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Should movies produced for streaming platforms be eligible for awards?

In recent years it has become more and more common for movies produced for streaming platforms (like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu) to be nominated for prestigious awards like Oscars or Golden Globes. However, some argue that these are not cinematic art like movies released through major studios and therefore should be ineligible. Are movies released by streaming platforms on the same level as major studios?

Yes, a movie is a movie they should all be eligible for awards

The commonly understood definition of a movie is a story of moving images presented on a screen; therefore, they should all be able to get awards.

Streaming platforms should be eligible for awards because they are the norm

Cinema awards should adapt to dominating market trends in film distribution, not vice versa. It may be in the interest of major film studios to obstruct streaming platforms from serious artistic commendation since their revenue is dependant on the box office, but ignoring them is impossible.

The backlash against on-demand services is generational

Film purists romanticizing a bygone era are the main obstacle to streaming platforms being accepted as a bonafide artistic medium. If awards cannot recognize the relevance of new media forms, they will become a relic themselves.

Covid-19 has rendered streaming platforms essential to keep the film industry afloat

Recent years have seen cinema and streaming services coexist, but 2020 understandably saw the former dwarfed by its more accessible counterpart. The Oscars are already considering changes to their requirements as a result, and other awards should follow suit, reflecting our current situation.

Exclusivity of eligible formats restricts diversity

New styles, genres, and formats have historically been snubbed at award ceremonies, despite expanding the definition of cinema and pushing the envelope- whether it’s animation, indie, or foreign-language films. Equally, we should embrace, not reject, the variation of streaming service offerings.

New filmmakers benefit from the accessibility of streaming platforms

Those trying to break into the film industry have been forced to compete against their cohorts at Cannes and Sundance for recognition and wide distribution. Streaming services have allowed for a fairer approach. In the interest of supporting rising talents, awards should acknowledge these platforms.

No, organizations making awards have the right to set their award standards

Awards are usually granted based on set criteria by the award-granting organization. It is their decision on how clear and open they want to be with those guidelines.

Streams are not a viable way to judge audience reception

Streaming breeds a different standard of critical and public reception than traditional theatrical release movies. Changing the rules this late in the game would upset the standards the Academy is already fighting to maintain.

It would be unfair for award organizations to suddenly change their standards after years of using the original system

The theatrical release rules have always been standardized, and a change to those standards at this point would be a reversal of long-established expectations.

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This page was last edited on Friday, 17 Apr 2020 at 12:43 UTC