Netflix has decided to exit France’s Cannes Film Festival entirely over festival leadership’s decision to ban films from competing unless they secure a local theatrical release. Netflix plans to release 80 original films in 2018 to its 109 million streaming customers around the world.
The company has released a few films, like fantasy thriller "Bright," starring Will Smith, in a small number of theatres. But most major chains have refused to show Netflix movies because it releases them at the same time online. Movies from traditional studios typically run exclusively in cinemas for about three months. The festival has had a bumpy relationship with Netflix, specifically due to the streaming service’s bypassing of a proper cinema release for its projects. A rule was thus introduced for this year by Cannes Film Festival boss Thierry Fremaux, that meant any films that didn’t get a theatrical release in France couldn’t play in competition. Which, given that Netflix is funding films for its own service, puts it in the crosshairs. Netflix could still screen its movies at the festival out of competition, but it’s elected not to do so.
By: Swati Kaushal