The clash of cultures is palpable this week in Cannes, with the arrival of a standard-bearer of a new mode of cinematographic distribution which is far from unanimous.
The crowd booed the appearance of the Netflix logo at the beginning of the screening of Okja, one of its first two feature films competing for the Palme d’Or, at the 70th Cannes Film Festival, The opening took place on Wednesday.
To add insult to injury, technical problems caused the first 10 minutes of the film to display in the wrong image format. The Cannes Film Festival apologized to the director, Bong Joon-ho, and his colleagues for the incident.
If you think there is a connection between these two stories, think again. In fact, once the error was fixed, the film was restarted with the right ratio proportions, and the crowd booed once again the Netflix logo – even more vividly according to Tatiana Siegel, a reporter for The Hollywood Reporter. The participation of Amazon was entitled to a reception equally disrespectful, while the appearance of its logo at the beginning of the projection of Wonderstruck was booed by the room also.
It must be said that the public in Cannes is reputed to be excessive when it comes to show its joy and contempt.
The news follows weeks of negotiations between Netflix, the Cannes Film Festival and the French National Cinema Federation, while the cinematographic nature of a work distributed mainly on video-on-demand platforms was questioned.
If Okja is going to appear in the United States and the United Kingdom, it will not be found in cinemas in France for the simple reason that the French legislation prohibits that a film projected at the cinema can appear on a service like Netflix within 36 months following its first screening.
“If films from the Cannes Film Festival contravened the regulations in force on the media chronology [forbidding the distribution of a film before the 36 months following its release in cinemas], for example by being broadcast on the Internet simultaneously, They would be subject to sanctions by the CNC, “the FNCF contested last Sunday. You will have guessed that the CNC, or National Center for Cinema and Moving Image, is the governmental authority that regulates cinema in France. “And what will happen tomorrow if films from the Cannes Film Festival do not appear in cinemas, thus calling into question their nature as a cinematographic work?”
The FNCF also pointed out that Netflix had bypassed French tax regulations for several years, setting a very bad example for other companies, including those involved in financing “an exemplary ecosystem for cinema ” in France.
Fortunately for the FNCF, the Cannes Film Festival changed its rules. As of next year, only films that are scheduled for a proper cinematographic screening may be selected for the official festival selection.
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