Published Apr 11, 2018Streaming services like Netflix have done an excellent job disrupting film distribution, but it looks like some corners of the industry are fighting back. Specifically, Cannes has passed a rule that would disallow the company's films from appearing in competition at the prestigious film event. As a result, Netflix have pulled all of their films from this year's fest.
Last year, Netflix debuted their acclaimed projects Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories at Cannes. Since then, the fest's artistic director Thierry Fremaux revealed that films could not compete without a theatrical release.
Netflix chief Ted Sarandos said he would cooperate with the rule, but a law in France forbids movies from appearing on home platforms for 36 months after their theatrical release.
Speaking with Variety, Netflix chief Ted Sarandos said Netflix would rather keep their films out of Cannes altogether rather than show them out of competition.
"We loved the festival," Sarandos said. "We love the experience for our filmmakers and for film lovers. It's just that the festival has chosen to celebrate distribution rather than the art of cinema. We are 100% about the art of cinema. And by the way, every other festival in the world is too."
He added that Cannes is pushing back against progress with their decision, saying, "We hope that they do change the rules. We hope that they modernize.... Thierry 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."
Read Sarandos' full interview here.