Netflix has just revealed that it will not attend the Cannes film festival this year.
The information was given by Ted Sarandos, the company’s content chief, in an interview for Variety. According to the executive, the main reason behind the decision was a change in the regulation of the event.
A new festival rule will ban films from their competitions that have not been shown in cinemas in France. Netflix could opt to organise special sessions for some of its films, but Sarandos says it « does not make sense » for the company.
« We want our films to have the same conditions as any other film producer, » he said. « There is a risk that our films and directors will be treated disrespectfully at the festival. They have already given the warning. I do not think it would be good for us to be there. «
After the impact caused by some of its films in the 2017 festival, Netflix was criticised by trade unions and theatre owners in France. These complaints were passed on to Thierry Fremaux, the artistic director of Cannes.
As a result, the company eventually ceded and broadcast some of its films in cinemas across the country, but a law in France prevents films from being distributed on domestic platforms for 36 months after its release.
To avoid any further confusion, Sarandos said he will not attend the festival this year but that some of the company’s executives will.
In the interview with Variety, Sarandos had some barbed comments to make about the organiser of the festival.
“It is not a coincidence that Thierry also banned selfies this year,” Sarandos says, of another new rule that doesn’t allow guests to snap pictures on the red carpet. “I don’t know what other advances in media Thierry would like to address.”