Netflix just dropped the trailer for its first feature film, the Venice and Toronto International Film Festival entry Beasts of No Nation and it’s a doozy. Visually sumptuous and arresting, tense and suspenseful, Netflix aims to really shake up the Oscar race as we know it just like it’s done with the Emmys for the last two years.
The film, based on Uzodinma Iweala’s 2005 novel of the same name, is written and directed by True Detective‘s Cary Fukunaga and details the life of an African child soldier (Abraham Attah, in a stunning debut performance) and the despot leader in control of his village, played by Best Supporting Actor Oscar contender Idris Elba (The Wire, Luther).
The rules of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences state: [box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” class=”” width=””]“Films that in any version, receive their first public exhibition or distribution in any manner other than as a theatrical motion picture release will not be eligible for Academy Awards in any category.Nontheatrical public exhibition or distribution includes but is not limited to Broadcast and cable television; PPV/VOD; DVD distribution; Internet transmission. Motion pictures released in such nontheatrical media on or after the first day of their Los Angeles County qualifying run remain eligible.”[/box]
This shouldn’t be too much of a problem for the streaming service; they successfully distributed two Oscar nominated documentaries, The Square and Virunga, using a similar day-and-date distribution.
The film is set for release on October 16th via Netflix (which bought the rights to the film for $12M) as well as in theaters across the country in major markets.
UPDATE: Trailer #2