These days Netflix is making movies for itself, such as Bright starring Will Smith. There are many more movies made for Netflix.

Are these movies eligible for Academy Awards, as they are made for a web based platform?

  • Probably not unless they comply with the rules - oscars.org/sites/oscars/files/89aa_rules.pdf I believe it has to run in theatres first too qualify.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 7:19
  • Not that any of the Netflix movies has come any closer to AA quality... Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 18:48
  • Even if they were, the academy awards are notoriously a collection of back scratching money men that would reduce the chances of a legitimate win according to the viewers as close to none as possible unless someone at the awards felt it was an opportune move for the future of the awards and the guild they serve. If they wanted Netflix drowned in the technicalities, they would institute a collection of rules that would be too hard to meet, or would be easily refuted by any other mainstream title... oh wait, they did.
    – Kai Qing
    Commented May 1, 2020 at 2:51

4 Answers 4


Movies made for anyone, including Netflix, are eligible for Academy Awards, but only if they complete a 7-day release in Los Angeles County.

  • for paid admission in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County,
  • for a qualifying run of at least seven consecutive days, during which period screenings must occur at least three times daily, with at least one screening beginning between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. daily,
  • advertised and exploited during their Los Angeles County qualifying run in a manner normal and customary to theatrical feature distribution practices, and
  • released within the Awards year deadlines specified in Rule Three.


  1. Films that, in any version, receive their first public exhibition or distribution in any manner other than as a theatrical motion picture release will not be eligible for Academy Awards in any category. Nontheatrical public exhibition or distribution includes but is not limited to:

    • Broadcast and cable television
    • PPV/VOD
    • DVD distribution
    • Internet transmission

    Motion pictures released in such nontheatrical media on or after the first day of their Los Angeles County qualifying run remain eligible. Also, ten minutes or ten percent of the running time of a film, whichever is shorter, may be shown in a nontheatrical medium prior to the film’s qualifying run.


  • Maybe (documentary) shorts can be made for Netflix and then take another route to eligibility? Those don't need to have been commercially released if they have won awards at a set festivals.
    – gerrit
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 12:05
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    @gerrit Those short films should run in theater first before getting released on Netflix in order to become eligible. But the Netflix wants to release them on both platforms on the same day. This is something the members of Academy aren't agreeing to. See the linked article.
    – A J
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 12:09
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    The way I read the "ACADEMY AWARDS OF MERIT" in the PDF you linked, the commercial theatre release is not the only route to eligibility for shorts: "(...) must have been publicly exhibited (...) OR must have won a qualifying award at a competitive film festival (...) OR must have won a (...) Medal award in the Academy’s 2017 Student Academy Awards competition (...)" (page 27). I interpret that as shorts being potentially eligible without any commercial theatre release, if they have won awards elsewhere. Am I misreading this?
    – gerrit
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 12:15
  • @gerrit No, you're not. It's correct. If they have won a qualifying award at a competitive film festival, they can be eligible without having any theatrical run.
    – A J
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 12:31
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    @AJ Honestly I'm also confused by the latter half of your answer. We know the Academy allows Netflix movies, because Mudbound received nominations. Maybe that is simply outdated information?
    – user428517
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 17:57

Roma (2018) has won three Academy Awards including Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Foreign language film. It was nominated for 10 categories in the 91st Academy Awards. It had a short theatrical release to satisfy it with the rules of Academy.enter image description here

