Netflix Gets First Oscar Nomination With 'The Square'

Chris CrumTechnology

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Jehane Noujaim's documentary The Square has been nominated for an Oscar, adding to the list of Netflix content award nominations.

The film follows the protests in Tahrir Square from the 2011 overthrow of Hosni Mubarak through the ousting of Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

Netflix announced in November that it had acquired the film, calling it its first major original documentary. The Oscar buzz was already strong.

“We are thrilled to be presenting an amazing film that brings to life in such a deeply human way one of the most important events of our time,” said Lisa Nishimura, Netflix VP of Original Documentary Programming at the time. “‘The Square’ is documentary filmmaking at the highest level – a beautifully constructed chronicle of brave people struggling against insurmountable odds to make their country a much better place. One knows that history is unfolding on the screen before you when watching ‘The Square’.”

“Our dream for ‘The Square’ is to inspire the hearts of as many people as possible and by working with Netflix, we can insure the film reaches a wide and diverse audience," Noujaim said. "Nothing about the making of this film has followed the norms and that’s what makes it exciting. It is crucial for us as filmmakers, who have shot a documentary about people risking and losing their lives for their beliefs, to create a spirit of possibility."

An earlier version of the film won the Audience Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. It was also an official selection at the 2013 New York Film Festival.

Netflix is due to make the title available to stream on Friday.

Competing with The Square in the Academy Awards' Documentary Feature category are: The Act of Killing, Cutie and the Boxer, Dirty Wars and 20 Feet From Stardom.

All of those, by the way, except for 20 Feet From Stardom, are on Netflix, so it stands to reason that Netflix has plenty to gain even if The Square doesn't win. These titles, especially the winner, are bound to get plenty of views. Netflix does offer 20 Feet From Stardom on DVD.

If The Square wins, it would be the first Academy Award for Netflix content. Netflix got its first Golden Globe on Sunday, when Robin Wright won for House of Cards.

Find Jon Stewart's recent interview with Noujaim about the The Square here.

Image via Netflix

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.