Magazine article Screen International

Cannes Jury Head Almodovar Weighs in on Netflix Controversy

Magazine article Screen International

Cannes Jury Head Almodovar Weighs in on Netflix Controversy

Article excerpt

"I don't perceive the Palme d'Or given to a film that is then not seen on the big screen," says director.

Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, president of the Cannes Film Festival jury, has read out a feisty, prepared statement about SVOD platforms at the jury press conference.

The iconic director said he does not "perceive the Palme d'Or given to a film that is then not seen on the big screen."

Netflix's inclusion in the lineup has dominated headlines since festival head Thierry Fremaux made the surprise announcement of their entry last month.

Following pressure from local exhibitors, festival organisers last week unveiled a new requirement for competition films to have a commitment to traditional theatrical distribution if they are to be considered for Cannes selection.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings hit back with a post on Facebook, saying: "The establishment [is] closing ranks against us."

However, Netflix has subequently confirmed that competition entry Okja will have a theatrical release in some markets and the same could happen for its second Cannes entry The Meyerowitz Stories. Neither are currently due be released theatrically--- in France, however.

Statement

Almodovar praised platforms for their enriching contributions but said that "these platforms should not take the place of existing forms like the movie theatres."

"They should under no circumstances change the offer for spectators," he said in the Spanish statment. "The only solution, I think, is that the new platforms accept and obey the existing rules that are already adopted and respected by the existing networks. …

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