Netflix Movies Can’t Win At Cannes

Netflix was just banned from entering their original movies in the Cannes Film Festival competition, and they had a big response.

By nowproducerdave on April 12, 2018
(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

This is an entertaining story, in a sort of “if you won’t support me, I won’t support you” kind of way. Cannes Film Festival has banned Netflix movies from taking part in the competition, so Netflix pulled all their movies completely.

The Cannes Film Festival in France happens next month in May. A rule they introduced last year goes into effect this year. That rule (and it really seems like the rule was created out of spite, but that’s a different story) states that for a movie to be eligible for an award at Cannes, the movie MUST have a French release in theaters. That means Netflix movies, which are full-scale productions but released straight to Netflix (only, for the most part), are ineligible to win any sort of award at Cannes. The movies can still be screened to the press in attendance, but they’re not allowed to compete. Naturally, this angered Netflix, so they decided to just go ahead and pull all their movies from the festival completely.

The rule was demanded by French movie theater owners, as well as filmmakers and labour boards. Even though Netflix does release some of their movies in theaters on the same day as the streaming service itself, they weren’t in the French language, and weren’t shown in French movie theaters. Netflix could have shown their movies in a French theater for a week to become eligible to compete this year, but that would require the movie to be kept off of their own streaming service for 3 years. Ouch.

See also: Cannes Film Festival has banned red carpet selfies.

Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos had this to say:

We hope that they do change the rules. We hope that they modernize. But we will continue to support all films and all filmmakers. We encourage Cannes to rejoin the world cinema community and welcome them back… Thierry (Film Festival Director) had said in his comments when he announced his change that the history of the Internet and the history of Cannes are two different things. Of course they are two different things. But we are choosing to be about the future of cinema. If Cannes is choosing to be stuck in the history of cinema, that’s fine.

There’s a lot more on that drama over here.

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