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Cannes 2017: French Theater Operators Rail Against Netflix Films’ Inclusion

Bong Joon-Ho's "Okja" and Noah Baumbach's "The Meyerowitz Stories" will play the festival, despite objections from French cinemas.

Tilda Swinton, "Okja"

“Okja”

Netflix

The Federation of French Cinemas (FNCF) has objected to the inclusion of two Netflix films in the Cannes Official Selection, which was announced Thursday. This marks the first year Netflix has had titles at the festival.

The monster movie “Okja,” from acclaimed South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho, and Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories,” starring Adam Sandler, will both play in competition before launching on Netflix later this year. That violates a French law, which states that SVOD services like Netflix must wait 36 months after a film’s theatrical release to stream a title.

READ MORE: 17 Shocks and Surprises from the 2017 Cannes Lineup, From ‘Twin Peaks’ to Netflix and VR

The FNCF called for a “quick clarification to be made so that it is confirmed that these works will be able to be released in cinemas in accordance with the current regulatory framework.” They also said that an online-only release would “call into question their nature as a cinematographic work.” French distributor Jean Labadie said the streaming giant was neglecting its financial obligations in French cinema: “They closed their office in France. Their desire to negotiate is like the desire of Uber to pay it’s drivers and of Google to pay its taxes.”

The derision comes two years after Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos came under fire when delivering a keynote at the 2015 festival.

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