Netflix had hoped to place two of its upcoming films in competition at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, but a new rule from the famed film fest involving theatrical release could see the films — “Okja”, featuring Tilda Swinton, and director Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories” — deemed ineligible for competition.
As Variety reports, a new rule from France’s National Film Board states that a film is not eligible for competition if it’s not able to secure theatrical distribution in France; both films will be streaming exclusively on Netflix.
As a result, Netflix entered into negotiations in order to create a theatrical release window in France for the sole purpose of allowing the films to compete at Cannes, allowing six screenings per day for a one-week period; this, however, won’t do the trick.
“Netflix apparently hoped that the limited release would allow it to make the films available for streaming right away,” reports Variety, “without waiting the three years normally required by France’s strict windowing regulations.”
However, Frédérique Bredin, the president of France’s film board, told Variety that Netflix isn’t expected to be granted that permit “because she expected the company to give a wider theatrical release to the two films since they are in competition at Cannes. She added that even with such a temporary visa, Netflix would not have been allowed to bypass French windowing rules.”
As Variety notes, the Netflix controversy is shining the spotlight on the windowing rules, which have been at the centre of a battle amidst members of the Cannes board; Bredin said that “talks about changes are ongoing.”