A24 reveals Public Access: free film screenings in iconic locations


Last month we reported on the speculation surrounding an enigmatic new project, Public Access, which A24 announced by means of a cryptic Tweet. The Internet then promptly took it upon itself to decipher the coordinates of the six films in question and to discover what exactly A24 had planned. A streaming service, free films for life, or merch giveaways? The options sparked imaginations across the globe and admiration for the creative marketers behind the release.

Now, per a press release, A24 has confirmed that Public Access means (drum roll) … free screenings in real film locations. That’s right — it means you can watch Lady Bird for free if you’re in Downtown Sacramento, or Moonlight near Moonlight Way, Miami. Also included in the summer repertoire are The Bling Ring, screening in the Valley of LA; The Witch, showing in a remote town in rural New Hampshire; Good Time near subway tracks in Queens; and The Spectacular Now in Athens, Georgia. All the films will be screening on billboards, playfully making use of the marketing agenda while giving the public a chance to access the films for free.

It’s great news if you’re in the area — or willing to travel a bit further. The dedicated mini-site leading from A24’s homepage will take you to a full breakdown of the films and their coordinates if you’re looking to get really specific. The full list of films and their locations are as follows:

8 PM July 20: Lady Bird, Sacramento, California. 38°34’35″N 121°28’47″W

8 PM July 27: The Bling Ring, Los Angeles, California. 34°13’7″N 118°27’59″W 

8 PM August 6: The Witch, Ossipee, New Hampshire. 43°42’19″N 71°06’44″W

7:30 PM August 10: Good Time, New York City, New York. 40°44’59″N 73°56’11″W

8 PM August 17: The Spectacular Now, Athens, Georgia. 33°57’24″N 83°22’49″W

7:30 PM August 24: Moonlight, West Little River, Florida. 25°50’49″N 80°13’6″W

Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that we should expect that the entire back catalogue of the boutique studio becoming available in the public domain just yet. It’s not quite the result we might have been optimistic for, and it doesn’t look like a DVD giveaway either, but it’s certainly a creative way of getting its arthouse films more exposure. Having these films screened at the locations that inspired them will be an immersive experience if you find yourself in the right place at the right time across July and August.

The marketing savants behind the campaign have done a great job concealing the strategy, with dedicated fans stirring up talk on Twitter. In fact, they’re on a bit of a roll at the moment with the delightfully creepy advert released yesterday for Bear in a Cage™, devised entirely from a single line of dialogue in their most recent release, Midsommar. Not to mention the fact that someone has physically gone to the effort of sampling the dialogue into a song and uploading it to Soundcloud. (The world continues to baffle me.) So even if you can’t make your way to Sacramento or Miami this summer, know that you can enjoy the entire range of A24’s weird and wonderful ideas online, anytime.

MIDSOMMAR | Bear in a Cage™| Official Promo HD | A24

Sian Francis Cox
Sian is Flixist’s UK Editor and has written for sites including Escapist Magazine, Destructoid, and Film Enthusiast.