Last weekend Angelina Jolie attended a Q&A after screening First They Killed My Father for Academy members. It was then confirmed that Cambodia had submitted FTKMF for Oscar consideration. As previously mentioned, that’s just the first step in a selection process that’s divided into several phases. She needs to make the shortlist. So here she is on Friday at another Q&A screening at the Directors Guild of America Theatre in LA.
I’m curious about who’s actually going to these events. And what the attendance is. Typically at these campaign-style screenings, we’ll get reports from Variety or The Hollywood Reporter with details about whether or not it was a “packed house” or “standing room only” and reaction from anonymous audience members. I’ve not come across much of this and that may be because it’s still rather early in the season and, well, FTKMF isn’t exactly a fun film; it’s an important film, no doubt, but it’s not the kind of film you go to on a weekend where, you know, you’re ready to let loose and leave your troubles behind. Those screenings will probably come later for Angelina because if she wants to get on that Best Foreign Language Film shortlist, she has to keep pushing, keeping her film visible. And keeping visible herself as she’s always been the most effective ambassador of her own work.
With the news that FTKMF is competing for Best Foreign Film Oscar, a new trailer for FTKMF has just been released. It’s now been over a week since the film started streaming on Netflix. It’ll be interesting to see how much Netflix will invest in this campaign. They certainly have the money to throw behind a serious contender. And that money is becoming more and more attractive to other Hollywood players. Do they start flexing that power the way other studios flex their influence come Oscar time? As I wrote last week, Hollywood is a town of fake friendships and favours. So while Angelina may not have the usual “friends” to show up for her the way other stars do, she may benefit from the Netflix’s considerable, and growing, clout.