Oscars 2023: A24 is the indie powerhouse studio to beat

A24, the studio behind Best Picture winner Everything Everywhere All At Once, already had an enthusiastic following for its films and a edgy, youthful reputation as a foodie.

That cinephile cred was on full display at Sunday night’s Oscars, where New York’s shy indie darling scored her second best picture win, six years after her win for “Moonlight.”

“Everything Everything All At Once,” a frenetic multi-generational tale of a struggling Chinese-American immigrant family, won seven statuettes at the 95th Academy Awards, making it the night’s winningest film.

In addition to the top prize, “Everything Everywhere” won for director (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), lead actor (Michelle Yeoh), supporting actor (Jamie Lee Curtis), supporting actor (Ke Huy Quan), original screenplay and film editing .

A24 took more credit than any other distributor, winning nine Oscars, including lead actor (Brendan Fraser) and makeup and hairstyling for “The Whale.” The company has won over Oscar fans including streaming giant Netflix, Searchlight Pictures and Warner Bros.

The studio’s success came as no surprise. “Everything Everywhere,” a quirky sci-fi action comedy that debuted at last year’s South by Southwest film festival, made a splash during the preliminary awards, including those handed out by unions SAG-AFTRA, the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America.

It’s the latest sign that the company has established itself as the indie force to beat.

Founded in 2012 by Daniel Katz, David Fenkel and John Hodges, the studio has had a string of critical hits including ‘Ladybird’, ‘Minari’ and ‘The Farewell’. He is also a TV player with the Emmy-winning hit “Euphoria” for HBO and the Golden Globe-winning “Ramy” on Hulu.

“Moonlight,” the coming-of-age story of a black gay man in Miami (A24’s first in-house production), pulled off a surprising upset of Lionsgate’s “La La Land” at the 2017 Oscars.

A24’s box office winners include heady cinematographer-driven horror films (Ari Aster’s “Hereditary” and “Midsommar”) and the edgy Adam Sandler thriller “Uncut Gems.”

“Everything Everywhere”‘s win comes at a time when Hollywood is going through a wave of change.

There is growing hope that moviegoers are returning to theaters after the COVID-19 pandemic led to shutdowns and sparked a new wave of streaming growth as entertainment companies sent their films directly to streaming platforms to satisfy shut-out audiences. on the sofa.

Lately, streaming services have gone through a cutback, and studios have largely returned to the practice of putting movies in theaters for weeks, and sometimes months, before making them available for home viewing.

A24’s win is also another feather in the cap for traditional theatrical distribution after years of streamers, including Netflix, trying to claw their way to Oscar glory. Last year, Apple TV+ became the first streaming service to win best picture with the feel-good family drama “CODA.”

A24 is a lean but growing business, employing 200 people in the US and UK One of its founders, Katz, has a background in banking, having worked at the Guggenheim.

A24 recently announced the acquisition of New York’s Cherry Lane Theater and launched a music venture with Apple and Larry Jackson. It recently raised $225 million in fundraising led by the Stripes investment group. That 10% stake gave the studio a $2.5 billion valuation, allowing it to remain independent and expand production and distribution worldwide.

A24 entered the awards show with 18 nominations, one for a studio record and the most of any independent distributor, with 11 nods for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” three for “The Whale,” and additional recognition for “Aftersun” and “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On”.

“Everything Everywhere All At Once” was A24’s most-nominated film to date and its highest-grossing release at the box office, grossing over $108 million in worldwide ticket sales.

Los Gatos, Calif.-based streaming giant Netflix did well with its six awards, given that German World War I epic “All Quiet on the Western Front” wasn’t considered a major contender until shortly before the nominations were announced.

The Edward Berger-directed anti-war film, which garnered critical acclaim for its unflinching portrayal of young fighters, won for cinematography, production design, original score and international film. Netflix also won animated feature for “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” and documentary short for “The Elephant Whisperers.”

Netflix came in with 16 nominations, compared to 27 last year.

Walt Disney Co.’s Searchlight Pictures. went home empty-handed for the bleak Irish comedy ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’.

But its owner, Disney, took the Oscars “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” for costumes and James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” for visual effects.

Universal Pictures also went home empty-handed for Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical drama “The Fabelmans.”

OFI Warner.’ Top musical biopics “Elvis” and “The Batman” were shut out, but the Burbank studio won an award for CNN Films’ “Navalny” (documentary).

Paramount Pictures took home a trophy for “Top Gun: Maverick,” which it won for sound.

MGM won adapted screenplay for Sarah Polley’s ‘Women Talking’.

Apple – last year’s best picture winner – took home an animated short Oscar for “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse.”

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