Netflix has set an October 16 release date for “Beasts of No Nation,” putting the African civil war drama in the thick of the Hollywood awards season competition.
The film will open in theaters in the art house cinema chain Landmark in the U.S. on the same day it debuts worldwide on Netflix in all territories where the streaming service is available. (Major theater chains including AMC, Cinemark and Regal have refused to show Netflix’s day and date streaming/theatrical releases..
The studios’ big push for awards consideration — from the Golden Globes and various guilds (e.g. SAG) and critics associations, as well as the Oscars — typically begins at the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF) which kicks off on Sept. 10. “Beasts of No Nation” is being screened in competition at TIFF and the Venice Film Festival (Sept. 2–12).
To be eligible for Oscar consideration, a feature film must be screened for paying patrons at a theater in Los Angeles County for seven consecutive days. Films released non-theatrically on or after the first day of their Los Angeles County qualifying run remain eligible.
Last November, Netflix gave its African mountain gorilla documentary “Virunga” an Oscar-qualifying release in New York and Los Angeles. It earned a nomination for Best Documentary Feature, but wound up losing to the Edward Snowden doc “Citizenfour.”
Written and directed by Cary Fukunaga (“Jane Eyre,” “Sin Nombre”), “Beasts of No Nation” tells the story of a child soldier (newcomer Abraham Attah) in an unnamed African country who is taken under the wing of a war lord (Idris Elba, “Luther,” “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”). It is based on the novel of the same name by Nigerian author Uzodinma Iweala.
Netflix released the first trailer for the film (below) on Thursday.