Cannes bans Netflix

PARIS • The Cannes Film Festival is not blinking in its stand-off with Netflix, banning it from this year's event after the video-on-demand company stood firm in its refusal to give its movies a cinema release.

But festival director Thierry Fremaux said in an interview that Netflix may be permitted to show movies on the fringe of the festival, outside the official competition.

Two Netflix films were screened in Cannes last year, but organisers had 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 theatres. I was presumptuous. They refused," Mr 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."

Meanwhile, the festival's decision to blacklist selfies taken by members of the audience on the red carpet has also caused a stir.

Asked if that decision was outdated and old-fashioned, Mr Fremaux said: "No, it's quite the opposite and you'll see, others will follow suit."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".

He added that he was also ending the press screening of movies before their world premiere in the official competition. The official selection for the festival from May 8 to 19 will be announced on April 12.

Australian actress Cate Blanchett will head the jury this year.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2018, with the headline 'Cannes bans Netflix'. Print Edition | Subscribe