Perhaps the biggest talking point of the 70th Festival de Cannes is the inclusion of two Netflix Original feature films as part of the Palme d’Or nominees. Both Bong Joon-ho‘s Okja, and Noah Baumbach‘s The Meyerowitz Stories are in contention for Official Competition glory, despite the fact that neither title will receive a theatrical release.
The issue has become so hot in fact, the Festival themselves have stepped in and stated that from 2018, all titles competing for the top prize must honour a French cinema release, therefore potentially ruling Netflix out of any further opportunities upon the Croisette. Yesterday the jury commented on the topic, which is lead by Jury President Pedro Almodóvar.
“I’ll be fighting for one thing that I’m afraid the new generation is not aware of,” he said. “It’s the capacity of the hypnosis of the large screen for the viewer. The size (of the screen) should not be smaller than the chair on which you’re sitting on”. Clearly the Spanish auteur agrees with festival traditionalists, and favours the new ruling from the Cannes team.
However fellow juror Will Smith – perhaps the most popular figure on this year’s bench – waves his flag in favour of Netflix. Commenting on the service in regards to his three children, he said: “There’s very little cross between going to the cinema, and watching what they need on Netflix in my home.”
Fellow members of this year’s jury include Jessica Chastain, Maren Ade, Park Chan-wook, Fan Bingbing, Gabriel Hared, Paolo Sorrentino, and Angus Jaoui.