Netflix’s “Icarus” Takes Oscar For Best Documentary Feature

By Nitish Singh / March 6, 2018

It is good news for streaming services, as critics, in particular, the Academy, has taken an interest in their content. Icarus, a Netflix produced documentary just won the 2018 Oscars for the best documentary feature.

The Russian doping documentary was directed by Bryan Fogel and Dan Cogan and marks the first feature film documentary Oscar for Netflix. The documentary had steep competition from other fantastic features, such as “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” “Faces Places,” “Last Men in Aleppo,” and “Strong Island.”

Icarus documentary

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In short, the film chronicles how Fogel came to know about the international doping scandal through the head of the Russian anti-doping laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov. Rodchenkov was one of the whistleblowers who revealed how Russian athletes have been using performance-enhancing drugs during the Olympic Games.

With the release of the documentary, Russia was banned from the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Olympic officials, however, did allow Russian athletes to participate but under a neutral flag - “Olympic Athletes from Russia.”

Fogel, while accepting the Oscar dedicated the award to Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, sighting that he is currently in great danger, but also reminding us about the importance of telling the truth. While backstage, he further went on to the International Olympic Committee and how they so easily let Russia off the hook - “What a fraud and what a corrupt organization” Fogel added.

Dan Cogan further provided us with the affirmation that Dr. Rodchenkov is currently under protective custody in the U.S. as the head of the Russian Olympic commented on shooting Rodchenkov for his “treachery.”

Lastly, Fogel and Cogan, both had nothing but praises for the online streaming platform Netflix. Probably getting such a controversial topic, out to the public would not have been possible without Netflix. The streaming service helped to release the documentary in over 190 countries worldwide.

It won’t be a long shot to claim that Netflix has the potential to change the documentary world forever. Not only has it become to release controversial topics such as Icarus, through the platform, but Netflix also helps the creator to find an audience - people who should know the truth.

Icarus premiered back in 2017 at the Sundance Film Festival after which Netflix bought it for $5 million. This is the biggest deal for any non-fiction film, ever.

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