While filmmakers around the world prepare to make the trek to France for one of the most prestigious events in world cinema, Netflix is grounding itself on domestic soil by digging its heels deeper into steadfast anti-theatrical convictions.
Following the Cannes Film Festival’s announcement last year that it would no longer host films that did not commit to “being distributed in French movie theaters” among its high-profile competition slate, the streaming giant’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, confirmed to Variety that Netflix will not screen any of its upcoming full-length narratives in competition on the Croisette.
“We want our films to be on fair ground with every other filmmaker,” Sarandos told the publication of the move, which was announced last year by Cannes artistic director Thierry Frémaux. “There’s a risk in us going in this way and having our films and filmmakers treated disrespectfully at the festival. They’ve set the tone. I don’t think it would be good for us to be there.”
When reached for comment, a representative told EW that Netflix will make no additional statements on Sarandos’ interview.
French theater exhibitors reportedly took issue with Cannes allowing Netflix projects into the main competition despite the films failing to secure wide theatrical release dates in the region. Still, Cannes allowed both Bong Joon-ho’s Okja and Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2017 edition, but indicated it would exclude streaming-focused movies from the lineup in the future. National law in France mandates that films can’t appear on home streaming platforms for 36 months after their initial theatrical release.
“Cannes is aware of the anxiety aroused by the absence of the release in theaters of those films in France. The Festival de Cannes asked Netflix in vain to accept that these two films could reach the audience of French movie theaters and not only its subscribers,” a statement from the Cannes board read at the time. “The festival regrets that no agreement has been reached.”
Members of the film criticism community have also recently expressed concern over Cannes’ decision to eliminate press screenings before the festival’s star-studded red carpet premieres. Some speculate that the festival is looking to minimize the effect of negative critical reaction to a particular film ahead of a given picture’s debut, though Frémaux told Variety the move comes …
Source:: Time – Entertainment