Netflix, Amazon, and other online streaming services will be free to submit their films to the Oscars next year, after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided against changing the entry rules to more clearly favour films meant essentially for theatrical release.
The Academy stated that Rule Two, which states a film is eligible to be considered for an Oscar so long as it has a seven-day run in an LA theatre, would remain unchanged for the 92nd Academy Awards in 2020, regardless of suggestions that it should be changed to the requirement of a longer theatrical run from likely nominees.
The rule changes were being assessed after Netflix earned its first Best Picture nomination, for Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, which entered after running for three-weeks across just 100 theatres in the US. Critics like Steven Spielberg have insisted that films from streaming services, which would be primarily watched on televisions, should not be considered for insertion based on “token qualifications in a couple of theatres for less than a week.”
The Academy also mentioned about some minor changes to the awards for next year. The Animated Feature category will now no longer need eight eligible animated films to be released in a given year for the award category to exist, and the Foreign Language Film award has been renamed to International Feature Film.
In a press release statement from the International Feature Film Committee, it has been stated that they have noted that the reference to ‘Foreign’ is out-of-date within the global filmmaking community. The committee believes that International Feature Film better constitutes this category, and advocates a positive and inclusive view of filmmaking, and the art of film as a universal experience.”