The company is offering an “Oscar Qualifying Package” which claims to screen the movies in limited theaters and establish contact with critics hence giving aspiring movie makers a chance to get nominated for Oscars.
Every year there are filmmakers that put their blood and sweat into making a movie that they believe in. The problem remains that they don’t really know what to do with the movie.
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Most of them do not have the backing of a studio or a big production house which can create a campaign and run advertising to receive a nomination.
As the Oscars season draw closer, many dreams will be crushed because the movies that these aspiring filmmakers make will never reach the critics and they wil be lost in the frenzy of movies coming out every year. Those are the view of the Cinemaflix President Elliott Kanbar.
He has come up with a way for young or debuting filmmakers to get their movies to the critics and Academy members with what they are calling the “Oscar Qualifying Package”.
It offers the aspiring filmmakers that if they buy the package, the studio will be lining up theatrical runs in New York and Los Angeles. They will also have a "well-connected" film publicist reach out to critics and take out ads in support of the picture.
The company's website which until recently included an unauthorized depiction of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences logo stops at nothing short of promising eligibility, referring viewers to the Academy's official site for rules.
Indian industrialist, Pradeep Rawat even bought the package for $21,000 for his documentary "Goddess Creation to Immersion," which Rawat financed.
The documentary however failed to produce desired results. The documentary features must be reviewed in the Los Angeles Times or the New York Times to be accounted as eligible and neither organization decided to review Rawat’s documentary.
According to Kanbar, there is no actual guarantee that the movie will make it to the nominations. The main purpose is to get enough exposure for the movie so it reaches the right people.
There are occasional successes as well like the documentaries "My Voice, My Life" and "Karski & the Lords of Humanity," which were recently released via his company's qualifying package.
Both were reviewed by the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. Hence both are eligible for the Oscars.
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Kanbar says that the package is like an opportunity for competing for awards season glory which is cutthroat at all levels. For those who make documentaries and short films, it's a chance to get some recognition and possibly funding for higher-profile efforts.