booked.net

11 May 2017

Cannes Film Festival announces new rule that would block Netflix films and other streaming companies from participating

Edited by Tamara Dumas

This is the first year that Netflix will have movies premiering at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival — and it might be the last. The source of the tension is Netflix’s relationship with theaters.

Theoretically, the company has said it’s not opposed to bringing the movies it funds into theaters — as long as they premiere on the streaming service at the same time. However, that resistance to the traditional window means most Netflix movies get a minimal or nonexistent release in theaters.

This, in turn, has stopped some filmmakers from selling their movies to the streaming service. So when Cannes announced that it would be screening two Netflix films, Okja (directed by Bong Joon-ho) and The Meyerowitz Stories (directed by Noah Baumbach), the Federation of French Cinemas criticized the decision.

Now the Cannes Film Festival has announced a new rule, which requires a film competing at Cannes to “commit itself to being distributed in French movie theaters.” A French law mandates that films can’t be shown on streaming services for 36 months after their theatrical release, and it’s hard to see Netflix agreeing to wait that long (or at all), so this could effectively block its films from future festivals.

“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,” the festival said in a statement. “Hence the Festival regrets that no agreement has been reached.” Cannes did say that the rule only takes effect next year, so Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories should screen as planned.

Read more on Techcrunch.com

George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jodie Foster at the Money Monster Press Call Cannes Film Festival
©Joe Alvarez

Cast attending The Money Monster photo call at the Cannes Film Festival