TIFF snobs snubs Netflix amid award season

This year the 77th annual Golden Globes made award show history. For the first time, a single studio is leading in both the TV and film categories with a total of 17 nominations. The streaming company Netflix dominated at the awards with popular shows like The Crown.

Fleabag by BBC

Streaming services like Amazon Prime and Hulu dominated at the awards making up for all the nominations in the television categories beating out basic networks like the CW and CBS.  Clearly streaming is the new way to watch even going so far to produce critically acclaimed movies like The Irishman and Marriage Story. Both movies have been nominated in multiple categories in the upcoming Oscars.

Martin Scorsese, one of the leading voices in the film industry said that Netflix was the only company willing to produce his vision of The Irishman. Going so far to admit that the future of the industry is changing, “The cinema of the past 100 years has gone and the presentation of it has changed.”

He goes so far in saying the changes happening to the entertainment industry in the current digital age is similar to “a second industrial revolution.” What this implies that streaming companies have a growing influence on what we as viewers watch.

Last year in the UK, 13.3m households signed up to various streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV, a substantial increase from the 11.2m households in 2018. More people are choosing to stream their TV shows and movies over watching traditional broadcast networks.

Chernobyl by HBO

While some entertainment industry observers sees this change as a positive, understanding that streaming will make movies more accessible to the general public. Allowing a lot more people to share in the magic of movies. However, some critics still have a prejudice towards these companies as they feel Netflix produced movies should not be considered with other critically acclaimed films.

This was particularly obvious during the Toronto International Film Festival. The Scotiabank Theatre, a multiplex owned by one of Canada’s largest chains told the festival that it would not be screening any film that is distributed by a streaming service over the festival’s 10-day run. This meant that award nominated films like The Two Popes and Marriage Story was not screened much to the surprise of many. Personally, this elitism from certain media critics should be left behind as we enter a new decade with the understanding the way we, consumers, watch movies and TV shows are changing.

The internet makes it easier for us to not only stay connected with one another but to also watch some of the latest movies. Admittedly, the institution that chooses to reward La La Land but not a Martin Scorsese film should not have an opinion on what makes a movie. If they choose to remain outdated, refusing to adapt to the current technological and cultural changes, they will meet a fate similar to Blockbuster before them. Who went out of business when they did not want to accept that trends were changing and there was a new way for people to watch movies.

Change is not a bad thing. It’s needed to keep the industry alive and people interested in movies. Scorsese himself agrees with this sentiment saying, “When nitrate film switched to acetate in the 1950s, I didn’t notice the change in quality on the film. And can the young generation tell the difference between 35mm and DCP, probably not. Is that a bad thing? I’m not sure that is bad.”

TIFF refused to screen any movie that was distributed by a streaming service

With all eyes on the Oscar awards ceremony, it will be interesting to see how streaming produced movies compete in their respective categories. For this reporter, she is content with the changes that are occurring and look forward to watching these movies before awards night.

Here’s a list of this year’s nominees for the 92nd Academy Awards.

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