Usually Netflix is associated with binge watching an entire season of a show in one sitting (I’m looking at you Orange is the New Black) or a cozy movie night curled up on the couch (especially this time of year). What Netflix might not be known for, however, is owning the rights to a film… A film so great that it is recognized by the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts, and Sciences.
Last Thursday, history was made when Netflix received its first Oscar nomination ever for The Square.
After receiving critical acclaim at several film festivals, Netflix purchased the streaming rights to The Square, a documentary following the Egyptian revolution from 2011 to 2013. Produced and directed by Jehane Noujaim, the film focuses on the turmoil in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and has been nominated for the Best Feature Documentary Oscar.
Netflix has already shaken up the TV industry this awards season by winning several Emmys and a Golden Globe. Could they be turning Hollywood upside down as well by adding a gold statue to their hardware on March 2nd? While I usually only watch for the red carpet fashion, this year, I will definitely be tuning in to find out if the future of film is online.
The Square was previewed by audiences in New York and Los Angeles before it was made available to Netflix subscribers and it will be shown in a few movie theaters around the country. So, while the film is still being distributed in the traditional medium, most of us will be watching it from the comfort of our own living rooms, via the Netflix app. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather watch a movie on my own time, with my own snacks, in my sweats!
With more and more Oscar worthy films available right at our fingertips, will producers and directors start looking to sell their work to Netflix and its competitors? By the end of awards season, I think we will have a much clearer answer as to where the TV and film industry are heading!