Netflix: Changing Hollywood and Pop Culture Landscape

The movie, the TV, and the Pop Culture scenes are rapidly changing due to the new distributors, new ways of seeing movies (VOD, streaming), new technologies, and new social media.

Netflix: Bigger Player

Netflix is the latest venue to enter into movie distribution and Oscar race! Weeks after picking up its first Emmy Award for original series “House of Cards,” Netflix is set to join the awards hunt on the film front with its first documentary acquisition in several years: “The Square,” the Jehaine Noujaim documentary about the unrest in Egypt.

While Netflix, which declined comment, hasn’t acknowledged any deal to obtain “The Square,” The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that the streaming service is in final negotiations to acquire exclusive rights to the film.

The Square: Political Docu as Potential Oscar Contender

“The Square” has drawn the kind of buzz from critical acclaim and awards at the Sundance and Toronto film festivals that could give it a shot in the documentary category.

The acquisition is in keeping with the announcement Netflix made along with its second-quarter earnings in July of its intent to expand beyond series into original documentaries and stand-up comedy specials. The company got an earlier start on the comedy side, having already launched specials featuring Aziz Ansari and Russell Peters.

Netflix co-produced and co-financed and partnered to distribute several documentaries including “This Film is Not Yet Rated” and “Born Into Brothels” through its earlier indie label, Red Envelope, which was active until 2008 when the service was still DVD-by-mail only. It also released the Duplass brothers’ first film “The Puffy Chair.”

“The Square” doesn’t figure into plans Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos hinted at last month to seek out rights to theatricals that could bow simultaneously in cinemas and on Netflix. While

“The Square” is already in brief theatrical run in New York and Los Angeles to qualify for the Oscars, as opposed to being restricted to the streaming service itself.