The Netflix/Cannes divide appears to be growing. Vanity Fair reports that the streaming giant is threatening to pull five films from the festival following the news that only movies that receive a theatrical release in France will receive a spot in the vaunted Official Competition. The Hollywood Reporter first broke the story.
The five films in question are Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma,” Jeremy Saulnier’s “Hold the Dark,” Paul Greengrass’ “Norway,” and two Orson Welles–related offerings: “The Other Side of the Wind,” his long-lost film that was recently completed, and Morgan Neville’s documentary “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead.”
Netflix brought two movies to the Croisette last year, both of which were in Competition: Bong Joon-ho’s “Okja” and Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected).”
“They are weaponizing Cannes,” Vanity Fair was told by a source. “What are these people to do? The studios aren’t funding these movies. It’s not like [filmmakers] are choosing Netflix over a 2,500-screen release.”
“Last year, I thought I could convince Netflix but they refused [to release films in theaters],” Cannes head Thierry Frémaux said last month. “That’s their economic model, and I respect it. But we are all about cinema and we wish to have films that play in competition get released in theaters. That’s the model of film lovers and Netflix must respect it as well.”
This year’s edition of the festival begins on May 8, and the lineup will be unveiled on April 12.
Netflix declined to comment for this article.