Cannes film festival bans Netflix's streaming-only movies

16 May 2017 | Rasmus Larsen |

Netflix will tomorrow for the first time debut its movie at the prestigious Cannes film festival. This has sparked outrage among French movie theater owners that have forced the festival to adopt a new rule that effectively bans Netflix from next year’s festival, according to Variety.

Drama in Cannes

Will the world’s most prestigious film festival remain a film festival or be reduced to a movie theatre festival? US-based Netflix has found itself playing the lead role in the story.

Netflix will for the first time debut its movies – ’Okja’ and ’The Meyerowitz Stories’ – at the Cannes film festival that kicks off tomorrow on May 17.

Movies theaters fear that Netflix will hit them where it hurts the most
This has caused drama in Cannes. Movie theater owners fear that Netflix will hit them where it hurts the most by breaking the classic “window” business model. The model dictates that movies must be released exclusively in movie theaters before they are made available at home. The theater’s trade organization has demanded that Netflix’s two movies be removed from this year’s festival.

As you may know, Netflix releases its movies for streaming at the same time globally. The company has said that it is willing to let cinemas exhibit the movies as long as the premiere is simultaneous. However, in France it is dictated by law that a full 36 months must pass before movies with a theatrical run can be streamed on subscription services at home.

Okja


New rule designed to exclude Netflix

Netflix’s two movies – ’Okja’ and ’The Meyerowitz Stories’ – will remain in circulation at this year’s festival but the French movie theater owners have pushed through a new rule that effectively bans Netflix from participating in Cannes next year.

- “Any film that wishes to compete in competition at Cannes will have to commit itself to being distributed in French movie theaters,” it was said in statement from the Cannes film festival.

Netflix was not mentioned in name but the new rule is clearly aimed at the US-based company that is seen as a threat to the ancient business model that the film industry operates under.

- “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,” said Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix.

In 2015, Netflix debuted ‘Beasts of No Nation’ but 2017 marks the year when the company shows its cards. Besides the ’The Meyerowitz Stories’ later in May and ’Okja’ in June, Netflix will this month debut ’War Machine’ starring Brad Pitt, in December ’Bright’ starring Will Smith, and many more.

- Source: Variety



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