After Anna Feder, director of programming for the visual and media arts department, screened Swiss Army Man for the Bright Lights Film Series, she was hooked. The film was distributed by A24, and now has led to a partnership between the company and Bright Lights.
Because of this, Emerson students can expect free and advanced screenings of A24 films throughout the year. Some award-winning projects include The Florida Project and Lady Bird.
“It just sort of came to the point where I was looking at their catalog first for film screenings,” Feder said. “It developed naturally.”
Senior visual and media arts major Kyra Power coordinates the events as an intern for A24. She said she is committed to making the partnership with A24 more than just another opportunity for students to watch free movies.
The first official event will be held in the Bright Family Screening Room on Sept. 12 at 7:00 p.m. A little over 100 students and faculty voted for the screening of horror hit Hereditary. A reception will be held afterward where participants have the chance to win prizes.
With four events planned for the semester, Power said students are able to engage with film in different ways.
“Anna’s always had a direct relationship with them in regards to booking,” Power said. “We’ve screened a lot of their films. They’ve
reached out to Anna to be established in the program.”
When one internship position opened, Feder approached Power, who has worked for Bright Lights since last winter. An avid fan of A24, Power said she couldn’t pass up the job.
“I’m just really excited. I think it will be a cool opportunity to do things besides free screenings,” Power said. “I think it’s a great chance to improve our relationship with A24.”
She said she’s already reached out to organizations like Emerson Independent Video and Women in Motion to team up for future events. She also designed a workshop with National Broadcasting Society to teach students about some elements of filmmaking.
“NBS throughout the semester hosts a bunch of technical workshops on how to do certain things in film,” Power said. “They reached out to me for a workshop [about] cinematography just on a different lens.”
This semester A24 launched partnerships with nine other colleges, which may foster collaboration between Emerson and other schools, according to Power.
Similar to Bright Lights, students can interview directors and producers of A24 projects after the viewing. Power said a Q&A is planned to be coordinated by someone involved with the coming-of-age film Mid90s, written and directed by Jonah Hill.
Sophomore VMA Rob McPherson said Swiss Army Man, released in 2016, was the first A24 film he saw. He said he believes the company is more involved with passion projects.
The events are only open to Emerson staff, faculty, and students, which distinguishes it from Bright Lights’s policy of public showings.
“I think I’m more into [A24 at Emerson] for Q&As and meeting producers,” McPherson said. “That’s why we go to Emerson really, to make those connections.”
For McPherson, a relationship with a renowned company benefits students with potential tips from a professional network, while also elevating the college’s status at the same time.
“I think that getting some recognition from a big studio is going to get a little more dignity and self-respect among the students of Emerson College,” he said.
9/8/18: In a previous version of this article, A24 was referred to as, “A24 Entertainment Company.” The A24 campus intern was referred to as Kyra Powers, and a quote from Feder, “Marketing students can practice interning for them either here or in LA,” was included. These have since been changed to A24, Kyra Power, and the quote was removed due to misinformation.