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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Netflix threatens not to show its films at Cannes

Por Nina

Next April 12, Cannes will announce the films that will compete for the golden palm. That day, Netflix will confirm if it withdraws from the first festival in the world or if it keeps negotiating with Thierry Frémaux, the director of the contest, with whom it keeps open the litigation after last year announced, after the pressures of the National Federation of French Cinema, that no film could compete in the official section until it was distributed in national theaters.

Just a month ago, Frémaux himself left open the door to the films of the platform participating in Cannes in other parallel categories, according to «THR». This measure has not convinced almost anyone, since Netflix, he warns, has made a great investment to attract great directors who would not want to be "relegated" to "fight" with less consecrated or more experimental filmmakers.

Although Netflix has not made public the list of films it has proposed to Cannes, from the American media it is aimed at titles as powerful as «Norway», by Paul Greengrass; "Hold the Dark" by Jeremy Saulnier; «Rome», by the Oscar-winning Alfonso Cuarón or «On the other side of the wind», the film that Orson Welles left incomplete in 1970 and that Netflix acquired so that a team of experts could complete it following the notes of the genius.

Last year, Netflix had two films among the candidates to win prizes at Cannes: "The Meyerowitz Stories" by Noah Baumbach, and "Okja" by Bong Joon-Ho. It was then when the National Federation of French Cinema demanded that all the films of the festival had the obligation to be distributed by the national cinemas. After that pressure, the director of Cannes reacted: «After consular council members, the Cannes Festival has decided to adapt its rules to this situation never seen before: Any film that wants to compete here, must commit to be distributed in France [...] This new measure will apply from the 2018 edition of the Festival onwards, "the organization said at the time.

The CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, spoke about the controversy on Facebook: "The closing of the Festival has been against us. They want to block us so that we do not compete in Cannes, "said the businessman. It is not the first time that Netflix's distribution style has caused controversy, and that a debate has already arisen about whether or not his films should be candidates for the Academy Awards. It remains to be seen how this new controversy will be resolved, especially considering how the streaming video platform is attracting more and more top-level filmmakers.