Steven Spielberg doesn’t think that Netflix movies deserve a place alongside more traditional movies at the Oscars.
The incredibly successful filmmaker revealed in an interview with ITV News (via IndieWire) that he thinks Netflix movies belong at the Emmys amongst TV movies, not with feature films at the Oscars, even when said Netflix movies follow the rules required to become eligible for Oscars.
“I don’t believe that films that are just given token qualifications, in a couple of theaters for less than a week, should qualify for the Academy Award nominations,” Spielberg said.
In order to compete for the Oscars, a film has to screen in theaters in Los Angeles for what the Academy specifies as “a qualifying run of at least seven consecutive days, during which period screenings must occur at least three times daily, with at least one screening beginning between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. daily.”
That’s what Netflix has done with films like Beasts of No Nation and Mudbound, the latter of which received four nominations (although it walked away with no wins).
This doesn’t sit well with Spielberg, who notes that it’s much easier to get a movie picked up by Netflix and then put in theaters than getting a movie into a theater through the more traditional route.
“Fewer and fewer filmmakers are going to struggle to raise money, or to compete at Sundance and possibly get one of the specialty labels to release their films theatrically,” Spielberg said.
“And more of them are going to let the [streaming video on-demand] businesses finance their films, maybe with the promise of a slight, one-week theatrical window to qualify for awards. But, in fact, once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie.”
And TV movies, Spielberg said, belong at the Emmys.