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Netflix Eyes Cannes Loophole, Could Buy ‘Everybody Knows’ and More Palme d’Or Contenders — Report

Netflix wasn't allowed to premiere films in competition at Cannes this year, but that doesn't mean they can't purchase films in competition.

"Everybody Knows"

“Everybody Knows”

Universal Spain / Screenshot

The drama between Netflix and the Cannes Film Festival might not be over. According to a Variety report, the streaming giant is eyeing major acquisition deals at the 2018 festival and is reportedly interesting in picking up Asghar Farhadi’s opener “Everybody Knows,” starring Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem.

Cannes reinstated a rule for the 2018 festival banning films without French theatrical distribution from being eligible to compete in competition for the Palme d’Or. The rule banned Netflix movies from competing, as the streaming company releases its films online and not in theaters in France. Films that premiere theatrically in France need to wait three years until they become available for streaming.

While the ban only made Netflix films ineligible from Competition, the streaming giant decided to pull all of its films from the festival. Netflix was planning on debuting Orson Welles’ final movie “The Other Side of the Wind” out of competition, but the plan was abandoned when the company decided to pull out of the festival. Cannes and Netflix have been trading barbs for weeks, with Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings admitting recently that things got a little out of hand between the two sides.

Despite not premiering any films at Cannes 2018, Netflix is still sending its acquisition team to purchase titles for distribution. The result is something of a loophole: Netflix wasn’t allowed to premiere films in competition at Cannes this year, but that doesn’t mean it can’t purchase films in competition. “Everybody Knows” is one of the multiple titles Netflix is interested in purchasing, Variety reports.

Sources close to Netflix confirm to IndieWire that buyers will be present at the festival hunting for acquisition titles, though it’s too early tell which titles will land on the streaming giant’s roster.

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