Netflix is taking an alternate route to Oscar gold this year. Indiewire reports that Netflix will not send any films or talent to any film festivals in 2020. While the streaming giant will provide sponsorship for some major festivals this year, it will skip out on major film festivals such as Venice, Toronto, Telluride, and New York until 2021. Film festivals are widely known to serve as a critical launch pad for Oscar success, and it’s no secret that Netflix is hungry for Oscar gold having had success with films like Marriage Story and Roma. However, due to the global pandemic everything regarding the film industry is up in the air, including whether or not there will even be an Oscars ceremony this year. As such, Netflix is withholding highly anticipated 2020 releases from the festival circuit including David Fincher’s “Mank,” starring Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried; Ron Howard’s “Hillbilly Elegy,” starring Amy Adams and Glenn Close; and Charlie Kaufman’s “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” starring Toni Collette and Jesse Plemons.
While Netflix is bowing out of the festival circuit, it isn’t giving up on theatrical releases altogether. Last year, the studio locked down deals with the Paris Theatre in New York and the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles, providing an alternate way for Netflix to screen its films for industry and awards voters. Allegedly, festival directors are not pleased with Netflix’s decision to forgo the festival circuit this year and worry about how this will affect small regional film festivals. Personally, I am more worried about how this will affect Amy Adams’ chance at winning an Oscar. She just can’t catch a break.