Netflix films have been banned from competing for the prestigious Palme d'Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
Cannes director Thierry Fremaux recently announced new guidelines for the annual film extravaganza, which include no selfies on the red carpet and eliminating morning press screenings of films before their evening premieres.
He also outlined plans to ban Netflix movies from competing for the Palme d'Or, after two films made by the streaming service, Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories, were nominated last year (17), sparking a backlash from filmmakers and union members.
“Last year, when we selected these two films, I thought I could convince Netflix to release them in cinemas. I was presumptuous, they refused,” Fremaux admitted to Le Film Francais.
He added that he was willing to take the risk in 2017 in a bid to stop the festival from becoming stagnant. However, the rules now state films in the running for the Palme d'Or need a theatrical release in France.
“The Netflix people loved the red carpet and would like to be present with other films. But they understand that the intransigence of their own model is now the opposite of ours,” he said.
He also shared that while the famous film festival has to take into account the existence of these “powerful new players: Amazon, Netflix and maybe soon Apple,” which enable directors to make big budget films, the results are hybrid features that aren’t TV and aren't quite film.
“Cinema (still) triumphs everywhere even in this golden age of series,” Fremaux stated. “The history of cinema and the history of the internet are two different things.”
Fremaux’s comments echo Steven Spielberg’s sentiments when it comes to movies made by streaming services.
While talking to ITV news recently, the celebrated director shared his opinion that films made by companies like Netflix should be banned from winning Oscars.
“I don’t believe that films that are given token qualifications, in a couple of theatres for less than a week, should qualify for Academy Award nominations,” the three-time Oscar winner said. “Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie. If it’s a good show, you deserve an Emmy. But not an Oscar.”