Films with cinematic distribution will play in competition at the Cannes Film Festival but those without will not, incensing Netflix, which will not be partaking.
Netflix was amenable to having their movies play on big screens in France, but a law in the country requires movies to not appear in home platforms for 36 months after their theatrical release.
Last year Netflix had two movies in Cannes’ main competition: Bong Joon-ho’s Okja and Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories. But French theatre owners and unions protested the inclusion of these films to Thierry Fremaux, the artistic director of Cannes.
Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer told Variety, “We want our films to be on fair ground with every other filmmaker. There’s a risk in us going in this way and having our films and filmmakers treated disrespectfully at the festival. They’ve set the tone. I don’t think it would be good for us to be there.”
Sarandos will not personally be attending Cannes in May, but some of his executives will be there.
Fremaux said, “Netflix is welcome in Cannes. We have an ongoing debate. We want to tell Ted and Reed [Hastings] and Scott [Stuber] to come, let’s keep talking.”
“It is not a coincidence that Thierry also banned selfies this year,” Sarandos says, of another new rule that doesn’t allow guests to snap pictures on the red carpet. “I don’t know what other advances in media Thierry would like to address.”