LOS GATOS (KPIX) – There will be a new arrival on the red carpet at the Oscars on Sunday night. Netflix is now one of the biggest players in the movie business.
The company’s Los Gatos headquarters is a far cry from Hollywood, but people who live here will be rooting for the streaming company on Oscar night.
“Netflix started out as a small company here in Los Gatos as a company where you got your DVD’s in the mail,” said Beth Christenson who lives in Los Gatos. “Now they’re huge and they’re big and they’ve grown.”
Netflix spent $25 million on an Oscars campaign to promote their film Roma, which is nominated for ten academy awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress.
Written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Y Tu Mamá También), and starring Yalitza Aparicio, it’s the poignant story of a domestic worker in Mexico City.
In Netflix’s hometown of Los Gatos, ‘Roma’ is a fan favorite.
“I’m definitely pulling for Netflix because I think the streaming content has gotten better every year, ” said Los Gatos resident Mathew Jordan.
Roma had a limited theatrical run, just so it could qualify for the Academy Awards, but most people are seeing it online.
The film could be a game changer for Netflix and the movie industry with a streaming service now competing with the big movie studios.
Bigger studios are starting to look at this and say hey, instead of trying to get people into the theatres, where it can cost $12, $15 or $18 for an IMAX movie, let’s get it right into their home.
Netflix is making waves in Hollywood.
But the co-founder of the San Jose’s Cinequest film festival says the evolution of streaming services is a good thing for the art form.
“Does the young artist in Mexico, or Cambodia have an opportunity to create their work and connect it with people? That’s what matters more to me than whether Netflix wins an Oscar,” said Halfdan Hussey, CEO and co-founder of Cinequest. “They’re doing great work, they are empowering people and that’s the most important thing.”
The emergence of Netflix is not without its controversies. Director Steven Spielberg recently said that movies made for streaming services should not be competing against movies made for the theatrical release at the Oscars.