Netflix-Backed Film 'The Square' Wins Oscar Nomination As The Internet TV Company Makes Further Inroads Into Territory Dominated By Traditional Entertainment Companies

on January 17 2014 6:07 AM
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  • Jehane Noujaim
    Egyptian director Jehane Noujaim poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, California December 17, 2013. Three years after Egyptian-American filmmaker Noujaim waded into Cairo's Tahrir Square to document the early rumblings of revolution, the army governs Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is back underground and protesters are on trial. Picture taken Dec. 17, 2013. Reuters/Mario Anzuoni
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Online streaming content service, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), won its first Academy Award nomination for “The Square” on Thursday. The movie is a documentary about the 2011 Egyptian revolution and the ongoing conflict in the Middle Eastern nation.

According to reports, in July, California-based Netflix said that it would widen its strategy beyond television series to feature documentaries. In November, Netflix acquired the streaming rights for “The Square,” which first premiered last January at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The film will be released on Friday and will also go live on Netflix.

Netflix made television history last year when it became the first non-TV network to win an Emmy award, for its political drama “House of Cards.” Last week, Netflix also won its first Golden Globe Award, as Robin Wright took the Best Actress in a TV Drama trophy for her role in “House of Cards.”

In a statement emailed to Agence France-Presse, Jehane Noujaim, the director of “The Square,” said: “This film and this nomination is in honor of not only people in Egypt, but for all who are still struggling.”

“We made this film to tell the stories of people who are risking all that they have to fight for change - and to share their hopes and dreams with the world," she added.

Noujaim also said: "Making this film took us into Tahrir Square and revealed the beauty, power and courage of people - a courage that has taught us and inspired us, and has personally changed our lives forever. The struggle for human rights and freedoms is a universal one and this nomination is an international recognition of that struggle and of that right to have expression.”

“The Square” will be vying for the Oscar with other documentary features such as “The Act of Killing,” “Cutie and the Boxer,” “Dirty Wars,” and “20 Feet from Stardom.” The Academy Award ceremony is scheduled for March 2.