Cannes Films Festival Changes Rules Due to Netflix Submissions

Ausiliatrice Cristiano
Mag 12, 2017

France's National Film Board said Thursday that it has rejected the idea of granting Netflix a temporary visa for a limited release of the streaming giant's two films in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, Bong Joon-ho's "Okja" and Noah Baumbach's "The Meyerowitz Stories".

This is the first year that Netflix will have movies premiering at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival - and it might be the last. "The festival regrets that no agreement has been reached".

Netflix's long-running battle with cinema chains in the U.S. centres on its insistence on releasing its movies online the same day as they hit theatres.

The Festival is pleased to welcome a new operator which has made a decision to invest in cinema but wants to reiterate its support to the traditional mode of exhibition of cinema in France and in the world.

The statement from the festival also confirmed that the films would remain in competition.

If you know anything about Netflix, you know that theatrical releases are decidedly not their thing.

Hastings took to his personal Facebook account late Wednesday to claim that "the establishment is closing ranks against us", after Cannes effectively slapped a ban on future Netflix-backed movies at the world's leading film festival.

But French cinema owners had criticised Netflix for not fully participating in France's unique system, in which a percentage of box-office revenues go towards financing new films.

France's three-year rule is bizarrely long, and many in the French film community want to see it shortened. "This new measure will apply from the 2018 edition of the Festival International du Film de Cannes onwards".

Tilda Swinton in Netflix's "Okja".

For what it's worth, Netflix is trying to make amends, Variety reports, attempting to secure a one-week run in French theaters that would begin on the same day as it begins streaming.

"While France's exhibitors are neither questioning the independence of the programming of the world's biggest film festival, nor the emerging of new worldwide players such as Amazon which are contributing to the development and financing of films, we are contesting the festival's choice which was made without consulting us", the FNCF said.

This year's festival also includes television series and virtual reality, but those works aren't playing in competition.

Throughout the entire Cannes Festival (May 17-28) Piper-Heidsieck will be served at all official events from the cocktail parties, lunches and dinners.

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