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

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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/
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Posted 2 years ago

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Peter, Champion

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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.
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urbanemovies

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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.
(Edited)
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gromit82, Champion

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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.
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urbanemovies

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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.)
(Edited)
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leavey-2

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Best Streaming Movie Only Category at Oscars and Emmys
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urbanemovies

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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.
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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."

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Pencho15

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

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urbanemovies

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

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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.
(Edited)
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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.
(Edited)
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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)
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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."

(Edited)
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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."
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urbanemovies

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Seems like a very topical face-off at the moment.

Industry Debates Theatrical Distribution vs. Netflix Amid Academy Rule Change Speculation

Reports that Steven Spielberg will be proposing a rule change at the next Academy meeting that will make it more difficult for Netflix films to compete at the Oscars has sparked debate online among the film community, with several arguing in favor of Netflix or pointing out that the situation is more complicated than theatrical release versus streaming.

Sean Baker, “Tangerine” and “The Florida Project” director, suggested that Netflix add a “theatrical tier” to its pricing plans.

“This would help keep theater owners and audience members who appreciate the theatrical experience satisfied,” he wrote on Twitter. “Just an idea with no details ironed out. But we need to find solutions like this in which everybody bends a bit in order to keep the film community...alive and kicking.”
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I say #1.  I also say that foreign films released in the U.S. the same year should also be eligible. 
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Three hundred forty-seven feature films were eligible to compete for the best picture Oscar and other trophies at the 2018 Academy Awards.

I think a lot of the films may have been submitted and people don't realize they were even submitted. This year’s 347 submitted features compares to 341 films last year, 336 in 2016, 305 in 2015 and 323 in 2014. Those numbers could easily be higher,  but a lot producers never even submit their films in the first place given the long shot odds and cost of screening the film for a week. You can't win, if you don't play.

All movies are eligible just so long as they follow the same basic rules:

2. All eligible motion pictures, unless otherwise noted  must be:

a. must be:a. feature length (defined as over 40 minutes),
b. publicly exhibited by means of 35mm or 70mm film, or in a 24- or 48-frame progressive scan Digital Cinema format or in another qualifying digital format
c. for paid admission in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County, d. for a qualifying run of at least seven consecutive days, during which period screenings must occur at least three times daily, with at least one screening beginning between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.daily,
e. advertised and exploited during their Los Angeles County qualifying run in a manner normal and customary to theatrical feature distribution practices, and
f. released within the Awards year deadline of December 31st.

3. Films that, in any version, receive their first public exhibition or distribution in any manner other than as a theatrical motion picture release will not be eligible for Academy Awards in any category. Nontheatrical public exhibition or distribution includes but is not limited to:•Broadcast and cable television•PPV/VOD•DVD distribution•Internet transmission. Motion pictures released in such nontheatrical media on or after the first day of their Los Angeles County qualifying run remain eligible.

4. Eligibility is contingent on the receipt by the Academy of a completed Official Screen Credits (OSC) form, to be signed by the film’s producer or distributor (unless waived by the Academy)

 It used to be even easier a couple years ago, when the bar was set at a single daytime screening for seven consecutive days. The academy wanted to make it relatively easy for foreign films to qualify, but they tripled the number of required showings (including seven nighttime shows) in response to the advent of streaming co-releases.
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Ed Jones(XLIX)

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Emmy Only

2 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 awards.


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Ed Jones(XLIX)

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Should have 5 choices in your face-off.
Split 2 of 4 into two  separate choices.

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urbanemovies

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Streaming Movies: Either Emmy Only Eligibility or Oscar Only Eligibility is a combined option because filmmakers under a revised policy would be allowed to submit their movie for one or other award consideration, but not both, as is allowable for under the current rules  for same day releases. One scenario is that they could choose which one, like they do for lead or supporting categories now.  Also, a rule change could also add an additional requirement that would force same day release movies into one category or another. It is hard to know without specifics of the changes which category they would be forced into over the other. The combined option allows for all scenarios without having to know the policy change.
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Either Emmy Only Eligibility or Oscar Only Eligibility.
"[The Academy] board of governors decided to keep the current requirements, which state that a feature-length film must run for one-week in an L.A. County theater to qualify for best picture."

If the studio chooses this route? They should not be allowed Emmy consideration.
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riverotter

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Emmy only. Academy Awards should be for movies shown in theaters. Any movie that streams first should be up for an Emmy.
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Stephen Atwood

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But these movies are Released in movie theaters. Just not wide release. This forced limitation could really harm indie and foreign language films who cannot find national wide theatrical release.

Should they be excluded from Oscar contention?

These 'streaming' movies in contention always hit theaters before their own streaming service.
(Edited)
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The Academy Will Allow Oscar Voters to Stream Almost All Awards Screeners
It's only one of the changes that will take place under new Academy president David Rubin.

David Rubin’s not interested in Spielberg vs. Netflix. 

"As the Academy keeps adding committees to help redefine what motion pictures are in an increasingly streaming world, Rubin is on a mission to bring all the players to some kind of understanding. “We must be responsive to the ways film is distributed and viewed,” he said. “The conversation is just beginning. It would be a rushed decision if we made changes based on what we know right now.”

That’s why he’s booking meetings. “I want to sit down with all parties involved in making and releasing movies to see what the landscape is. How do we bring all the parties together? We are all keen to participate — we should lead the conversation. We are interested in gathering all the major players involved in the decisions. If we can find an even playing field, we can all recognize and include everybody. There’s an answer there. We need to be methodical and thorough in pursuing it. The distribution models are changing and we want to be responsive to that without compromising our mission, which is to represent excellence in films.”

He’s making those meetings happen before the end of the year, he said. 'Let’s see where it all goes in this ongoing dialogue,' he said. 'I’m looking forward to it. We won’t take a side until we understand both sides. I’m looking forward to the conversation, approaching things with an open mind.' "

Comment: Sounds likes a reasonable approach and less about drawing a line in the sand with some possible middle ground outcome. It seems to be more about positioning the Oscars for the future.

One compromise could be an award structure that awards all types of movies in a "best in class"/best in show" award set-up. Possible class categories could include: Best Broadcast Movie, Best Cable Movie, Best Theatrical Movie, Best Media Streaming Movie, Best Major Studio Movie, Best Indie Movie, Best Best Foreign Language Movie, Best Animation. A Best Overall Movie award would be inclusive of all classes and would be the ultimate award. Such a structure would put like movie together in competition with each other, while expanding the range of recognition and still recognizing the best overall movie of the year.

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According to 2020 Oscar Predictions: Best Picture @ GoldDerby, even more streaming service produced movies will be in contention this year for a Best Picture Oscar. Movies like 'The Irishman' (Netflix), 'Marriage Story' (Netflix) are considered favorites to win the Best Picture Oscar.

NOT NOMINATED
While some streaming movies like 'The Two Popes' (Netflix), 'Dolemite Is My Name' (Netflix), and 'The Report' (Amazon) were considered strong contenders for the Best Picture Oscar. Several other streaming movies, like 'The King' (Netflix) and 'The Laundromat' (Netflix) were more remote possibilities for the Best Picture Oscar, falling into the long shot category.
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Oscars Rule to Allow Films to Skip a Theatrical Release This Year

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/28/mo...

https://www.msn.com/en-ie/entertainme...