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Netflix Banned From Competing At Cannes Film Festival Due To Lack of Theatrical Releases ( 120

Netflix has been banned from competing in the Cannes Film Festival, according to a report from The Hollywood Reporter. "Theirry Fremaux, the head of Cannes, told THR last week the ban is because Netflix refuses to release its films in theaters, choosing instead to debut them on its streaming service and, in some rare cases, do day-and-date releases so the film can be seen both online and off," reports The Verge. From the report: In the case of Bong Joon-ho's Okja and Noah Baumbach's The Meyerowitz Stories -- films that were entered into last year's Cannes to widespread protest from French filmmakers -- Netflix was unable to secure last-minute permits for one-week theatrical releases due to French media regulations. "Last year, when we selected these two films, I thought I could convince Netflix to release them in cinemas. I was presumptuous, they refused," Fremaux told THR. "The Netflix people loved the red carpet and would like to be present with other films. But they understand that the intransigence of their own model is now the opposite of ours." Starting with this year's Cannes, which takes place in May, films screened in competition will need to have a French theatrical release. Netflix is still allowed to show films at Cannes, Fremaux added, but its films will not be eligible for the prestigious Palme d'Or.
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Netflix Banned From Competing At Cannes Film Festival Due To Lack of Theatrical Releases

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  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Monday March 26, 2018 @06:23PM (#56330599)

    If I were Netflix I would use the very large amount of money it has, to go in with Amazon to make a second Cannes that accepts the world as it is (maybe call it "Jarres"), and let Cannes as it is now fade into irrelevancy. Do you think stars would be more, or less likely to go to something sponsored by Netflix and Amazon?

    • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Monday March 26, 2018 @06:41PM (#56330683) Homepage Journal
      Like a second Cannes, but with blackjack and hookers? Sounds like a plan.
    • by gnick ( 1211984 )

      Do you think stars would be more, or less likely to go to something sponsored by Netflix and Amazon?

      Depends on the stars. Most of the big names are still doing their work for Netflix/Amazon's competition.

    • by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Monday March 26, 2018 @07:02PM (#56330775)

      this article is pure ignorance. it's not the france is banning netflix for not showing films in theaters. It's that cannes has always exclded films not released in france.

      • Complicated (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2018 @06:25AM (#56332761) Homepage

        it's not the france is banning netflix for not showing films in theaters. It's that cannes has always exclded films not released in france.

        But, Netflix cannot release in theater even if they wanted, because some weird old protectionist law make it impossible to both release online and in theater at the same time.

        (The law was designed in such a way so that back in the days, movie theaters would have a window of opportunity to try to profit from a movie, before the movie got unleashed on VHS tapes. Of course it was probably presented as some crap like "movie theater should be noble place used to display art, not to serve as vile commercial to advertise VHS sold in shops").

        Similar restriction also (used to) exist regarding the timing of TV releases(*) in France (again to guarantee a "right to profit" to those who released before).

        And modern EU-wide laws (that also exist in France) prevents Netflix from geo-locking (They cannot block streaming of some movie to French IP addresses for the sake of France's movie theater release priorities).

        So yeah, it *is* France's law that a preventing Netflix to compete in Canne due to some indirect interactions that blocks Netflix from doing what they are required to do in order to compete.


        (*) : Which wasn't very efficient at its intended "profit-securing" purpose, because these law couldn't obviously apply to nearby countries such as Switzerland and Belgium where french is also one of the spoken language and where the movie would be released sooner on over-the-air TV that could be received in France. Much to the dismay of VHS shops in France and/or TV channel in france who would have wanted to profit from advertisement sold during movie airing.

      • it's not the france is banning netflix for not showing films in theaters.

        Yes it is. France has statutory release windows [], which forbid a movie distributor that shows a movie in theaters in France from offering that movie for streaming on an all-you-can-eat video-on-demand service for 36 months after initial theatrical exhibition.

    • by sd4f ( 1891894 )

      Do you think stars would be more, or less likely to go to something sponsored by Netflix and Amazon?

      It probably comes down to marketing. Considering some (or many, dunno) of the stars go to the existing events with designer clothes, jewelry and accessories that they're paid to wear, I don't think they'd go if it wasn't lucrative for them, but then, their presence also gives the event some gravitas, which it otherwise wouldn't have, so that probably helps the remainders to feel special when they aren't making money out of the event.

    • by Zorro ( 15797 )

      Like the Sundance Film Festival? In Park City, Utah?

      Think someone already made one.

      • Yes, there are other film festivals - but not other Cannes. I'm thinking, stick it to them with a festival set in France, at the same time, preferably at an even nicer location.

        • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
          +1 Make it in an nice part of France.
          Move the wealth away from the part of France that though it was better than "streaming" media.
          Another part of France will embrace and support streaming media and will give a great location to celebrate art.
  • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Monday March 26, 2018 @06:25PM (#56330611) Journal

    I'd say that most movie houses aren't actually theaters either.