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    If you could add a source just to better establish this, it might improve the answer, but 1+ for great example! :) Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 18:14
  • Problem is, we're not really looking for examples of cool Netflix films here, rather than if those films are even eligible for Oscars or not. The only part of your answer that adresses this is the last sentence. But this is really only a shorter and an unsourced variation of the already accepted answer.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 18:46
  • @NapoleonWilson what do you mean by unsourced Roma has won the Academy Awards this year. This link of its IMDb page shows that it has won 3 Oscars. Also, Netflix is one of its producers.
    – codeczar
    Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 2:07
  • this [link] (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…) shows that Roma is a Netflix original film. Also, you can visit its official Wikipedia [page] (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roma_(2018_film) which states that it was released on 21st November 2018 in selected theatres and released on Netflix on 14th December 2018.As per US norms, a film must release for digital platforms only after 90 days of its theatrical release but this was not the case for this movie.It released on Netflix just after 3 weeks.
    – codeczar
    Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 2:31
  • No, the statement that it "had a short theatrical release to satisfy it with the rules of Academy" is the unsourced part, as that is also the only part relevant for the question. As said, we're not looking for examples of Netflix films that won Oscars, there's no doubt this film won Oscars, but for explanations if they can and how they can so, in which regard this answer is really only a less explanative version of the accepted answer of.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Apr 11, 2019 at 21:18

Yes, but only in 2020 for the 93rd Oscars, according to the Academy: "For This Awards Year Only, Streamed Films To Be Eligible for Oscars®"


If/when Netflix makes good enough movies the Academy will change the rules.

Netflix looked into releasing some movies in theaters in France to qualify for Cannes (or another of the awards there) but French movie releases were not allowed to be shown on TV/Streamed for 2 years (or another prohibitive time period.) Netflix looked into releasing their movies just so they can qualify for the awards. So they will probably do the same in the US if their movies are good enough. But if releasing them are too restrictive on their streaming business, they wont. And then it will be over to the Academy to change their rules.

There is a risk that some other award ceremony recognises Netflix and Amazon etc that one day may have all the best films, marginalising the Academy Awards. So they would change their rules if it came to that...

In 2015, four major US cinema chains refused to screen the Idris Elba war drama Beasts of No Nation due to Netflix’s decision to release the film online at the same time as in cinemas, which violated the US’s own rule that says there has to be a 90-day delay between theatrical and home entertainment releases. So it is unlikely Netflix will pander to the academy's rules.

UPDATE 2020 - they are allowed this year. And the New York Post thinks they should be every year as that is how people like to watch high quality films - linking inclusion in Oscars to quality of film - if Oscars are to be relevant.

So, pouting, the academy relented and let streaming into the party. Desperate times, desperate measures, right? But allowing the most easily accessible films to participate in award season should not be a compromise, but a long overdue, totally rational shift in policy. The new streaming eligibility rule must not fade away with a vaccine, but be woven into the fabric of future Oscars ceremonies. That is, if the academy craves a sliver of relevance anymore. Oscars 2021 will allow streamed films due to the coronavirus The truth is that today, streaming and on-demand watching are audiences’ preferred ways for experiencing high-quality films. Plain and simple.

  • 16
    Whether the movies are "good enough" is irrelevant. Many crappy movies qualify for the Oscars. What matters are the rules for consideration.
    – TylerH
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 17:28
  • 2
    Not sure you understood the answer. There were specif films Netflix were looking to release for Cannes and Cannes wanted them in. Cannes are looking to change the rules for entry now. If Netflix did not have those moveies of that quality they would not be looking to change the rules. My point is that netflix have the oportunity to have thier movies qulaify for the oscars. There is nothing instrinsic about Netflix that disqualifies. And in the coming years the rules that disqualify their movies is likely to change if their quality is high enough.
    – Jon
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 18:04
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    I was referring to your opening line, which indicates Netflix original movies are not currently considered for Oscar nomination because the Academy doesn't think they are good enough.
    – TylerH
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 18:09
  • 1
    The rules don't account for 'quality'. Quality is subjective. That's why they vote on the Oscars in the first place. The rules account for how and when films are distributed. I doubt the rules will ever change to account for whether films are "good enough" or not "good enough". The bottom line is that your first sentence is completely false. Netflix already makes good movies. Bad movies already qualify for and get nominated for some Oscars. Good/bad has nothing to do with it.
    – TylerH
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 19:52
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    I did not say the Oscars only include crappy movies. I said it includes some. But like I also said, quality is subjective. The Academy may well change their rules to allow Netflix movies. They will never change them to do so because Netflix movies become "good enough"; they will do it because they don't care about restricting the distribution model.
    – TylerH
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 20:00

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