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Thu, Feb 15, 2018 10:35 AM

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PS: Streaming Movies: Oscars, Emmys, Both, Neither or Something Else?

Netflix’s Content Chief, Ted Sarandos stated in 2016, “What defines a movie being a movie used to be it being in a theater. I think that’s a dying generational definition.” Sarandos' comment came on the heals of Netflix's agreement to show its streaming titles at the iPic boutique theater chain. A Vanity Fair article entitled "Netflix, the Oscars, and the Battle for the Future of Film" highlights the importance of streaming movies Oscar award eligibility for both the Oscars and Netflix.

Streaming movies are an important segment of the movie business and will soon make the same inroads at the Oscars that cable did at the Emmys over the past quarter century. In 1988, an Emmy rule change expanded the eligibility beyond broadcasters to include cable shows and movies for award consideration. In 2003, the same rule was further amended to expand eligibility to the internet. Thus, making streaming shows and movies Emmy award eligible in a digital age. In 2016, in contrast the Oscars tightened its requirements for qualifying award eligibility. Still, with as few as twenty-one theatrical showings in Los Angeles streaming service movies are eligible for the Oscars. The reality is a streaming movie could theoretically win both the Oscar and the Emmy for Best Movie.

Bright (2017), a $90 million budgeted Action-Crime-Fantasy movie from Netflix premiered in December 2017. By virtue of its streaming platform release and an iPic theater release, it holds dual eligibility for both the 2018 Oscars and 2018 Emmy awards. While, it didn't receive any Oscar nominations, it was short listed during the nomination process in a few categories. The nominations for the 70th Emmy Awards have yet to be announced. While, Bright will likely not win either Best Picture award it does send a message. Netflix's willingness to make bold projects, partner with talented filmmakers and deep pockets signals that a movie that will win both Best Pictures is not that far off in the future.

Do you think that streaming service movies should be eligible to compete for Emmys only, Oscars only, both Oscars and Emmys or neither Oscars nor Emmys or have their own special category?

Voice your opinion on streaming titles and which awards they should be eligible for here: https://www.imdb.com/list/ls021214803/

Responses

Champion

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7.5K Messages

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255.7K Points

3 years ago

I can see why that may be difficult to handle for the academies.

Perhaps another option would be "Either/or" so that a movie can only qualify for either the Oscars or the Emmys depending on how they are first shown to the public.

5K Messages

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108.8K Points

I can too, it seems to such a simple issue, but in reality it has a lot complex facets that affect the future of movies and the Oscars. The Oscars has recently formed a committee to delve into the issue and make recommendations. Netflix is following all the rules the Academy requires to determine eligibility. What has some Academy members of the Academy chafing is the company’s rebellious day-and-date release strategy that puts movies online and in the theaters on the same day. Even though same day V.O.D and theatrical release strategies have been around for awhile and employ the same technique, they never generated this type of backlash.

The issue is only going to grow with Netflix getting 8 nominations this year: with four for Mudbound, one for short subject documentary Heroin(e), one for foreign-language film, On Body and Soul, and two for long-form documentaries; Icarus and Strong Island. Netflix plans to release even more movies this year (eighty) and it seems like every media company, seeing the writing on the wall. will soon have their own streaming service.

Mudbound is great example how Netflix can elevate the quality of movies by making movies, no other studio will take a risk to make or distribute. Arch-rival Amazon did the same last year with Manchester By the Sea. But chose a theatrical release over a streaming only or dual release strategy and didn't ruffle any feathers, as a result.

With 8 Oscar Nominations, Netflix Proves It's a Film Force 
"Mudbound, which Netflix bought out of the Sundance Film Festival last year, was a film that other distributors passed on, due to its lengthy run time (2 hours and 15 min) and tough subject matter. Beginning last November, the studio screened the movie in theaters for five weeks, reaching 17 theaters in 11 markets at its widest point while it simultaneously streamed online.

The studio is now finalizing its plans to return Mudbound to the big screen in honor of its four Oscar nominations.“Mudbound was a movie that a year ago no one else wanted,” said Stuber. “I’m proud that we as a company stood up and said we want this film. We put it on our back, and gave this talent the exposure it deserved.”

As for your suggestion,

Perhaps another option would be "Either/or" so that a movie can only qualify for either the Oscars or the Emmys depending on how they are first shown to the public.
I think that option is represented in options #1 and #2. I probably need to change the wording to be clearer. I am sure the rule could be subverted by timing an internet streaming release to coincide down to the second with a theatrical release. So, maybe forcing the distributor to chose one or the other eligibility would be the solution. But, I think a rule change like that gets away from the "big picture" issues at play here.

Champion

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5.6K Messages

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253.7K Points

Urbanemovies: I agree with Peter that "either/or" should be a separate poll option. In other words, Netflix could be allowed to submit a film such as Bright to the Oscars, but if they do, then they can't submit it to the Emmys (regardless of whether the film gets any Oscar nominations or not). Or they could decline Oscar consideration and hold off until the Emmys to submit the film for awards.

I realize that not everyone in the industry would be satisfied by Netflix being allowed to have that choice. But for a poll of IMDb users, it ought to be considered as a possibility.

