Can A24 Turn Summer Into Awards Season?

A24, the New York-based independent entertainment company, has made a name for itself despite being recently founded in 2012. This is due in part to the films the company has produced and distributed over the course of the last six years, including best picture winner Moonlight. Such films would go on to win numerous awards and the hearts of its audiences worldwide. With several titles slated for this upcoming summer, the company is looking to build up the pre-awards season’s momentum and add to its repository of 25 Academy Award nominations.

Four of A24’s big summer releases are listed below in the order of release date, along with the Academy Award categories they will most likely be nominated for and most likely win. Of the four listed, The Souvenir, The Last Black Man in San Franciso, and The Farewell premiered at Sundance earlier this year with massive critical acclaim and some critics even going as far as deeming them the best films of 2019. The other film, Midsommar, listed below is the sophomore feature from Ari Aster, the director who shook the world with his 2018 horror debut, Hereditary.

The Souvenir

The Souvenir, directed and written by Joanna Hogg, premiered at Sundance, garnering critical acclaim and even winning the World Cinema Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at the festival. The film follows the story of a young film student in the 80s who becomes romantically involved with an older man who doesn’t have her best interest at heart. The Souvenir marks the acting debut of Honor Swinton Byrne as she stars alongside her mother, Tilda Swinton. Expect The Souvenir to be heavily discussed for Best Cinematography, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, and Best Foreign Film at the Oscars and Golden Globes. The Souvenir will release in theaters May 17th.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

The Last Black Man in San Francisco, directed and produced by Joe Talbot, is easily one of the most important films of the year, as it focuses on two young black men amid gentrification in San Francisco. The Last Black Man in San Francisco won the US Dramatic Directing Award and Special Jury Award – Creator Collaboration at the Sundance film festival. With powerful performances from Jimmy Fails and Jonathan Majors, a powerful commentary on black men’s identity and standing in America, and an excellent ensemble including Danny Glover and Rob Morgan, this film is looking like the favorite to sweep this awards season. Expect The Last Black Man in San Francisco to be a shoo-in for nominations in Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor, Best Ensemble, Best Score, and Best Sound Editing at the Oscars and Golden Globes. The Last Black Man in San Francisco will release in theaters June 14th.


Midsommar, Aster’s follow up to Hereditary, has yet to have a premiere but has made the list solely because of his directorial debut, which was not only critically acclaimed but also boasted as one of the best performances of the year from actress Toni Colette. With its unique dazzling array of rainbow colors for a horror film and lead actress Florence Plough of Lady Mcbeth and The Little Drummer fam, it feels safe to say Aster’s second film will reach critical acclaim. Hereditary didn’t land nominations at the Golden Globe and Oscars award ceremonies but it did land quite a few nominations at other award ceremonies such as the Independent Spirit Awards. Don’t be surprised if his sophomore film makes history with nominations for Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Costume Design at the Oscars and Golden Globes. Midsommar will release in theaters July 3rd.

The Farewell

The Farewell, written and directed by Lulu Wang, may not have won big at the Sundance festival, but the drama starring Awkwafina is sure to be a breakout hit. The story centers around a Chinese-American girl in New York, who secretly chooses to return to China when her grandmother falls ill. Wang’s The Farewell is a triumph of cinema and serves as a reminder of the importance of family. Out of the A24 distributed films this year, The Farewell may be the only one to compete with The Last Black Man in San Francisco. Expect to see The Farewell in Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor, Best Ensemble, Best Score, Best Production, and Best Cinematography at the Oscars and Golden Globes. The Farewell will be released in theaters July 12th.

Carl Broughton: @Carlislegendary Central Florida based Film Critic striving to be the best. Fighting for the ten percent.