EXCLUSIVE: Let the race begin.
On the eve of the fall film festivals that signify the official start of Oscar season (just as Emmy final voting is prepared to wrap up Monday evening), the Academy Screening Room this week put up their first four films in the section labeled FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION — and all of them are from streamers.
Those movies are Netflix’s The Mitchells Vs The Machines, along with a trio from Amazon in Annette, The Tomorrow War and Coming 2 America (the latter pair actually pickups from Paramount and sent straight to the streamer). Coming 2 America, the Eddie Murphy sequel, is actually the only one of the quartet that is not labeled “new,” so it may have landed on the site first and gets bragging rights for kicking off availability to the Academy.
Previously, Deadline always noted the first DVD screener being sent to membership as a sort of sign that the long and winding season was indeed open for business, but this is the first year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has banned physical screeners for the 10,000-plus membership. So the generally well-received Academy digital screening room is now, like the Television Academy did previously, the exclusive provider of AMPAS-sponsored contenders availability for members. The cost to studios and distributors is $12,500, or at least that was the going price last season, but the Academy also offers opportunities for recorded Q&As and other bells and whistles at additional costs. As part of the enticement to participate, the Academy also offers an email blast to members as each film is added to the portal.
The documentary branch will receive films under a different section (those are not subject to charges for entry), and upcoming will be International Feature entries and other special sections as well.