Netflix Achieves Success at the Indie Spirit Awards

Film Independent Spirit Awards
On February 27, the 31st Film Independent Spirit Awards were held in Santa Monica Beach, Calif. And in a victory for OTT service Netflix, its first feature film, “Beasts of No Nation,” walked away with two major trophies.

Abraham Attah, a 15-year-old Ghanaian who made his acting debut in the African war drama, was recognized with the Best Male Lead award.

British actor Idris Elba won Best Supporting Male for his portrayal of “Commandant,” the leader of a group of soldiers.

In his acceptance speech, Elba gave credit to Netflix.

“Netflix…you are incredible,” said Elba. “Ted [Sarandos, Netflix CEO], well done man, you really did elevate this film to a place when no one else could have done that.”

It was definitely a triumphant night for the OTT company, as many had declared “Beasts of No Nation” as snubbed when the Oscar nominations were released.

Of note is Sarandos’ continued support for the movie, and in producing films via OTT.

“We are in a very interesting time in this business, and I hope what people see here is opportunities for movies to get made that audiences are going to love but are increasingly difficult to get made. Films of a certain budget, of a certain nature and certain topics. If it’s not a special-effects spectacular, there’s no place for it anymore in the global box office. Today, I think the broad audience we are reaching with ‘Beasts Of No Nation,’ that’s incredibly encouraging,” Sarandos told Deadline in October.

In a recent interview, Sarandos described his reasoning further.

“I think when people say they want their movies to be in a theater, what they mean is they want their movies to matter, they want their movies to be in the culture. One thing that Netflix movies will do differently than direct-to-video movies is they will be in the culture. These movies will matter,” Sarandos said.

At the end of February, Netflix released martial arts film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny” to mixed reviews.

With its “Beasts of No Nation” award accomplishments this year, perhaps an Oscar contender could emerge from its line of projects in 2017.

Author: Brian Cameron


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