    From Wikipedia

    Theatre or theater[1] is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers, typically actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage.

    And My Home Viewing Setup is better than any movie house from 50 years ago (Except maybe the Real Buttered Popcorn)

    • And My Home Viewing Setup is better than any movie house from 50 years ago (Except maybe the Real Buttered Popcorn)

      You're not making real buttered popcorn? What's really great is if you do it on the stove in ghee, then top it with a bit of butter. You don't use as much actual butter, but it obviously still comes out super-buttery.

      • Ghee is one of the many pleasures I have in cooking. Most people don't have a clue why it is so good to cook with.

        TBH, I never thought of cooking Popcorn in it. Thanks for that tip!

    • I'm not sure why you're modded insightful. Funny? Sure. This is not an insightful comment.

      Theater is an overloaded term. The page you are referencing is referring to theater as an art form to which the movie art form is cinematography.

      Theater as a building, which you would have been able to find by following the "other uses" link, is a type of building or environment that contains a stage and seating. Theaters can host a multitude of events from musical concerts, plays, comedians, or even cinema but it is b

  • by viperidaenz ( 2515578 ) on Monday March 26, 2018 @06:32PM (#56330637)

    It's like professional sports in the Olympics.
    The best players in the world don't complete in the Olympic games because their professional careers don't give them the opportunity.

    So the gold medal winners aren't really top of their sport, they're top of the group who doesn't have a high paying professional contract.

    • Awesome! I'm waiting for the professional sprinter faster than Bolt, the old record is not good enough for me. :-p
      • The Olympics is the top of the track & field sports.

        It's not for professional sports like Basket Ball, Baseball, Soccer and Golf.

        Justin Rose won gold for golf in the 2016 Olympics.
        He's had 8 wins on the PGA tour.

        Meanwhile, 150 other people have more PGA wins than him.

        • We've just had Winter Olympics. So golf, of all things, is absolutely not the thing that comes to my mind when you say "Olympics" in March 2018. What is the percentage of sport disciplines that Olympics are not the top of? Is it 5%? 10%? 30%? 50%? 70%?
          • (The percentage of Olympic sport disciplines, to be more accurate...)
            • I'm not your research monkey.
              Also, the Summer Olympics is a lot bigger than the Winter Olympics.

              Regarding your first reply to my first comment, Usain Bolt has never won a medal at the Winter Olympics.

          • There's 34 sports in the summer Olympics. A sport in Olympic jargon is "all the events that are sanctioned by one international sport federation."

            Aquatics, Basketball, Canoeing/Kayaking, Cycling, Gymnastics, Volleyball, Equestian, and Wrestling are multi-discipline sports.

            Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Baseball, Boxing, Fencing, Field Hockey, Football (Soccer), Golf, Handball, Judo, Karate, Pentathlon, Rowing, Rugby, Sailing, Shooting, Skateboarding, Softball, Sport Climbing, Surfing, Table Tennis, Taekwond

    • Depends entirely on the sport.

      Track and field? Best athletes in the world

      Swimming? Ditto.

      Skiing? Yep.

      The list goes on and on. It's really on a small subset of professional sports where the Olympics don't represent the best athletes in the world.
      • Here's a few sports in the 2020 Olympics that won't be representing the best in the world:

        beach vollyball

        They're considering adding squash, wakeboarding, dancing, bowling and netball too.

        It's more than just a handful.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Let's have a look at the fuckometer and see how many fucks we give....


    Well, that's not many fucks at all.

    Cannes is pretty much just a big virtue signal fest and seeing off Netflix is about par for the course. I'm pretty sure this problem isn't going to dominate the next Netflix board meeting while they're trying to figure out what to do with their $560 million in profits.

  • by diamondmagic ( 877411 ) on Monday March 26, 2018 @06:43PM (#56330693) Homepage

    TFA is terrible at explaining this, but the reason Netflix can't enter Cannes is because their movies haven't been in French cinemas, and the reason their movies haven't been in French cinemas is because it's illegal to to show movies inside and outside cinemas at the same time: []

    • by bettodavis ( 1782302 ) on Monday March 26, 2018 @07:00PM (#56330765)
      Yes, this is french statism in all its glory.

      And they are very protective of their movie industry, a lot of it depending on public subventions.
    • by nzkbuk ( 773506 )
      From the link provided "The regulations in force until now contained a legal loophole which allowed the import and sale in France of DVDs from zone 1 which had no sub-titles, sometimes even before the film had been shown in a cinema" Looks like all they needed to do was release the video without subs before Cannes and they would have been fine
  • by gravewax ( 4772409 ) on Monday March 26, 2018 @06:46PM (#56330707)
    Cannes seems to fail to recognise the irony here. Organisations like Cannes will die off because of the intransigence of the film industry and their own dated model.
  • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Monday March 26, 2018 @06:48PM (#56330717)

    Sometimes, Cannes picks genuinely good movies. Often, they just pick pretentious crap like Melancholia []. On balance, an award at Cannes is more likely to be a negative than a positive.

