The Cannes Film Festival has placed a major restriction on films distributed by Netflix, but the streamer doesn’t appear to be accepting its penalty without a fight. After Cannes barred Netflix films from competing in its competition, thus making them ineligible for awards like the Palme D’Or, Netflix has hit back, reportedly threatening to pull all its movies from the renowned festival.
Cannes opted to sanction Netflix due to pressure from French cinemas, whose regulations are at odds with Netflix’s strategies. The screen companies are asking Netflix to wait three years after a theatrical release date before making its projects available for screening. Cannes, assenting to those demands, enacted its competition ban last month.
Netflix is supposed to screen new work from auteurs like Alfonso Cuarón, Paul Greengrass, and Jeremy Saulnier at the French festival, but its status there is now in flux, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The streamer hasn’t yet offered a comment on its Cannes plans.
If the battle between Cannes and Netflix heats up, at least one of the aforementioned filmmakers will be on the streamer’s side. Saulnier, who directed the 2016 cult hit Green Room (pictured above) and initially planned to premiere his new film Hold The Dark at Cannes, referred to France’s three-year waiting period for streaming premieres as “a dated mandate” that “can’t last long.”
“Who the hell wants to be booed at the first presentational credit of your film, especially when it’s disparaging the entity that made the film possible in the first place?” Saulnier told Indiewire, referring to incidents at last year’s festival. “That’s where I’m a fierce defender of Netflix.”
The 2018 Cannes Film Festival Begins on May 8, so Netflix and the French film establishment can still negotiate over the next month.