In the face of an Academy committee review of Netflix’s Oscar eligibility, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said the SVOD service is perfect for film.
Speaking at the Vanity Fair Summit in Los Angeles, Sarandos said, “[Netflix] is a better way to monetise film and distribute film.”
He said that while the cinema is the perfect place for theatre-centric films such as “Dunkirk”, Netflix provided a vital platform for films including “Beats of No Nation”, which performed poorly at the box office but was a huge hit on the streaming service.
Sarandos said, “With the exception of ‘Star Wars’, more people on Netflix watched ‘Beasts of No Nation’ than any other movie in the world. Yet conversations about that movie always start with, ‘It wasn’t a box office hit’.”
Alongside Sarandos on the panel was director Ava DuVernay, whose Netflix documentary “13th” was Oscar nominated. DuVernay said Netflix was a great way of getting her film seen in 190 countries: “It’s fantastic to be able to make something and present it in an elevated manner to an audience that’s been targeted and well marketed to.”
The Film Academy recently held what was only its second members-only meeting, during which the eligibility of streaming services was raised.
According to Deadline, one prominent member said Netflix could represent “a cheapening of the Oscar.”