Arts & Culture

University partners with film studio A24

Collaboration to bring advance screenings, events to campus, increased work with IFF

By
Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, September 19, 2019

Starting this fall, the University will partner with film production company A24 — known for works such as “Spring Breakers,” “Ex Machina,” “Lady Bird,” “Moonlight” and “Euphoria” — to bring screenings and events to campus.

Headquartered in New York City, A24 is one of the most prominent independent film distribution companies today. The company, founded seven years ago by film veterans Daniel Katz, David Fenkel and John Hodges, has received 25 Academy Award nominations and six Academy Award wins.

A24’s partnership with the University is part of a larger effort by the company to further its presence through grassroots publicity on college campuses. To date, A24 has partnered with 14 universities.

Caleb O’Brien ’20, a current A24 intern and campus representative for this partnership, will be working to bring special screenings, talent and merchandise to College Hill.

“Since A24 is an independent company, … how they create buzz around their content is mainly through word-of-mouth publicity,” O’Brien said. “A24 is excited about our demographic — young people (who consume) content in new ways. People never go to the movies anymore, but at the same time, all of us are consuming more media than ever.”

O’Brien said that the A24 at Brown partnership is striving to harness that energy and make students excited about “up-and-coming, cutting-edge media.” He added that this official collaboration aims to “both attract those die-hard fans who love A24 already, and expand (its reach) to a new audience.”

On campus, A24 at Brown will work closely with Ivy Film Festival. Though most well-known for its student-powered annual week-long festival in the spring, IFF also hosts many free advance screenings for the Providence community throughout the year.

IFF has already hosted advance screenings of A24’s films in the past, so an official partnership with the company is “exciting” because it represents a “furthering (of our) mission in helping make film more accessible,” said Karina Rotenstreich ’20, co-director of IFF . “If we can help get Brown and (Rhode Island School of Design) students and the Providence community greater access to really inspiring storytelling, then we are doing our job.”

Sasha Pinto ’21, another IFF co-director, also expressed excitement for this collaboration. “A24 is uniquely known for giving a voice to small, indie filmmakers, and championing rich and unusual stories,” she said. “So we’re well suited for each other with similar creative approaches to our work.”

Pinto also praised the founders of A24 for channeling an inclusive artistic vision. “They seem to have a deep love and respect for cinema and are willing to take risks on filmmakers and trust their abilities to bring something unique and transformative to the world. And that’s a rare and wonderful quality in any industry.”

The A24 at Brown collaboration officially began Sept. 14 with a free screening of A24’s 2019 release “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” at the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts. With 177 students and faculty in attendance, the screening was “phenomenal” according to IFF Director Grace Attanasio ’21. “There were definitely laughs and tears throughout,” O’Brien said.

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