The simple truth is that presenting a film before the Oscars Committee is essentially a marketing process and includes sending DVDs in massive numbers to the right people, and this process also includes advertising campaigns on commercial suspensions and special shows in certain areas where there are many Oscar voters ( Especially the cities of New York and Los Angeles) and this is something that a foreign company cannot succeed in achieving, but nevertheless, many Japanese works dream of being part of a prestigious award such as the Oscar, so they pressure the American distributor to make a marketing push for them, and to approve On the licensing contract, the expenses associated with the marketing process may be to some extent recoverable, meaning that companies can recover the money they spent on marketing before sending the proceeds to Japan.
Oscar nominations, especially for small films (which are usually anime), are considered a very huge deal. The attention that the film brings can pave the way for a large-scale theatrical path, how much it can boost disc sales by doubling them, and other big push for the movie and showing it outside the boundaries. Which is why small movies usually have a hard time achieving. And surely the victory will be a factor affecting the rules of the game as was the case for Hayao Miyazaki and his Oscar win for the movie Spirited Away, and that was probably the first time that many Americans had heard of him, and since then his work has shattered what is left of the anime world, To this day, his films are still selling heavily and his other works are getting new releases.
A company like GKids is a very influential element in playing the Oscars game, although it publishes foreign animation, it is managed by experts in the field of entertainment who have close ties with famous actors, publishers and other prominent personalities, and they know the right people to watch their movies and also bring The attention of the academy members, as they master the Hollywood game, and their films usually get nominations because they are usually good movies and these people are skilled enough to make the members of the academy animation to take their movies seriously. However, despite all this, GKids remains a small company and cannot compete with the huge marketing money that major studios will reward for their films.
As for Funimation, it has had many attempts to nominate its films, but they have never succeeded, while this company is the largest distributor of anime in the United States, it is considered completely alien to the general film industry. I cannot say for sure how serious they are working to nominate their films or the value of the resources spent in the company’s process to put pressure on the academy, but what is clear is that what they do is completely useless.
Unfortunately, Kimi No Nawa was not nominated for an Academy Award Guy in 2017 despite the accolades it received from critics, and the film was never shown in the United States and the movie version was only released in April. I don’t know if it was a company. Funimation has sent copies of the movie to the academy members but I know many people who send copies to other big awards (SAG, PGA, DGA, WGA … etc). As I have not yet known anyone who has taken a copy of the movie in the first place, maybe they were worried about the costs or the piracy, I have no idea, but you cannot win the game if you don’t play it in the first place. Perhaps the company would have had a better time if it had waited for the Oscars to be presented next year.
Ensuring victory for a small publisher is a near impossible task. Big studios annually spend millions upon millions of dollars for their Oscar nominations and even coordinate the media reaction against all potential competitors. It also includes top celebrities in its campaigns by using very creative and effective methods to maintain the lead in either films or celebrities months before voting, and all this is completely out of reach for a small publisher.
Although animation films may not matter at all, considering that members of the animation department in the Academy may vote with great interest to their candidates every year, the Academy as a whole includes many members who do not care about animation films and do not take them seriously, and Every year the Hollywood reporter presents a series entitled “The brutal Oscar ballot” and the series includes anonymous comments from members who express their thoughts about why they voted in this or that way, and these comments are very provocative and provoke anger and disgust, especially for anime followers. That academy totally neglected watching any of the animated films, and instead of abstaining from voting for this category, he would choose all the programs that his children liked. And for most of these children, the programs will not be those foreign animation that they are not familiar with, but rather will be programs with high marketing and huge revenues generated by the producing studios during the previous years.
As fans and anime professionals, we should really stop looking forward to the Oscars.