EXCLUSIVE: The race is on.
Well, it still might be a little early to say that since the 93rd annual Academy Awards won’t happen until April 25, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today told its roughly 9,000-plus members — about to get much bigger with Tuesday’s announcement of new members — that the first batch of Best Picture film submissions has been uploaded to the Academy Screening Room for members to watch.
So if you want to know which films are instantly taking advantage of stay-at-home orders in light of the coronavirus pandemic here are the first nine Best Picture submissions being made directly available for streaming by Oscar voters, and AMPAS lists them alphabetically: The Assistant, Crip Camp, Da 5 Bloods, The Half Of It, The King of Staten Island, Lost Girls, Military Wives, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, and Trolls World Tour. Taking a closer look, there are four titles from Netflix, three from Universal or its specialty label Focus Features and two from Bleecker Street. Other distributors apparently still are waiting to join in the fun.
Films up for the 92nd Oscars no longer are available on the service as AMPAS gears up for the new and, in so many ways, most unpredictable Oscar season ever — one that hopefully happens. The Academy is promising to add many more. Here is what they are telling members:
“Throughout the next eight months, we will add films as they are submitted to the Academy by their respective distributors, enabling you to continuously watch the best films, performances and achievements that our industry has to offer. Films from the 92nd Oscars are no longer available on the platform. New submissions will be available to stream through Oscars preliminary and nominations voting next year. Only nominated films will then remain in the Academy Screening Room until the Oscars are held on April 25, 2021.
After gathering feedback from members, we have updated our platform to include several new features to improve your viewing experience. This year, the Academy Screening Room has added closed captioning support in English and support for French and Spanish subtitles, if provided by the studio. Additionally, indicators to guide viewers to audio and video formats (HD, SD, UHD 4k, and stereo 5.1) have been added. An indicator marked “New” will appear for assets that have been added to the platform in the past two weeks. We’re also working on including additional programming content from the Academy Film Archives.”
As previously noted, this also will be the final year physical DVD screeners will be made available to the membership, and the email says if you have elected to receive them you still can through the Academy’s mail house distributor, but it comes with a warning: “However, as a reminder, in an effort to meet our sustainability goals, this will be the final year in which the Academy will distribute DVDs. In order to make the upcoming transition easier for you, we strongly encourage you to become familiar with our streaming platform.”
With L.A. County beaches officially closed this Fourth of July weekend, it’s time to dive into Trolls World Tour instead, Oscar voters.