Fox Puts Searchlight Contenders On iTunes For SAG Voters

LOS ANGELES, CA (January 7, 2011) __ Fox Filmed Entertainment (FFE) and iTunes are offering nearly 100,000 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) members Fox Searchlight Pictures’ 127 HOURS, BLACK SWAN and CONVICTION in HD from iTunes for viewing on their iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Mac or PC, or with Apple TV on their HD TV. The films will be available to members from January 7-28 during the SAG awards consideration window.

In the past, studios have faced security concerns and prohibitive costs to create and distribute screeners to organizations with large numbers of voters. For the first time ever, FFE’s Fox Searchlight Pictures and iTunes allow the studio to make the screening of films still in theatrical release available to all SAG members who are eligible to vote, in a more secure and cost effective manner. Fox is discussing a similar arrangement in the future with AMPAS, BAFTA and other organizations to implement this new way to present their films for consideration.

“We are thrilled at the nominations these fantastic films have received from this prestigious group, and while we would always prefer voters see films in a theaters, we realize that is not always possible, so we wanted to make sure as many voters as possible have the opportunity to screen them. iTunes enables us to make our films still in theatrical release available to a large number of important voters,” said Jim Gianopulos, Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment.

“We’ve worked with Fox to bring their films to SAG members in an innovative way,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of Internet Services. “We think the voting members will enjoy being able to view these films however they choose, whether on their iPad, iPhone or with Apple TV.”

Fox Searchlight Pictures’ SAG Awards nominations are: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, James Franco – 127 HOURS; Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, BLACK SWAN; Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role, Natalie Portman – BLACK SWAN; Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, Mila Kunis – BLACK SWAN; and Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role, Hilary Swank – CONVICTION.

Screen Actors Guild members can obtain information on receiving their redemption codes at

    1. Beautiful!!!! 127 will NOT get considered for my SAG vote because “iTunes for Windows: Unable to view or play HD video content that requires HDCP”. Good thinking execs!!!!

  1. Great idea, but how many Academy members of the geritol generation know how to use a computer, let alone iTunes?

    1. Seriously, I tried to walk my mom through it!

      What a time disaster. After going over it with her on the phone, getting the code, getting her a Mac to use, the movies are not even on iTunes!

      The good news is, her pirating career has been successfully thwarted.

      1. you have to go to redeem at the bottom of the screen for itunes to get them. Just be sure and download one at a time. I did them all at once and missed the 24 hour period to watch them because f the confusing postcard that said til the 28th.

  2. Great Idea, just not sure exactly how well this will work out. But still and excellent concept. I especially love the idea of HD on iTunes.

  3. I am a SAG actor and I downloaded all three movies. When trying to watch, a message came up I couldn’t watch in HD. I am very computer literate and can not view what I downloaded! I called the SAG awards and after 2 hours they said I had to call FOX. I called and you can’t talk to ANYONE without an ext. number. My time clock on the movies is ticking…and I can’t watch them.
    WAY TO GO WEINSTEIN CO, AND FOX. I will not be voting for any of your movies!

    1. Dave,

      I experienced the exact same problem. In all I’ve spent several hours on the phone with SAG, Apple/Itunes and Fox/Searchlight.

      A few people I spoke with suggested I make sure my video drivers are current and one suggested I make sure my video card allows HDCP protocol. I have a brand new PC which includes a graphics/video card and monitor designed for HDCP. So, go figure. Guess I won’t be watching the movies either.


    2. Good news and bad news. The good news is that after reading the posts here I realize it’s not just me! The bad news is I’ve spent 8 hours working with people to try and solve my problem of not being able to view the movies all to no avail.

      The only thing more frustrating than not being able to watch the movies is not getting anything more than “sorry about that” from those with whom I spoke.


  4. Hello all,

    I’ve downloaded all three movies and was unable to view any of them due to the same problem mentioned in these posts. I then, with the help of an Apple/Itunes employee, copied them over to a second computer and had the exact same problem. Finally I copied them over to a third computer and – you guessed it – I was unable to view any of the movies. Each time the message was: “Black Swan cannot be played in HD. To play Black Swan

  5. (continued) in HD you must have a PC with a built in display or have it connected to a display that supports HDCP.”


  6. So, AMPAS, WGA, and DGA get screenings at theaters and SAG members get a viewing on their computers? We’ll keep that in mind when we vote

  7. I used to be computer literate. I have a new PC and worked for 3 days to download. Either itunes has poor interfaces or it’s a snobby Apple thing. I’m sorry to say I can’t vote for these films. As an ex-dancer, I was really looking forward to “Black Swan”. Please Fox and SAG, get a new way for me to see them.

    1. It’s not a snobby Mac thing. It didn’t work for me either. It’s just a phony insincere studios cross-promotional thing that failed – miserably.

      Sanction your vote if you must, but go see the movie. Natalie Portman really surprised me.

  8. When I first got my postcard, I thought this is a great idea, but it turned out terrible. I downloaded all three films on my ipad at once. The card said viewable once until Jan 28th. I tapped a film, it said “Once you play this you’ll have 24 hours to watch it. So I stopped playing it. Went to the Apple Store that night. Hooped it up the next day. Sat with my popcorn excited for the movie to start and then it said “No longer available”. Nice try but really bad by not thoroughly explaining the time frame from download to viewing! So I did not even get to see one of them. If anyone knows anyway to redeem again, please let me know.

    1. Not to be all nitpicky (and I’m sorry you missed out on seeing your film), but once you hit play, it asks you if you’re sure you want to start playing the movie because you will only have 24 hours from the time you hit play to finish watching the movie. How could they make that any clearer? Did you hit play on all three films at the same time?

      While I agree with everyone that DVDs are much better than a download (hurray for King’s Speech and Social Network), I have not had any trouble with the downloads.

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