When the dust settled on Tuesday’s Oscar nominations, for the first time in its 10-year history, independent studio A24 emerged as the most nominated single studio, with 18 total nods across six movies. That includes best picture nominee “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which lead all films with 11 total nominations, as well as “The Whale” (actor, supporting actress, and makeup and hairstyling), “Aftersun” (actor), “Causeway” (supporting actor), “Close” (international film), and “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On” (animated feature).
“It’s enormously gratifying to see a film like ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ recognized in such a big way, our first nominations in the International and Animation categories and the eight wonderful actors receiving their first Oscar nominations,” the studio said in a statement to WmLeader. “It made for a very exciting morning and is a testament to the incredible talent we are lucky enough to work with.”
The accomplishment caps a stunning awards season run for the still-young company, which has positioned itself as the leading fully independent film studio in the industry today. Founded in 2012 by Daniel Katz, David Fenkel and John Hodges, A24 quickly established itself as the home of sophisticated, envelope-pushing fare like 2013’s “Spring Breakers” and 2014’s “Under the Skin.”
In 2015, A24 broke into the Oscars in a big way, with nominations for the harrowing drama “Room,” the sci-fi thriller “Ex Machina” and the Amy Winehouse documentary “Amy,” all of which took home a trophy (for, respectively, best actress, documentary feature, and visual effects). The following year, “Moonlight” triumphed, winning three Oscars, including for best picture. Since then, A24 has had at least one nominee at every Academy Awards, including for 2017’s “Lady Bird,” 2020’s “Minari,” and 2022’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth.”
But this year, the studio made its biggest awards splash ever by championing films that punctured the noise. (Disney is also claiming victory at this year’s Oscars with 22 total nominations, but that is across several of its divisions, including Searchlight, 20th Century Studios, Marvel Studios and Pixar.)
“Everything Everywhere” was the indie story of the year as A24’s highest grossing film ever, with over $104 million worldwide; its 11 nominations were a surprise even to most prognosticators. “The Whale” has also been the rare awards season release this year to surpass $10 million in domestic grosses, while Paul Mescal (with “Aftersun”) and Brian Tyree Henry (with “Causeway”) both emerged victorious in the turbulent races for best actor and supporting actor, respectively. In an independent film landscape that has grown increasingly grim post-pandemic, A24’s accomplishment is welcome good news.