Oscars: Academy Digital Screening Room Opens With Amazon And Netflix Contenders First To Vie For Voters Attention; DVDs Now Banned

EXCLUSIVE: Let the race begin.

On the eve of the Fall film festivals which signifies the official start of Oscar season (just as Emmy final voting is prepared to wrap up Monday evening), the Academy Screening Room this week has just 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 , 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 the long and winding season was indeed open for business, but this is the first year AMPAS has banned physical screeners for the 10,000+ membership so the generally well-received Academy digital screening room is now, like the Television Academy did previously, the exclusive provider of AMPAS sponsored contender availability for members.  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.

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The documentary branch will receive films under a different section (those are not subject to charges for entry), and upcoming will be Foreign Language entries and other special sections as well.

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