    • they just pick pretentious crap like Melancholia []

      Anyway Netflix wouldn't stand a chance. "Crap" movies like "Melancholia" at least show innovation, and you might not like the story but acting and directing are good. Netflix is focused on "recipes that work", delivering satisfying shows like McDonald's serves food to appease hunger pangs.

      • "Crap" movies like "Melancholia" at least show innovation, and you might not like the story but acting and directing are good.

        Great art tends to be innovative. But innovative art is rarely great art.

        • i once went to an experimental art performance. (I was a friend of the soprano, along with about a quarter of the rest of the audience.) My conclusion: if you know it's going to succeed and/or be good, it isn't experimental.

          • The point remains: although most great art is innovative, great art is a tiny percentage among all innovative art and most innovative art is crap []. So, even if Melancholia had been innovative (instead of the trite, boring piece it was), that wouldn't have been something in its favor.

            Furthermore, if the art succeeds among the modern bourgeoisie and academics, the kind of people that go to "experimental performances", you can be pretty certain that it isn't great art: both groups of people are overwhelmingly i

  • Cannes film festival shot in its foot, in my opinion. Netflix now just have to run the NetCannes festival, excluding films that are not available online.
  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday March 26, 2018 @07:27PM (#56330907) Journal

    Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories were OK, but they're not going to compete with any of the Cannes finalists. Netflix will just keep trying and Cannes will eventually realize that requiring a theatrical release is an artifact of a bygone era.

    Personally, I think some of the mini-series on Netflix are more worthy of Cannes than those two movies, but again, Cannes doesn't understand that the world has moved on.

  • since they no longer use film, and it's a film festival.

  • This is the world we live in today, and by ignoring modern movie distribution to pretend we're still living in the past, Cannes is only making themselves irrelevant and in the blink of an eye, the world will turn their backs and ignore the film festival.
  • Netflix and all the up and coming digital providers of content will face this same backlash from the existing community of studio executives and producers. They are all in bed with the theater owners so it's not a movie if it's shown outside the theater to try to disregard the new content medium.

    In the end they will fail and the new big players will be the distributors and that scares the daylights out of all these old school guards that have made millions skimming the existing system by screwing over the

  • Apparently Amazon is playing the game, at least in the USA, because I've seen a couple of Amazon produced-or-at-least-distributed movies in theaters. (With MoviePass, of course.) For example, The Big Sick.

  • It competed at Indy in 1968 and lapped the entire field before crapping out right at the end with a minor mechanical problem. But because all the pricey Offenhausers driving the other Indy cars immediately became obsolete, the official response was to ban turbines at Indy in future years. That was the moment when the US yielded world domination of automotive technology to Asia.

    Cannes used to be one of the great festivals for indy films. This decision makes it the Indy of the film world.

    • Funny, a similar story came to my mind - the Mini Cooper at the Monte Carlo Rally. A little British city car, with comparatively little modification, wiped the floor with custom built continental exotica costing many times the price and several times the horsepower, finishing in all three top places in 1966 - after which the hosts banned it on a tenuous headlight infraction.
  • Do you ? Do you even know anyone who does ? Do they ?

    The number of awards $show has been nominated for, how many A list actors are in it or the fact it was featured in some obscure film festival that few outside of the entertainment business even know about has zero impact on my decision to watch material X vs material Y.

    IMO, this is the industry doing everything it possibly can to discredit the newcomer in a last ditch effort before the inevitable happens.

    Dear Industry: You either evolve with the times,

  • This is how it's been for real movie companies too, even when their primary intent is to do a TV movie or home video release. If they want to be considered for various awards, they have to put the goddamn thing in actual theaters enough to qualify.

    This has been going on for decades.

  • Most piracy is all about access to releases. If you live the wrong place you are discriminated against when it comes to legal access to movies, tv-shows and music. Pirates have long ago stepped up to fill this gap. The only valid path is to release globally on all forms of media every single time. The cinemas then would need to wake up and devise a concept people would want to pay extra for - sound, picture, environment... Upgrade the hard gun-filled seats and the overpriced popcorn and be vigilant so that

  • Better let it die and create a better film festival in its place.
  • If a major film festival decides to ban the largest producer and distributor of film, it's pretty clear that film festival is entering its death spiral.

  • Shows you how with it and enlightened all those Cannes film people are with their constant onanistic tendencies.
  • That film festivals are run by ... snobs ???

    What ??!

    Also in headlines: Could Today Be 2018's Slowest News Day?
  • it's in the rules, the netflix movies do not comply to the rules and thus can't compete. every festival can make up it's own rules, i don't see the problem.
    ofcourse it is stupid and silly and there are really good netflix movies available, but that is besides the point.

    if i would organise a games festival, but in the rules it states it can only be cardboard games, then computer game companies can complain about it all they want, their products simply don't apply.

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