Golden Globes updates rules for day-and-date VOD releases
James R | On 11, Aug 2015
The Golden Globes has updated its rules for day-and-date VOD releases.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s awards are not the best barometer of industry or public sentiment, but they are a high-profile event in the trophy calendar. Like all awards bodies, though, the HFPA has found itself faced with a problem in deciding what’s eligible for which award: namely, digital releases.
Films that were released simultaneously in cinemas and on VOD were previously not eligible as motion pictures in the HFPA’s rulebook, something that has now been changed: films given day-and-date distribution will be considered as films rather than TV. The announcement, part of a wave of updates to its awards criteria, follows the move of both Amazon and Netflix into the feature film market: Netflix will release Beasts of No Nation (pictured) in US cinemas in October, alongside a global SVOD release, while Amazon is lining up Spike Lee’s Chiraq for its first theatrical title, followed by a swift VOD release. Both are commissioning projects that carry awards clout, with Netflix also signing deals with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Indeed, Netflix has already seen awards success through its acquisition of documentaries, such as Virunga and The Square, which have earned it both Oscar and BAFTA nominations.
Other new HFPA rules include: TV series must now run for more than 150 minutes (to distinguish it from miniseries – previously the threshold was six episodes); actors need to appear in more than 5 per cent of a programme’s screen time to be eligible for a supporting gong, or drive the narrative of show to be eligible for a leading gong; Foreign Language Film contenders are required to provide screeners or online access, as well as the official HFPA screening; films and TV series will not require an HFPA press conference to be considered for awards.