It was not without controversy that Netflix movie Roma was nominated for no less than 10 Oscars at the 2019 Academy Awards, taking home three.
And after Steven Spielberg himself joined the choir of Netflix critics, saying that Netflix should only be considered for Emmys, not Oscars, Netflix responded with a tweet about cinema and accessibility of entertainment.
“We love cinema. Here are some things we also love,” Netflix tweeted from the official Netflix Film account, listing three arguments in favour of releasing films on streaming services.
Netflix highlighted the potential for streaming services to reach audiences who are otherwise cut off from movie theatres, not having different releases in different countries and giving filmmakers more outlets as reasons for why they should be considered a film distributor just like any other.
“These things are not mutually exclusive,” Netflix said of the streaming service/movie distributor schism.
We love cinema. Here are some things we also love:
-Access for people who can’t always afford, or live in towns without, theaters
-Letting everyone, everywhere enjoy releases at the same time
-Giving filmmakers more ways to share art
These things are not mutually exclusive.
— Netflix Film (@NetflixFilm) March 4, 2019
During its Oscar campaign for Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, Netflix was criticised for “four-walling” the film. Four-walling means that you pay a theatre to screen your movie, and thereby get out of having to release box office numbers like other contenders. Per The Hollywood Reporter, four-walling is the cinema equivalent of self-publishing your own literary work.
Roma ended up losing the award for Best Picture to Green Book, taking home the awards for Best Director, Foreign Language Film and Cinematography.