March 11, 2022 | LIFE | By Frances Thyer
Driving down a highway in Italy named “Autostrada 24,” Daniel Katz knew that it was time for a new style of entertainment company. A24 was officially founded in 2012, now producing and distributing 18 to 20 films annually. Katz and his two co-founders, David Fenkel and John Hodges, launched A24 in faith that films with a distinct point of view would be appealing to audiences; at the start of their careers, films had presumably lost some of their excitement.
According to Katz, the first question they ask when considering producing a film is: “is this cool?”
As a relatively young production company, A24 has continued to awe indie film lovers with off-beat, low budget films in various genres. From coming-of-age stories to psychological thrillers, the company works with bold filmmakers to promote stories appealing to a wide range of audiences.
A24 has produced popular films such as “Uncut Gems,” starring Adam Sandler, and “Hereditary,” in which director Ari Aster provides countless bloodcurdling moments that ensure you will never again look out your car window without checking your surroundings.
Ari Aster’s “Midsommar,” my personal favorite of the films produced by A24, lies somewhere between a psychological thriller and a full-blown horror film. The nature of the story is perplexing, leading the audience from an ominous break-up to a sinister fairy tale. As the protagonist perceives the bright colors and horrific events at a summer celebration, we find that there is an intriguing depth and darkness to her character, extenuated by psychedelics and the physical isolation of rural Sweden.
As with many other A24 films, the cinematography provides another layer of artistry, exaggerating the protagonist’s point of view.
A24’s “Moonlight,” directed by Barry Jenkins, utilizes an opposing palette of dark blues and purples to draw the audience into the lives of the characters and create a sense of fractured identity. The film is a coming-of-age drama looking into the life of a young Black man in Miami. It won best picture at the 2016 Academy Awards.
For more coming-of-age stories, A24 has produced films such as “Lady Bird,” which follows the protagonist through her senior year of high school as she navigates romance, college, and belonging. Each scene is intricately woven together through a charming and honest perspective intrinsic to A24 movies.
If you’re interested in middle school drama, Jonah Hill’s “Mid 90s” provides a sweet yet authentic look at growing up through the lens of skateboarding. The film was Hill’s introduction to writing and directing, commenting that “having the A24 logo in front of your movie is like a badge of honor.”
A24 has also played with experimental promotion for a number of their films, including Facebook advertising for “Spring Breakers,” inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper.”The post depicted James Franco and several women with the caption, “On Friday, be good. We’re saving you a seat” alongside a link for tickets.
When promoting “Ex Machina,” a radical film which speculates about the future of artificial intelligence, A24 designed a Tinder bot for a South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin. The profile used a photo of the film’s protagonist, asking those she matched with what made them human and leading them to her Instagram, where information on the film’s release “just so happened” to be available.
Some films to look out for from A24 in 2022 include “After Yang,” a sci-fi released on March 4.
Audiences can also look forward to the release of “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” which focuses on multi-verse travel and hits theaters on March 25.
A24 films are available on various streaming platforms.