Netflix Withdraws From Cannes Film Festival, Sparks Controversy

Netflix has surely changed the way we look at cinema. The company has surely found a way to give people a choice of viewing it with others or just viewing it themselves. There was no choice available since the beginning of the cinematic era and now that we have one, people are fighting over the domination. Netflix is accused of dominating the cinematic space and there are filmmakers some prominent, some not so prominent who are talking about this.

There are certain ways one can understand the real issues but the viewers, the people for whom the films are made, love it both ways. Netflix and Cinema houses are two very different things and the viewers know the difference. There is no doubt amongst the viewers that some movies are meant to be watched on the big screen while some need to be viewed alone. This debate has been going on for a long time and there is no end to this.

With every new film festival, Netflix’s participation becomes a problem. The fact that Netflix does not release the movies in the theatre more often becomes a point of discussion. This year, it is the Cannes Film Festival where Netflix is not in the picture but still everywhere in the air. The reason for this is the comments and the rules of the Cannes Film Festival.

Netflix missing out on Cannes Film Festival

There are a lot of people who are saying that the Cannes Film Festival is not at par because it is not ready to co-exist. The film industry needs to be codependent and there is no point in having a riff against a huge production house.

The row started because of Cannes Film Festival made it compulsory for films to have been released in theatres and the gap between the release date in the theatres and on the OTT platforms was upped to 36-months. As a result, Netflix withdrew from the Cannes Film Festival and this became a huge controversy with people struggling to find the right reasons for the exclusion and the withdrawal.

That being said, there are major filmmakers out there who commented on similar issues. Innaritu, an Oscar-winning director said that his film Roma deserved to be screened at Cannes. He was totally in favor of Netflix and theatres co-existing. He said, “We are all letting this medium die, and just becoming a franchise-entertainment park. And if those studios, distributors, and exhibitors don’t find a way forward, Netflix will eat them alive.”

Elwes was brutal on Twitter and said that the Cannes Film Festival has movies which are not going to stir a lot of minds. He wrote, “Cannes is in total disrepair. Business is flat and most of the film’s screening here are irrelevant in the U.S. marketplace. Both sides, (market) and festival, need to realize they are codependent and figure out a solution and quick. Keeping the streamers out is self-defeating.”


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