Cannes Film Festival Bans Netflix Films from Competition Lineups

Okja Cannes

Everyone is laying the smackdown on Netflix. First, Steven Spielberg stated that Netflix films are TV movies that don’t deserve Academy Award nominations, and then Cannes Film Festival straight up bans them. How rude!

The Cannes Film Festival’s brief love affair with Netflix is officially no more, as the festival announced that the streaming service Cannes-not submit any future films to their competition lineups. Theirry Frémaux, festival head, stated that Netflix can still screen their products, but they won’t be eligible for awards recognition.

“The Netflix people loved the red carpet and would like to be present with other films,” Frémaux said in an interview translated by THR. “But they understand that the intransigence of their own model is now the opposite of ours.”

The festival’s decision stems from criticism for including Bong Joon-ho’s Okja and Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories in last year’s competition, which were both released on Netflix rather than traditional theaters. (Real talk though: They were both awesome.)

“Last year, when we selected these two films, I thought I could convince Netflix to release them in cinemas,” Frémaux said. “I was presumptuous, they refused.”

Thus, