We recently reported on the rumor that Netflix would make a run at this year’s Oscars by acquiring the distribution rights to film festival darling The Square. Well, we were half right. Netflix has actually acquired the rights to two documentaries: The Square and The Short Game.
The Short Game, directed by Josh Greenbaum, follows a group of seven-year-old golfers aiming for the Junior World Championships. Judging by its trailer, it will be light and whimsical, a stark contrast to the seemingly-depressing-but-important tone of The Square. As far as I can tell, The Short Game hasn’t picked up any Oscar buzz yet, but it is still very early.
“As a filmmaker, you hope your work will reach as many people as possible,” commented Greenbaum, “and that’s what’s so exciting about partnering with Netflix, who are presenting some of the most original and cutting-edge programming on the planet right now.”
In addition to acquiring its two new documentaries, Netflix also announced that Lilyhammer–which served as the platform’s first original series when it debuted last February–will return on December 13th for an eight-episode second season. All of these new debuts will liven up what previously looked to be a placid Q4 2013 for Netflix.
Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos recently delivered a controversial address where he claimed movie theaters are holding up the film distribution process. The Square and The Short Game are Sarandos’ first two chances to prove new releases can co-exist in theaters and on Netflix.