While controversy has been brewing in France over the inclusion of Netflix titles Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories on the Cannes Film Festival competition roster, the streaming service and Okja helmer Bong Joon-ho revealed that film's Korean theatrical release date at an event in Seoul on Monday.
During a press conference Wednesday with the competition jury members, jury president Pedro Almodovar read a prepared statement in which he dismissed Netflix films as viable contenders for festival's coveted Palme d'Or award.
The row centres on strict rules that restrict online streaming in France until three years after a movie goes on general release.
Well, tell us how you really feel. The festival relented and next year won't accept streaming-only films. To have screened the film in French cinemas after the festival as Cannes officials requested would have started that clock ticking.
Acclaimed Spanish filmaker Pedro Almodovar heads the competition jury, which also has American actors Jessica Chastain and Will Smith, and Italian director Paolo Sorrentino.
(Thibault Camus). A view of the palais du festival at the 70th worldwide film festival, Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 15, 2017.
"I recently saw a French movie from the 1960s in which a character lamented, "Cinema is all doomed because of TV", but look what is happening now", he said.
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The number of movers and shakers taking part in Cannes's parallel film market, happening in the bowels of the Palais des Festivals and along part of the beach. They shouldn't change the habits of viewers.
Upcoming movie "Okja" has sparked heated debate about how films released nearly exclusively online will affect the film industry, but the film's visionary director, Bong Joon-ho, doubts platforms like Netflix will replace theaters.
Last week festival organisers changed the rules to effectively ban Netflix films in future, insisting that movies in competition must be shown on the big screen afterwards.
"Man of Iron" won the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) at Cannes in 1981.
The $50 million project starring Tilda Swinton and directed by Bong Joon-Ho will hit theaters in South Korea, the U.S. and Britain, but will only be available on Netflix elsewhere in the world.
"Netflix chose to go first via the internet, so French theatres protested, and they are right, because cinema is first of all in theatres", he added.
"In my house, Netflix has been nothing but an absolute benefit", Smith said. "They get to find those artists". It's done nothing but broaden my children's cinematic, global comprehension. When announcing this year's lineup, festival director Thierry Fremaux acknowledged Netflix presents "a unique and unheard of situation for us".