– by Joseph Jammer Medina

We’re experiencing a time of rapid change in the filmmaking and film distribution landscape. As recently as five years ago, audiences would largely head out to the theaters to get their film fix. However, with streaming services like Netflix and digital services like iTunes getting films just a few months after their theatrical release, things are evolving.

In addition to the shorter windows between theatrical and home releases, streaming services are throwing their resources into film development and production, bringing a new question to the table…do Netflix original movies deserve Oscar nominations? Ready Player One and The Post director Steven Spielberg doesn’t think so.

In an interview with ITV News, Spielberg said:

“Fewer and fewer filmmakers are going to struggle to raise money, or to compete at Sundance and possibly get one of the specialty labels to release their films theatrically. And more of them are going to let the SVOD [Streaming Video On-Demand] businesses finance their films, maybe with the promise of a slight, one-week theatrical window to qualify for awards But, in fact, once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie. Certainly, if it’s a good show you deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar. I don’t believe that films that are just given token qualifications, in a couple of theaters for less than a week, should qualify for the Academy Award nomination.”

So I hate to say this…but he kind of has a point. I was fully expecting to disagree with him at every level, but it seems very clear to me that he’s coming at this from more of a technical standpoint than from the standpoint of a film snob. At the end of the day, a standard TV film wouldn’t get nominated for Oscars. So why should streaming content be any different?

I’m not saying it’s something that should become the new rule, but it’s a rule worth addressing or considering nonetheless. If we allow streaming movies to enter the fray, we should allow TV movies as well. Either that or rewrite the rules altogether so that they’re more modern.

What do you think? Do you agree with Spielberg? Sound off down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.