The Cannes Film Festival will ban Netflix from this year's event after the video-on-demand company stood firm in its refusal to give its movies a cinema release, festival director Thierry Fremaux said in an interview.
By
Variety

Source:
Reuters
28 Mar 2018 - 1:00 AM  UPDATED 28 Mar 2018 - 10:24 AM

Red-carpet selfies will also be banned.

Two Netflix films were screened in Cannes last year but organisers said the company would not be allowed to compete at the festival again if it did not show them in movie halls.

"Last year, when we selected two of their movies, I thought I could convince Netflix to release them in theaters. I was presumptuous: they refused," Fremaux told magazine Le Film Francais.

"The people at Netflix loved the red carpet and would like to show us more movies. But they have understood that their intransigence over their (business) model clashes with our own."

However, Netflix may be permitted to show movies on the fringe of the festival, outside the official competition, he said.

It's a sentiment echoed by filmmaker Steven Spielberg who told ITV last week he didn't believe SVOD films should qualify for film awards. 

"Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie. You certainly, if it’s a good show, deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar,” Spielberg said. “I don’t believe films that are just given token qualifications in a couple of theatres for less than a week should qualify for the Academy Award nomination."

Spielberg acknowledged however that SVOD was often a filmmaker's only option for funding. 

"A lot of studios would rather just make branded tentpole guaranteed box office hits from their inventory of branded successful movies than take chances on smaller films and those smaller films that studios used to make routinely are now going to Amazon, Hulu and Netflix."

Meanwhile, Cannes festival's decision to blacklist selfies taken by members of the audience on the red carpet caused a stir. Fremaux said selfies created a "mess".

Asked if that decision was outdated and old fashioned, Fremaux said: "No, it's quite the opposite, and you'll see, others will follow suit." Selfies, he said, "go against what has made Cannes' reputation. A certain elegance, discretion."

Fremaux also said he was ending the press screening of movies before their world premiere in the official competition. The official selection for the May 8-19 festival will be announced on April 12th, he said.

Australian movie star Cate Blanchett will head the jury this year. 

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