5K Messages

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108.8K Points

Fair points. Again, I think the options need to be reworked or rephrased to be clearer. I think combining the first two option into one is the solution. I could just add it as another option, but I think it makes the issue even more convoluted and gets away from the real issues.

WAS
Option #1 of 5 Streaming Movies: Emmy Only Eligibility
(If streaming movies are shown on the internet, they should be able to compete with broadcast and cable titles at the Emmys.)

WAS
Option #2 of 5 Streaming Movies: Oscar Only Eligibility
(If streaming movies are shown in theaters, they should be able to compete with theatrical titles at the Oscars.)

NOW
Option #1 of 4
Streaming Movies: Either Emmy Only Eligibility or Oscar Only Eligibility
(If Streaming movies meet the requirements, they are able to compete with broadcast and cable titles at the Emmys or with theatrical titles at the Oscars. If streaming movies meet both award requirements, the movie's distributor may choose to submit for one or the other, but not both.)

1.9K Messages

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52.5K Points

3 years ago

Best Streaming Movie Only Category at Oscars and Emmys

5K Messages

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108.8K Points

Thanks, thanks for the vote.

Tough question, as all the options seem justified and flawed at the same time. No easy answer, but I like this option because it puts on spotlight on the Streaming Movie category, much like Foreign Films, Animation and Documentaries. Though, I don't think that segment will need the extra help much longer. I wouldn't be surprise to see a day when all the Best Picture nominees are streaming movies.

5K Messages

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108.8K Points

3 years ago

Steven Spielberg Says Netflix Movies Shouldn’t Win Oscars, Warns TV “Poses Clear And Present Danger To Filmgoers”

"In an interview with ITV News (see video below), Spielberg noted that the movie business has never faced more of a challenge from television, especially given the rise of streaming. While there are benefits from that to the overall culture, he said features launched on streaming platforms should not be allowed at the Oscars."

2.4K Messages

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73.9K Points

3 years ago

If streaming movies are shown in theaters, they should be able to compete with theatrical titles at the Oscars.

5K Messages

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108.8K Points

I agree, if you follow the rules you should be considered.

The rules were intended to set a relatively low standard for a qualifying run to allow indies and foreign films to compete. I think it helped validate the Oscars are an award for all movies and not just the the big studio productions.

It was hard enough for the industry to tolerate the dominance of Miramax and other indies over the past two decades at the Oscars. Their rise in both the number of nominations and awards is often cited as the reason for the decline in Oscar ratings. You can't have it both ways being award for the best movie of all movies and then start excluding movies. It was fine when these movies weren't winning or even being nomination, but now that they are both being nominated and winning at the expense of the larger of studios, it has become a hot button issue.

5K Messages

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108.8K Points

3 years ago

Champion

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4.3K Messages

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88.6K Points

3 years ago

I would cut down the intro and add Spielberg's stance.

5K Messages

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108.8K Points

Thanks, I agree I need to revisit this and find a better balance between brevity and explaining the issue for those unfamiliar with the controversy.

It seems to be a watershed moment, much like the advent of TV on the future of cinema. But, unlike TV which founded the Television Academy and the Emmys, the streaming segment seems content to piggyback onto the existing awards.

As for Spielberg's stance, it is in line with rest of the entire industry, I think everyone can see the "writing on the wall". It is one thing to be beat by your competition, it is another to help them beat you.

5K Messages

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108.8K Points

2 years ago

Face-Off: Streaming Movie Awards — Oscar, Emmy, Both or Neither?

UPDATE: I gave up on detailed explanation of the issue, assuming most movie fans would be familiar with the basics of the controversy. I opted for brevity with a introduction hitting the highlights to become a four option Friday Face-Off:

NEW INTRODUCTION (ADDED)
The advent of streaming service and their significant foray into the movie production business has blurred the definition of what in the past was referred to as a "feature film". These movies and their associated award ceremonies over the past century were the domain of the theatrical release. As with any dramatic and industry shaking change, winners and losers abound, as well as, innovation and conflict. One main bone of contention is how steaming movies factor into considered for the major awards.

OLD INTRODUCTION (REMOVED)
Streaming services and theater owners are at war. Movie theater trade head, NATO's John Fithian claims Netflix is imperiling the time-tested movie going experience. Netflix’s Content Chief, Ted Sarandos states theaters are potentially killing the movie business by being inflexible. A showdown between the two over the Oscars has been brewing for years.

Streaming services are making inroads at the Oscars, much like cable did at the Emmys. In 1988, a rule change forever changed the Emmy Awards by expanding award eligibility beyond broadcasters to include cable shows and movies. In 2003, eligibility was further expanded to enable streaming series and movies  to become Emmy award eligible. Netflix further pushed the boundaries by embarking on a day-and-date release strategy that puts select movies online and in the theaters on the same day. In response, the Oscars elevated its qualifying requirements for award eligibility. However,  streaming movies are eligible to win both the Oscar and the Emmy for Best Movie and other awards, if they meet both requirements.

