The debate about what kind of film distribution does justice to a "cinematic" claim -- must it be cinema or is streaming enough? --is always on the rise. After the Netflix production Roma won various prizes at the last Academy Award ceremony, voices were again raised calling for an exclusive cinema release as a condition for such prestigious awards. In fact, there were suspicions that the Oscar Academy would formulate its selection criteria more strictly.
However, a statement by the Academy now shows that films whose online distribution starts at the same time as their cinema exploitation, i.e. which can be seen both on the big screen and in streaming, continue to be eligible for nomination. A film offered exclusively on the Internet is therefore not qualified, but even a very minimal cinema run is sufficient -- a film must only be shown for at least 7 days in a (!) cinema in the greater Los Angeles area with 3 screenings per day.
Also at this year´s Berlinale there was excitement about a Netflix production. In a open letter more than 180 independent cinema operators turned to Monika Grütter, Minister of State for Culture, and Dieter Kosslick, head of the Berlinale, to protest against the inclusion of the film production "Elisa & Marcela" in the competition, which was only intended for the Internet. Netflix, it says, "wants to abuse a publicly sponsored international cinema film festival as an advertising platform for its own offer". A statement of the International Association of Cinema Art Theatres (CICAE) summarised the objections as follows: "Netflix endangers the structures of cinema as a cultural venue and the cultural diversity of the European cinema market. At the same time, films are being withdrawn from the big screen and from public discourse".
The Filmfestival in Cannes, which last year decided to show films without French cinema exploitation at only out of competition, has a similar attitude.