Roma may just have paved the way for Netflix’s ultimate dominance over Hollywood – and signalled the end of cinema chains and big production houses.
At the 91st Academy Awards, Netflix won multiple Oscars: Alfonso Cuarón won for Roma’s directing and cinematography while Roma itself won the best foreign language film.
“I want to thank the Academy for recognizing the film centered around indigenous women, one of the 70 million domestic workers in the world without workers’ rights. A character historically relegated in the background of cinema,” said Cuarón in his acceptance speech.
Netflix’s Period. End of Sentence also won in the documentary short category. The documentary was set in Uttar Pradesh’s Hapur District and was produced by Indian producer Guneet Monga’s Sikhya Entertainment and crowdfunded by students from Los Angeles along with their teacher Melissa Berton, reports Indian Express. “Oh, my God. I’m not crying because I’m on my period or anything. I can’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar,” said Director Rayka Zehtabchi in her acceptance speech.
“To the women, know that you are empowering women all over the world to fight for menstrual equality,” she added.
Netflix had 15 nominations this year. Seen as Cuaron’s masterpiece, Roma was a big winner with nominations in 10 categories and wins in three. Cnet reports that “while Netflix is known for prestige television series like The Crown or Orange Is the New Black, the streaming service’s films have gotten the cold shoulder from the Oscars in the past.”
At the 90th Academy Awards, Amazon’s Machester By The Sea was nominated for best picture, beating Netflix to become the first streaming service to get that particular Oscar nod. While Netflix has been a big winner at the Emmys (it tied HBOs Emmy wins last year), its documentaries have only received nominations at the Oscars.
“Winning — or just being nominated — can change a studio’s fortune overnight. An Oscar can bring prestige to small studios like A24 and major studios like Disney can show they don’t just produce blockbusters — they can also win awards,” states a report in CBS Sacramento, explaining why Netflix and Hollywood spend millions in the quest to win an Oscar.