“Roma” Shows the Rise of Netflix Productions

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“Roma” Shows the Rise of Netflix Productions

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Oscars Night arrived and ended, closing out Hollywood’s awards season for 2019.

Most of the critics favored the same best movie nominees such as “A Star Is Born,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “Vice.”

One of the movies stuck out for numerous reasons, this being “Roma.”

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, the black and white film centered in Cuarón’s home of Mexico, was distributed to the highly popular streaming platform.

The film had a limited release in theaters, but was primarily available for streaming to anyone with a Netflix subscription.

While this is not the first movie acquired or produced by Netflix, what makes “Roma” stand out is the Best Picture nominee and award season glory.

Other original films such as “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” and “Birdbox” (both based on books) have found popularity with viewers.

Cuarón’s piece did not win best picture, but “Roma” left with three Academy Awards.

Had the film won Best Picture, it would have signaled a shift in the movie industry towards acceptance and recognition of streaming platform produced films.

Perhaps Academy Voting Members were not ready to produce a historical win.

The case of “Roma” also leads to a valid question for the future. If we can watch Oscar worthy movies on streaming platforms at home, what is the fate of movie theaters?

Not only may there be an increase in original movies from Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, but the stars of Hollywood may gravitate towards these projects.

Possibly, the demand for movie theaters may extinguish as film consumers stay in the comfort of their homes.

If the supply for movie theaters outweighs the demand, then the standard film industry is the one who will suffer. It is definitely a possibility for movie theater use to decline due to supply and demand.

Due to this, several filmmakers have pushed back against Netflix’s award season inclusion including Steven Spielberg.

Spielberg stated, “I hope all of us really continue to believe that the greatest film contributions we can make as filmmakers is to give audiences the motion picture theatrical experience.”

“You certainly, if it’s a good show, deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar. I don’t believe films that are just token qualifications in a couple of theaters for less than a week should qualify for the Academy Award nomination.”

When Roma won at the BAFTA’s, there was backlash from Cineworld, a UK film company.

Tim Richards, a UK executive, said, “[BAFTA was] choosing to endorse and promote a ‘made for TV’ film that audiences were unable to see on a big screen.”

BAFTA stated, “The Film Committee is satisfied that every film in contention for this year’s Film Awards met the criteria for entry which includes a meaningful U.K. theatrical release.”

“Not knowing how many people have seen ‘Roma,’ where it was screened or what level of box office it delivered is another example of how Netflix acts outside the industry whilst at the same time it craves its acceptance,” Richards said.

Cuarón responded to the criticism, “There needs to be greater diversity in how we release our films. Distribution models need to be more flexible, depending on the film. You cannot impose the release strategy of a tentpole film on a smaller film.”

A balance can be reached between movie theaters and with home entertainment. As long as both options are open, audiences are able to choose for themselves which alternative is more appealing.

If there are quality movies in several places, consumers benefit especially if they do not have time to visit traditional movie theaters.

If streaming platforms produce Oscar worthy films, then the times have shifted towards a more diverse awards season.

As social media remains as popular as ever, it makes sense for a transition towards online movies, although this does not spell out the decline of traditional theaters.

While it may be an adjustment for the major movie companies, there can be space to widen the gap.

It’s time for the movie industry Goliaths to learn from innovative, cutting edge companies such as Netflix.

While “Roma” may not have won Best Picture at the Oscars, they certainly won during awards season and mark a historic turn towards the rise of critically acclaimed streaming platforms.

If streaming platforms continue to produce quality entertainment for their loyal viewers, they should be recognized for it.