Netflix has pulled out of the Cannes Film Festival, with Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos indicating the move is in response to a new rule banning films from competition if they don’t have theatrical distribution in France.
Variety quotes Sarandos saying: “We want our films to be on fair ground with every other filmmaker. There’s a risk in us going in this way and having our films and filmmakers treated disrespectfully at the festival. They’ve set the tone. I don’t think it would be good for us to be there.”
Variety adds: “Netflix made a big splash at the prestigious film festival last year with two movies that showed in competition: Bong Joon-ho’s ‘Okja’ and Noah Baumbach’s ‘The Meyerowitz Stories.’ But after the 2017 announcement, French theater owners and unions protested the inclusion of these films to Thierry Fremaux, the artistic director of Cannes. Netflix was amenable to having their movies play in France, but a law in the country requires movies to not appear in home platforms for 36 months after their theatrical release.”