Directors Guild of America changes awards rules to make it tougher for films released on streaming sites like Netflix to win their top honor – and the Oscars could follow suit
- The Directors Guild of America (DGA) have ruled to make it harder for Netflix and other streaming sites to win their top award
- Filmmakers now cannot simultaneously release their work in theaters and online on the same ‘day and date’
- The change could affect Netflix, with many of its films debuting online and only a handful given a short exclusive period in theaters
- The new rule announced on Wednesday could favor traditional filmmakers rather than the new smaller voices of directors appearing on streaming sites
- The DGA stated that this rule will only apply to their Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film category
- Previous nominees would all have been eligible to win, including this year’s winner Mexican film director Alfonso Cuarón for Roma
The Directors Guild of America (DGA) ruled on a decision that will make it harder for Netflix to win their top award.
The unanimous decision by the National Board states that filmmakers cannot release their work on a streaming service the same ‘day and date’ that it premiers in theaters.
The ruling will only be applicable to the Guild’s top feature film honor that they have now renamed ‘Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film.’
This could see traditional filmmakers be favored above those working for streaming services including Netflix.
The DGA revealed the alteration in a statement on Wednesday, but stated that it has not affected any previous feature film nominees.
The top accolades from Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards ceremony often act as an indicator for which film could pick up the coveted Oscar for best picture.
Currently the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which awards the Oscars, have not followed suit, although they are reviewing their policies according to Bloomberg.
DGA President Thomas Schlamme (left) announced the unanimous vote to change their eligibility rules, which could make it harder for Netflix to win the top accolade
The 71st Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom in February this year in Hollywood, California. Featuring (L-R) DGA President Thomas Schlamme, Guillermo del Toro, 2018 DGA Feature Film Award winner for ‘Roma’ Alfonso Cuaron and DGA National Executive Director Russell Hollander
President Thomas Schlamme said: ‘The DGA proudly affirms that a first-run theatrical release is a distinctive element of our feature film award.
The DGA confirmed none of their previous nominees would have been ineligible to win including this year’s winner Mexican film director Alfonso Cuarón for Roma
‘We celebrate the important role that theatrical cinema has played in bringing together audiences as they collectively experience films as the filmmakers intended them to be viewed.
‘We also take great pride in recognizing all of the work created by our members through the many categories and formats that are part of the DGA Awards.’
As a result of the rule change voted in on Saturday, films simultaneously released at cinemas and online will be ineligible to win at next year’s 72nd awards ceremony.
This would not have affected this year’s winner of the accolade, film director Alfonso Cuarón for Roma, which was released in independent theaters in Mexico before appearing on the service.
But it could impact the new and diverse voices broadcast through Netflix and other streaming services, according to Bloomberg.
For some ‘award worthy films,’ Netflix will allow theaters an exclusive but short theatrical run before launching it on their platform, the site reports.
But the majority of films and documentaries from the streaming service giant are released straight to the service or debuted simultaneously.
Netflix is yet to release a statement regarding the changes. But despite the announcement, their share prices remain a steady at $370.02, up by $7.82 – a rise of 2.16%.