Streaming services have become the new major players in the acquisitions market at film festivals – both Netflix and Amazon have been scooping up films left and right for distribution.
They even tried for their first awards play last year with the experiment of Cary Fukunaga’s “Beasts Of No Nation” which scored a Venice Film Festival premiere and had Oscar buzz stirring – until the actual nominations were announced and it had none.
Like it or not, Hollywood is an old guard who is slow to change its profit models with several corners seeing streaming services as major threats to their continued function. Speaking with Alec Baldwin on the Here’s The Thing podcast (via Decider), Fukunaga shared his thoughts and admits the film’s awards chances were hurt by being on Netflix with content debuting on the system not perceived as prestigious as content put out by a regular distributor:
“There’s a couple things going against us, which was not having a major studio with its sort of locked-in Oscar voters. Netflix released the film. Having Netflix as a perceived online-only game player. [People] thought it was a TV movie. I know most people would discover it once all the voting was done, and still, a bulk would never see it, ever. I think we thought it was a long shot.”
He was then asked if Netflix learnt from that experience and will approach things differently in the future to which he replied “We have yet to have a real follow up conversation.”