Netflix’s ‘Roma’ Big Winner at 2019 BAFTA Awards

Heading into the Oscars, Netflix original movie Roma emerged the big winner at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts 2019 EE British Academy Film Awards held Feb. 10 in London.

The black-and-white film won awards for Best Film, Director, Cinematography and Film Not in the English Language. Director Alfonso Cuarón won in each of these categories as well.

Cuarón’s semi-autobiographical movie about growing up in Mexico has been nominated for 10 Academy Awards in the United States.

Separately, Oscar nominee The Favourite was named Outstanding British Film, with Olivia Colman receiving the BAFTA for Leading Actress, Rachel Weisz taking Supporting Actress and Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara winning Original Screenplay. Sandy Powell won Costume Design, Fiona Crombie and Alice Felton won Production Design and Nadia Stacey won Make Up & Hair.

Colman has assumed the role of Queen Elizabeth II (from Claire Foy) for the upcoming third season of Netflix original series “The Crown.”

Meanwhile, Rami Malik won Leading Actor playing the late Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody; the film also won the award for Sound.

Supporting Actor went to Mahershala Ali for Green Book; BlacKkKlansman won Adapted Screenplay. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse took the award for Animated Film, and Documentary was won by Free Solo.

A Star Is Born won Original Music and Vice took the BAFTA for Editing. Black Panther received the BAFTA for Special Visual Effects.

 

 

 

Netflix Ups ‘Roma’ Global Theatrical Release Venues

Netflix’s decision to release the original motion picture Roma exclusively in theaters paid off as The Los Angeles Film Critics Association Dec. 9 named director Alfonso Cuarón’s semi-autobiographical black-and-white movie best picture of 2018.

The news follows the SVOD pioneer’s decision to expand exclusive theatrical distribution of the movie in more than 100 theaters in the United States to more than 500 theaters internationally in over 40 countries.

Netflix will stream the movie globally beginning Dec. 14.

Domestic theatrical access (including in Mexico) began Nov. 21, reportedly already selling out theatres in New York, Los Angeles, Mexico City, London and Toronto, among others.

The passion and pride from viewers in Mexico created a reported “Roma fever,” leading to an increasing number of theaters reaching out to exhibit the film. Roma will be in nearly 100 theaters throughout the country this weekend.

This weekend the film will continue its expansion, hitting nearly 50 theaters in the US and over 200 theaters internationally. The innovative roll-out allows consumers worldwide the opportunity to experience the film theatrically, both before and during the film’s global streaming release, where it will be available to over 130 million people.

The film premiered earlier this year at the Venice Film Festival where it took home the Golden Lion for best film and has played in nearly 70 film festivals to great acclaim worldwide. The film has received numerous accolades, including recently being named Best Picture of the year by the New York Film Critics Circle, a prestigious award from the American Film Institute and 3 Golden Globe Award nominations. All of this further affirming that this timely story about human condition demands to be seen.

“We love this film and our goal is to bring this cinematic experience to audiences everywhere, and our theatrical plan, combined with the reach of our service, has made Roma an event film and cultural moment,” Scott Stuber, head of Netflix’s film group, said in a statement. “We’re expanding our theatrical engagements, not only in major markets, but also in places like Honduras, South Africa, and Iceland. When the film premieres on December 14, we will be in 600 theaters worldwide.”

The global release campaign includes theatrical engagements in:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan (2019)
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • The Netherlands
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

 

Italy Looking to Legalize Theatrical Window

Italian lawmakers are moving to make law the country’s 105-day theatrical window granting exhibitors exclusive access to new release feature films ahead of home entertainment and over-the-top video.

Culture Minister Alberto Bonisoli said the move was aimed at protecting the country’s cinemas against SVOD services such as Netflix, which typically makes its original movies concurrently available for streaming and theatrical exhibition.

Netflix, as it has in France and the United States, drew the ire of Italian exhibitors following its Venice Film Festival winning entry, Roma from Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón (GravityChildren of Men).

The law would reduce the window to 60 days if a movie is distributed in fewer than 80 theatres and/or attracts less than 50,000 moviegoers.

Interestingly, Netflix has transitioned toward brief theatrical windows in the U.S. for select movies – including Roma– to gain favor with Academy Award voters.

The SVOD behemoth’s first original movie – Beasts of No Nation– was ignored by voters in 2015 despite widespread critical acclaim, including for actors Idris Elba, Abraham Attah and director Cory Joji Fukunaga.

The movie generated just $90,777 at the box office.

 

 

 

Netflix Reverses Script, Bowing Three Movies Theatrically

The old adage, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” has been taken to heart by Netflix when it comes to theatrical releases.

The streaming video-on-demand behemoth revealed it will debut original movies Roma, from Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity); The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Joel and Ethan Coen) and post-apocalyptic thriller Bird Box, from Danish helmer Susanne Bier (Oscar-winning In a Better World) in limited domestic theatrical releases – ahead of streaming.

Netflix, through a longstanding mandate by CCO Ted Sarandos to upend the theatrical window, has always made its original movies available theatrically and streaming at the same time.

The stance has angered the Hollywood status quo, notably some film festivals (Cannes) and exhibitors – the latter refusing to screen Netflix movies also available to its 130 million subscribers.

It has also kept Netflix movies out of Oscar award consideration, whose voters apparently prefer watching new titles in the theater. And Netflix feels it has a trio of possible contenders. Hence the policy the change.

As a result, Roma will bow in theaters in select markets Nov. 21, followed by streaming on Dec. 14. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (featuring Tim Blake Nelson, James Franco, Liam Neeson and Stephen Root, among others) will hit the box office on Nov. 8 – eight days ahead of streaming. The same time gap for Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock and Sarah Paulson, which hits screens Dec. 13 and SVOD on Dec. 21.

“These upcoming engagements are following the success of our theatrical and Netflix releases of Private Lifeand 22 July,” Scott Stuber, head of original films at Netflix, said in a statement. “There’s been an overwhelming response to all of our films this festival season, including Outlaw King, which will be in theaters and on Netflix next week, and this plan is building on that momentum.”

Stuber said the policy change reflects the Netflix’s desire to attract the best filmmakers and talent.

Indeed, one of Netflix’s first original movies – Beasts of No Nation, starring Idris Elba and Abraham Attah, and directed by Cary Fukunaga (“True Detective”) was ignored by the Academy Awards despite strong critical reviews. A move many saw as an industry rebuke of Netflix’s release strategy.

“Our members benefit from having the best quality films from world class filmmakers and our filmmakers benefit by being able to share their artistry with the largest possible audience in over 190 countries worldwide,” said Stuber.