Oscars: Amazon Scores Multiple Wins for Streaming Service

Courtesy of K Period Media
'Manchester by the Sea'

Netflix, meanwhile, won an Oscar for its documentary short 'The White Helmets.'

Amazon won three Oscars on Sunday night, with Manchester by the Sea taking home best original screenplay and best actor honors and Iran's The Salesman, which the streaming service is distributing in the U.S., winning best foreign-language film.

Netflix also won an Oscar for best documentary short, which went to The White Helmets, which the streaming service produced and distributed.

On Monday, the tech giant released a statement congratulating its first Oscar winners, the filmmakers behind The White Helmets.

"Netflix congratulates Joanna Natasegera and Orlando Von Einsiedel for a well deserved Oscar win for The White Helmets, an incredibly timely documentary focusing on the bravery of Syrian humanitarians," the statement reads. "A first for Netflix, we are privileged to have been on this journey with these inspirational storytellers since their nomination for Virunga, and continue to be in awe of their efforts to shine a light on the work of real heroes."

Manchester by the Sea was also nominated for best picture, a first for a streaming service; best director (Kenneth Lonergan), best supporting actress (Michelle Williams) and best supporting actor (Lucas Hedges). 

Netflix, meanwhile, went into Sunday's show with three Oscar nominations: best documentary (13th) and documentary short (The White Helmets and Extremis). 13th lost the best documentary award to O.J.: Made in America.

While Netflix became the first high-profile streaming service to land an Oscar nomination with The Square, it's yet to land one for a feature film.

Amazon Studios released its first awards-hopeful movie at the end of 2015 with Spike Lee's Chi-Raq and over the past year has spent aggressively to become a serious player in the indie film world.

While both Netflix and Amazon are willing to spend big for prestigious titles, the latter is also willing to let films have a full theatrical run before becoming available at home, an appealing prospect for filmmakers and production companies as it also doesn't ruffle exhibitors' feathers.

Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel referenced Amazon's best picture nomination for Manchester in his opening monologue. With the camera filming Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in the audience, Kimmel joked if Bezos wins, his Oscar will arrive in two to five business days and might be stolen by a GrubHub delivery guy.

Feb. 27, 10:57 a.m. This story has been updated with Netflix's statement on The White Helmets' win.

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