A24 Buys Paul Mescal Tearjerker ‘Aftersun,’ Charlotte Wells’ Hit Movie, Out of Cannes

Courtesy of BFI/Sarah Makharine

A24 has snapped up the Paul Mescal-led tearjerker “Aftersun” out of the Cannes Film Festival.

The distributor has picked up North American rights for the movie, which premiered as part of Cannes’ Critics’ Week section to rave reviews last week. Charades is selling the project globally.

The movie, directed by Scottish filmmaker Charlotte Wells in her feature directorial debut, stars Mescal and newcomer Frankie Corio as a young father and his 11-year-old daughter who are on holiday at a resort in Turkey in the late 1990s. Framed as a look back at a father-daughter holiday in the late 1990s, with occasional mini DV footage adding to the period texture, the film is an ode to nostalgia with hints of something far darker.

Variety critic Guy Lodge said of “Aftersun”: “Ambitiously and poignantly, ‘Aftersun’ explores the oddly intimate chasm between parent and child, the latter forever playing catch-up to the former’s inner life, except on the brief occasions — like, say, a summer vacation — when they can both be children for a moment.”

In an interview with Variety, Wells said: “I wanted to explore a different period in that relationship, like a young father and his daughter on holiday. Even just visually having a young parent, like a young man and his daughter, it just felt like it could be something interesting and fun and compelling.”

“Aftersun” is produced by Adele Romanski, Barry Jenkins and Mark Ceryak for Pastel and Amy Jackson for Unified Theory. The pic was financed by BBC Film, BFI (awarding National Lottery funding) and Screen Scotland, in association with Tango.

The film was developed with BBC Film, the head of which — Rose Garnett — is departing the division to join A24 based out of the U.K.

Executive producers are Eva Yates for BBC Film, Lizzie Francke for BFI, Kieran Hannigan for Screen Scotland, Tim Headington and Lia Buman for Tango.