Netflix is making its case for its films to continue to be eligible for Oscars consideration.
The streaming service had its first Best Picture Oscar nominee in Alfonso Cuarón's "Roma," which ended up winning three trophies last week.
Not everybody was happy for Netflix, though. Director Steven Spielberg is pushing for an Academy Awards rule change that would rule streaming films ineligible. He reportedly champions a four-week exclusive theatrical release for all eligible films.
Spielberg has previously opined that movies debuting on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. should be considered TV movies. "The good show deserves an Emmy, but not an Oscar," he said.
On Sunday, Netflix made a statement that is clearly a response to the issue, though the company did not mention Spielberg or the Oscars:
"Roma" had a limited, three-week theatrical release. Netflix did not report its box office take, which other studios found disturbing (and of course, the company almost never reports its streaming numbers).
But there are signs that Netflix is willing to be flexible about its rollout strategy for prestige films. Already, the company is reportedly considering a wide theatrical release (and Oscar bid) for Martin Scorsese's upcoming gangster movie "The Irishman."
Filmmakers who have released work through Netflix have stepped up to defend the streamer. Last year, Cuarón said, "I believe in the theatrical experience. But there has to be diversity. The multiplex theatrical experience is a very gentrified experience. You have one kind of product with few variations. It’s hard to see art-house films. It’s hard to see foreign films. Most theaters play big Hollywood movies.”
And Ava DuVernay, whose upcoming miniseries "When They See Us" will debut on Netflix in May, chimed in on the debate on Twitter, highlighting the platform's global reach: