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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urbanemovies

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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.)
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