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One of the biggest criticisms cinephiles have with Netflix is the streaming giant’s lack of marketing and promotion when it comes to debuting its original films. More times than not, Netflix original indies are not front and center on the homepage the day they become available to stream. The issue of Netflix burying indie films gained traction after “Mudbound” was nowhere to be found on the homepage on its premiere day, despite the fact the company paid $12.5 million for the title out of Sundance and committed to an Oscar campaign (read David Ehrlich’s “Netflix Keeps Buying Great Movies, So It’s a Shame They’re Getting Buried” for more on the issue).
While a majority of movie lovers are quick to blame Netflix for this recurring issue, Ava DuVernay is one filmmaker standing up for the streaming giant in the face of this criticism. Speaking to Vulture, the “A Wrinkle in Time” director explained that people criticizing Netflix for burying indies are missing the point that just being on Netflix in general is a major victory for filmmakers, especially minority directors. According to DuVernay, critics who believe Netflix is hurting indie film aren’t realizing how important the company is in increasing the exposure of filmmakers of color.
Privilege - Women - Filmmakers - Filmmakers - Color
“When you talk about getting lost, [it] prioritizes a certain privilege that women filmmakers, filmmakers of color, and certainly women filmmakers of color — specifically black women — don’t have,” DuVernay said. “My concern isn’t being lost, my concern is being somewhere, period.”
DuVernay continued by saying “there are so many filmmakers who are gaining audience, who are asserting presence” because of Netflix picking up and releasing their films. To prove her point, DuVernay mentioned how Barry Jenkins’ career might have been different had his 2008 drama “Medicine for Melancholy” been made available on Netflix. The director...
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