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Netflix Fighting for Recognition from Film Industry, Plans to Buy Own Cinema in Hollywood10.04.2019

The board of Netflix has just commenced negotiations with the owners of the Egyptian Theatre, the landmark cinema on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, marking another of the streaming giant’s forays into the preserves of the traditional film industry and a bold step in its fight for Academy Award nominations. 

The tension between Netflix and the film industry has been rising steadily over the past years, mostly due to what the industry considers to be Netflix encroaching upon its biggest festivals and most coveted awards. The skeptics, including festival organizers and prominent directors such as Steven Spielberg and Guillermo del Toro, continue to argue that Netflix ought to be eligible only for awards given by the television industry. Some festivals have already amended their rules to include provisions requiring submitted pictures to have obligatory cinema releases. 

Netflix has often skirted these proscriptions, but lately has indeed focused on investing into cinema releases for its content. This allowed the Alfonso Cuarón-helmed Roma to be submitted for consideration for the Academy Awards. The controversy, however, won’t die down—only this year, Netflix and its efforts have been protested by the German cinema owners and the Cannes Film Festival, which banned Netflix content from its competitions. 

Netflix’s idea to purchase one of the most legendary cinemas in the US (or taking up other similar establishments as partners) may be another toward securing the streaming giant’s creeping domination over the entertainment industry. Should the annexation of Grauman’s Egyptian Theater, opened in 1922, succeed, the platform will have secured a cinema to hold its premieres and wide releases, thus nullifying most of the arguments against it.

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