The Cannes Film Festival, that is going to run from May 17 to May 28, has disallowed Netflix to compete at the Festival after this year, unless it changes its policies. The organisers said that the video-on-demand company will not be allowed to participate in the prestigious film festival, unless its movies get a cinema release.
Netflix had earlier said that movies will only be streamed to subscirbers, and not shown in cinemas, which had angered the French movie theatre sector. The fest has Netflix movies in competition for the first time.
However the release of two highly anticipated films-“The Meyerowitz Stories” and “Okja” in cinemas by the company was expected by Festival Director, Thierry Fremaux.
On Wednesday, the festival said that no such deal had been reached. The two movies can remain in competition this year,but movies with no cinematic release will not be allowed to compete later.
The Festival is pleased to welcome a new operator which has decided to invest in cinema,” the festival said on its website driving away the rumours that Netflix films would be excluded from Cannes 2017 at the last minute.
“(Cannes) wants to reiterate its support to the traditional mode of exhibition of cinema in France and in the world,” it said, adding that from next year its rules would include a movie to “commit itself to being distributed in French movie theatres”, if it has to participate in the competition.
Netflix has “declared war on movie theatres” since its launch in France, according to French movie magazine Premiere,.
Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings made a brief comment on his Facebook page:
“The establishment closing ranks against us. See Okja on Netflix June 28th. Amazing film that theatre chains want to block us from entering into Cannes film festival competition.”
Amazon also has a film in competition, Todd Haynes’ “Wonderstruck”, but is particiating in the competition as it screens its films in cinemas and online as well.