The advent of California based movie streaming service Netflix has revolutionised the film industry in ways that one could not have imagined some 10 years ago. Netflix has cemented its position as the world’s 10th largest internet company by revenue and has seen its revenue rise to a staggering $11.69 billion.
But this global success story appears to be ruffling feathers among film exhibitors and distributors in France who have advocated a Competition Ban for all movies that refuse to commit to a theatrical distribution in France. In 2017 the Cannes film festival hosted two Netflix movies but the backlash that followed the screening of these movies resulted in a ban in 2018.
In an interview with Italian film director Antonio Monda in Rome, Cannes delegate general Thierry Fremaux disclose that negotiation about the dispute was ongoing. He said ‘I’m neither pro-Netflix or against Netflix…my job is to show the state of cinema in a time when Martin Scorsese is about to release a movie produced by Netflix. In 2017 the board of the festival asked me not to accept any more movies that won’t screen in theatres. This isn’t strange if you think that exhibitors are in that board. And they are right to be pre-occupied by this trend.”
While the Competition Ban at Cannes may present a blow to Netflix and the filmmakers who make films for the streaming service, Cannes delegate general Thierry Fremaux remained cautiously optimistic about the situation saying ‘I would like to screen every movie I like. I couldn’t invite some of these in 2018 because of the Netflix ban…we’ll see about 2019.”