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Jun 26, 2019

Film directors make it tougher for Netflix to win top awards

Goldman Sachs says to buy these Netflix options


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It may be mostly symbolic, but the guild that represents Hollywood directors like Steven Spielberg and Christopher Nolan has drawn a line in the sand for streaming companies that want to compete for the industry’s most-prestigious awards.

The Directors Guild of America, whose top award each year can signal who wins the Oscar for best picture, has changed its rules to favour films released in theatres. As a result, a movie that opens simultaneously in theatres and online can’t vie for the guild’s Outstanding Directorial Achievement honour, according to a statement Wednesday.

The decision underscores the divide between traditionalists, like Spielberg and Nolan, who want their films seen in theaters, and newcomers like Netflix, along with the new, diverse voices it supports.

While Netflix Inc. (NFLX.O) gives its award-worthy movies an exclusive, if short, theatrical run before streaming in homes, the majority of its films and documentaries are only online. The rule would also take out of contention many movies planned by studios for their own future streaming services.

So far, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which hands out the Oscars, isn’t going along, though its policies are under discussion. The academy, which now includes many members who have worked with Netflix, allows so-called day and date releases to compete for its prizes.