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Amazon's Jeff Bezos Sets His Sights On An Oscar

The company best known for shipping you industrial-sized packages of dog food also has grand ambitions for Hollywood.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos Sets His Sights On An Oscar
[Photo: Helga Esteb via Shutterstock]

Not content to claim that his rocket, not Elon Musk’s, was the first to successfully return to Earth after a space launch, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is now gunning for another lofty goal: an Academy Award.

In an interview with Germany’s Die Welt that was picked up by Time, Bezos laid out his Hollywood red carpet ambition: "We want to win an Oscar," he said. "Amazon has already won Golden Globes and Emmys."

Bezos noted that Amazon Studios is planning on producing 16 films a year, and has already garnered high praise for original projects like The Man in the High Castle, as well as Transparent, which won five Emmys. It is also already in the business of producing motion pictures for theaters. Its first, Spike Lee’s Chi-raq, opened December 4.

Bezos told Die Welt that he hopes to use Amazon Studios as a place where filmmakers can go for more creative control than they get at traditional Hollywood Studios. "I want to offer masters like Spike Lee or Woody Allen a new platform," he said.

While Bezos’s Oscar goal might seem a little grandiose, there is precedent for companies primarily known for TV for crossing over into feature-length films. HBO, for example, won the 2015 statue for best documentary for its film Citizenfour, about NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

That would suggest that Amazon’s ambition is realistic, assuming it can make films that are at the level of the best in the world. If so, that Amazon Prime membership may very well be worth it.

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