- 11 May 17
Netflix has two original movies, Okja, directed by Boon Jo-Ho, and Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories, entered into competition at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival this year, for the first time ever.
Unfortunately for the streaming giant, it would appear that these will also be the last Netflix films eligible for entry, following rumours of pressure from French exhibitors to have the movies pulled.
The festival has released a statement on the matter, writing:
"The Festival de Cannes does reiterate that, as announced on April 13th, these two films will be presented in Official Selection and in Competition.
"The Festival de Cannes is aware of the anxiety aroused by the absence of the release in theatres 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 theatres and not only its subscribers. Hence the Festival regrets that no agreement has been reached."
Although the competition said it welcomed Netflix, it also explained it wanted to "reiterate its support to the traditional mode of exhibition of cinema in France and in the world".
"After consulting its Members of the Board, the Festival de Cannes has decided to adapt its rules to this unseen situation until now: any film that wishes to compete in Competition at Cannes will have to commit itself to being distributed in French movie theatres.
"This new measure will apply from the 2018 edition of the Festival International du Film de Cannes onwards."
Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings responded to the statement on Facebook, saying: ‘’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.’’