Bright (2017) and Mudbound (2017) are the best examples of this strategy. Bright didn't receive any Oscar nominations for its efforts, but was nomination short listed in a few categories. However, Mudbound became the most nominated streaming service movie ever with four Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Original Song. Both films gained dual eligibility for the 2018 Oscars and 2018 Emmy awards by virtue of a Netflix streaming platform release and an iPic theater release. The nominations for the 70th Emmy Awards have yet to be announced.

A streaming movie title winning both awards in the near future is a clear possibility. Last year, Amazon's Manchester by the Sea (2016) was the first-ever Best Picture nominee to be released by a digital streaming service studio. Netflix's penchant for releasing bold projects, partnering with talented filmmakers, sheer volume of releases and deep pockets seems to make a double win a virtual certainty.

5K Messages

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108.8K Points

2 years ago

Netflix sensation ‘Bird Box’ is eligible at 2019 Oscars but — don’t look now — so are 346 other films Even though Netflix isn’t staging a massive awards campaign for its horror sensation “Bird Box,” the original movie is still eligible at the 2019 Oscars.


Roma (2018) has a serious chance to be the first Best Picture Winner that is a streaming release. (Manchester by the Sea (2016) was the first to be nominated two years ago. According to Oscars Best Picture | Awards | Oddschecker Roma is the favorite at 4/5 odds and has a reported domestic box office of $0 and worldwide box office of $286,560 according to Box Office Mojo (actual numbers are higher as smaller independent theaters and the small Ipic Entertainment theater chain did show Roma).

With Alfonso Cuarón's Roma, the Netflix vs. Theater Debate Continues ...."2018 marks the first year that Netflix and movie theaters (at least some of them) are cooperating on any sort of meaningful scale; in the past, many theaters have refused to show Netflix- or Amazon-produced films while they were also available to stream, out of fear that moviegoers would, you know, just stay home. Meanwhile, Netflix didn't seem terribly inclined to share its movies with theaters, because, hey, they've already got a more effective distribution service than any theater chain could offer. But in light of a few new Netflix films with Oscar potential—Roma and the Coen brothers' The Ballad of Buster Scruggs—and with a newfound willingness to humor filmmakers who want their films shown theatrically, Netflix is starting to push a few movies into a few theaters, sometimes before they're available to stream, and some theaters are now willing to show Netflix movies, even if they're already available to stream."

AMC and Regal Ban ‘Roma’ From Playing During Oscar Best Picture Showcase Screenings Deadline reports AMC and Regal are barring “Roma” from their Best Picture showcases because it is a Netflix release. In a statement commenting on the decision, AMC said,  “For more than a decade, movie-lovers have enjoyed the AMC Best Picture Showcase to catch up on the nominated films that played at AMC throughout the prior year. This year, Academy members nominated a film that was never licensed to AMC to play in our theaters. As such, it is not included in the AMC Best Picture Showcase.” (AMC fails to note it was by their choice it was "never licensed to AMC)

5K Messages

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108.8K Points

2 years ago

Why didn't Roma win Best Picture at the 2019 Oscars?
Oscar-bias toward streaming films

"Green Book might have Netflix to thank for its Best Picture win.

The film scored an upset victory at Sunday's Academy Awards over Roma, which had all of the momentum behind it. Critics widely predicted a win for Roma, which would have been the first film released by a streaming service to ever score Best Picture. Netflix executives spent heavily on a campaign to get the film over the top after years of eyeing the prize.

But many wondered if the fact that Roma was released by Netflix would actually set it back. After all, the streaming platform's policy of premiering movies online at the same time as, or within weeks of, an extremely limited theatrical debut riled up many old-school Hollywood insiders.

Indeed, it seems likely that Netflix misgivings held Roma back, with Variety's Ramin Setoodeh on Sunday saying, "Many Oscar voters that I talked to truly loved it, but also a bloc voted against it because they didn't want a Netflix movie to land Best Picture." This could explain Green Book's surprise victory. There was no real frontrunner for Best Picture outside of Roma, allowing an easygoing, traditional studio drama to squeak in.

Then again, it's not as if Roma was an obvious winner outside of the Netflix factor; no foreign-language film has ever taken Best Picture. And the film didn't walk away from the Oscars empty-handed, winning three awards including Best Foreign Language Film."

5K Messages

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108.8K Points

2 years ago

Steven Spielberg Doesn't Want Netflix Films Back at the Oscars

"Film legend Steven Spielberg will reportedly propose Academy rule changes to prevent Netflix films from competing at the Oscars.

Steven Spielberg has some concerns about streaming giant Netflix pouring its considerable resources into Oscar campaigns for its films. And as fate would have it, Steven Spielberg also happens to be the Academy Governor of the Oscars' directors branch, so this isn't just idle chatter from a director more familiar with traditional movie release patterns. This could change Oscar policy.Film legend Steven Spielberg will reportedly propose Academy rule changes to prevent Netflix films from competing at the Oscars.

Steven Spielberg has some concerns about streaming giant Netflix pouring its considerable resources into Oscar campaigns for its films. And as fate would have it, Steven Spielberg also happens to be the Academy Governor of the Oscars' directors branch, so this isn't just idle chatter from a director more familiar with traditional movie release patterns. This could change Oscar policy."