The Cannes Film Festival has banned Netflix movies from competing for the prestigious awards, such as the coveted Palme d'Or for Best Film. Netflix can no longer submit their movies to the competition line-up, following criticism of last year's inclusion of Netflix titles 'Okja' and 'The Meyerowitz Stories' - both being released on Netflix's own streaming service, as opposed to traditional cinema release.
Thierry Frémaux, the Festival director, has said that Netflix will still be able to show their productions out of competition, however elaborated on the decision: “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.”
Netflix's presence in the 2017 competition came with criticism: comentators and other competitors complained that Netflix movies are not released in cinemas, and so do not cater to the average film goer. A newly introduced rule, stipulating all entries be released in French cinemas, has now led to Netflix's exclusion, as Netflix wish to keep their movies stictly online via their streaming service.
Frémaux admitted he was hoping Netflix would “bend” its streaming strategy to better adapt to film festival culture, but to no avail. “Last year, when we selected these two films, I thought I could convince Netflix to release them in cinemas... they refused." He declared: “The history of cinema and the history of the internet are two different things". It is clear Cannes Film Festival wish to safeguard the culture, history and tradition of cinema, and do not wish it to be diluted by online TV streaming influence.
Steven Spielberg is one of leading movie industry experts who follow Frémaux's opinion: Spielberg does not think Netflix should compete for Academy Awards, having said Netflix and other streaming services are "really thriving with quality and art", although "they present a danger to film goers".
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