Paramount Plus, Showtime offers decent competition in the Oscar Docu Race

This year’s Oscar-winning documentary is historic on many fronts. Four of the five nominated films were shot by colored people; Jonas Pocher RasmussenRun away”Went down in history with three Oscar nominations: not only in the Documentary category, but also in the animated and international feature films categories; Sushmith Ghosh and Rinto Thomas »I write with fire”Became the first art document from India to be named in the race; and four of the six nominated directors are the first directors of art documents.

But perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this year’s race for journalism at the Oscars is the dominance of documentary distributors and emerging production units.

Paramount Plus, Showtime Documentary Films and Music Box Films received their inaugural Oscar nominations in the “Documentary” nomination on February 8 for: “Jessica Kingdan”Ascension”(MTV / Paramount Plus Documentaries), Stanley NelsonAttica”(Showtime Documentary Films) and Gosh and Thomas“ Writing with Fire ”(Music Box Films). Meanwhile, Neon and Hulu received their second nominations in the category for Rasmussen’s “Flee” and Ahmir Thompson’s “Questlove”Summer of the soul (… Or if the revolution could not be broadcast on television) ”respectively.

It’s a remarkable feat, given Netflix’s five-year fortress in the art documents category. The streaming service received six Oscar nominations between 2017 and 2021 and three wins for Icarus (2018), The American Factory (2020) and My Octopus Teacher (2021). But this year, like other leading document distributors including Amazon, National Geographic, Apple TV Plus and HBO, Netflix was left out of the race.

While every well-known heavyweight distributor had multimillion-dollar campaign budgets for the 2021 Oscar feature documentary shortlist, including Todd Haynes’ “Velvet Underground” (Apple), Robert Green’s “Procession,” Netflix ), as well as Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Tea. “Salvation” Vasargeli (Nat. Geo), in the end it didn’t matter.

“When it comes to the award process, it comes down to the best story of the year. The most impressive film production, ”says Winnie Malhotra, Showtime’s executive vice president of journalism programming.

Sheila Navins, head of MTV’s documentary division, acquired “Ascension” after the premiere of the Tribeca Film Festival in June. In November, the film was released to a wide audience through Paramount Plus, which was released only in March 2021.

“Documents are a new element in the visibility race,” says Navins, a publicist company that has been involved in HBO documentaries for nearly four decades. “If you are a good businessman and want your country to shine, you need to do valuable documentary programming. You follow the trend, and the trend is docu.

She hopes to receive her first Oscar nomination for Paramount Plus will lead to growth.

“Nomination is very important to an organization because when you talk to MTV, people tend to think about music and kids,” Navins says. “Everyone tells me, ‘This project is perfect for you because it’s about the band or this singer.’ But we are the documentary department of MTV, and we have documents on different topics, for all age groups, from different countries. ”

She adds, “I think [the nomination] change the freedom with which MTV documentaries can create new ones [docs]. If you can see yourself at this level as an outsider, maybe your future will be brighter in terms of what you do more and get more funds to support documents. ”

But when it comes to Showtime documentaries, Nelson’s title “Attic” is not a sign of future change, but rather a marker of the unit’s nearly decade-long investment in journalism.

“I’ve been working at Showtime for almost eight years and we’ve been trying to create that brand and really develop Showtime documentaries,” says Malhotra. “We’ve worked very hard to get here and we’re already on that path. We are true amateurs, believers, fans, patrons of documentary film, and will continue to work with filmmakers of this level and the level of Stanley.

“Summer of the Soul” was the first Oscar nomination from Disney’s Onyx Collective. The content brand, launched in 2021, was designed to drive programs of color artists and underrepresented voices at Hulu. The release of “Summer of Soul” gave the head of Onyx Tara Duncan a road map for the future.

“We gave [‘Summer of Soul’] a bespoke and truly deliberate distribution plan that was successful, ”says Duncan. «[Disney] is now organized to make sure we all work synergistically, which means we can get content into the hands of the audience wherever they are. This will continue to be a priority for us at Onyx. ”

So how much money will the new Oscar players throw at campaigns designed to make the entire Academy see and vote for their titles? It all depends on who you are talking to.

Showtime made “Attica” available on YouTube (and in front of a paid screen on the company’s partner platforms) during the February month of black history. In early March, the company also has retrospective shows in New York and Los Angeles that will celebrate Nelson’s career and work. “Attica” will also be part of these shows.

“Are we going to spend as much as Netflix, Nat Geo, Amazon or anyone else? Maybe not, ”says Malhotra. “The idea is to try to make sure that as many people as possible see it. As the Academy has changed and changed over the last two years, I have to say that the very idea that there is [Academy screening] a portal where you can calmly and consciously go and see all the benefits. So you can run as many views as you want, but in the COVID-19 era how many people will be watching? They are going to use their access to these films on the Academy’s website. “

According to Duncan, having Disney money for “Summer of the Soul” doesn’t necessarily give the film an advantage in the race. She says the coverage of the conglomerate is really important.

“We definitely have an ecosystem at hand that allows us to bring content to an audience globally. It feels like the launch of this Disney brand couldn’t have happened at the best of times, and hopefully it’s a sign of what’s ahead. Hopefully, we will continue to see that stories that are sometimes ignored or not defended will be maintained throughout the awards season. ”

Navins bets on the alphabet.

“You know that 5 are good because people at the Academy don’t look at documents but go down the list, vote for the first one [doc] they see, ”she jokes. “So it’s good for Ascension.”

Paramount Plus, Showtime offers decent competition in the Oscar Docu Race

Source link Paramount Plus, Showtime offers decent competition in the Oscar Docu Race

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