What's This?L: Joanna Natasegara and Orlando von Einsiedel accepting the award for "The White Helmets." R: Anousheh Ansari accepting the award for "The Salesman."
Image: getty images/mashable composite
Hollywood finally likes streaming services enough to give them Oscars.
Digital giants Netflix and Amazon both took home their first-ever Oscars on Sunday — but not for the films you may expect.
Iranian film The Salesman, which Amazon is distributing in the U.S., and Netflix's documentary The White Helmets won for Best Foreign Film and Best Documentary Short, respectively.
This marks the first time either service has picked up Hollywood's highest honor. It underscores their efforts to get acknowledged as part of the entertainment industry, rather than disrupters of it.
Still the movies that won weren't expected frontrunners. In the last year, Amazon and Netflix have emerged as the most powerful buyers of film festivals, notably movies from the Sundance Film Festival.
Last year Netflix aggressively campaigned for Beasts of No Nation, but was ultimately shut out of the Oscars race.
This year, Amazon Studios' Manchester by the Sea had a whopping six Oscar nominations, including one for best picture (a first for a streaming service), making it more of a contender for the streamer's first Oscar. Kenneth Lonergan later took home an award for Best Original Screenplay, marking Amazon's second win of the night.
The two films that won, however, do have one thing in common: Political ties.
Director Asghar Farhadi, who won his second Oscar for The Salesman, did not accept the award in person because he and other members of the film's cast boycotted the awards following President Donald Trump's travel ban.
"It’s a great honor to be receiving this valuable award for a second time," Iranian-American engineer Anousheh Ansari said, reading a statement from Farhadi on stage. "I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight, my absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of the other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S."
Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara accepted the award for The White Helmets, which is about a Syrian rescue group of the same name.
The film's cinematographer, Khaled Khateeb, was barred from entering the U.S. on Friday.Topics: amazon studios, Entertainment, Movies, netflix, The Oscars, oscars 2017, streaming services, the salesman, the-white-helmets