed for awards.

Hereditary (2018) Dir. Ari Aster

So what are the people being A24 doing right to gain such rapid success in such a cut-throat industry? Referencing back to the same GQ article, which features quotes from actors and directors who have worked with the company, the overwhelming consensus is A24 is not afraid to take risks. A24 deviates from the typical Hollywood format of making movies to let young, unheard creators get their chance at making something new and fresh. They take the films that the big-budget production companies turn down and they turn in them into something magical.

The Bling Ring (2013) Dir. Sofia Coppola

The other thing that A24 does right is their social media. Check out their Twitter, Instagram, and Blog. They even have a podcast that updates monthly. They are constantly creating new content to go along with each individual film. Their interweaving of content creation with films to create an engaging experience for those who enjoyed their films. Not only that, they go out of their way to involve young, unestablished writers who have an interest in film in their blog. Personally, I have seen multiple Twitter mutuals of mine get commissioned to write an A24 blog post just by their tweets. This stands by their belief that young, new creators are what are going to continue to keep the film industry alive.

All photos in this post courtesy of A24 Productions.

Header image is from Moonlight (2016) Dir. Barry Jenkins


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