According to insider Matthew Belloni , the Academy would be in the process of introducing a new rule for Oscar eligibility: the plan, supported by CEO Bill Kramer .
It would be to make it mandatory for a film to be shown in theaters by a certain amount of the 50 largest markets in the United States, ranging from 15 to 20. In each of these markets, it should be shown in at least one theater.
This would be a nice spanner in the works for realities like Netflix , which won big this year with All Quiet on the Western Front and Pinocchio . The current rule requires a film to be screened for at least one week in one of six markets in order to be nominated for an Oscar: Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami or Atlanta. A platform is allowed to distribute a film simultaneously in theaters and via streaming, but cannot release it via streaming first if it intends to submit it.
The new rule would therefore impose a greater theatrical presence on potential candidates, making the cinema chains and the executives of Netflix and the like a little less happy. However, the move would not have been designed to counter streaming, but rather to support elements of the cinematic art form – such as sound and visual effects – designed for the cinema.
It is not certain that this plan will be approved, however, as Netflix has developed hand-in-hand ties with the Academy over the last decade. CEO Ted Sarandos served as chairman of the Academy museum, while Academy President Janet Yang most recently served as an executive producer on the Netflix animated film Over the Moon . And then there’s Academy vice-president and treasurer David Linde , who heads Participant Media, which sells a lot of projects to Netflix, and people like Ava DuVernay ( When They See Us ) and Susanne Bier ( Bird Box), who have collaborated with the platform, as well as obviously many workers who have collaborated or could collaborate with it.
Belloni, however, writes that Kramer should have enough votes to implement at least one expansion of the theatrical presence of eligible films. Some members of the Academy would like to take it to the next level, demanding that, in those 15-20 markets, a film be shown for at least a week or two, that is, that it has a real window in theatres. But perhaps this would actually be too big a setback for Netflix and therefore a more difficult result to achieve.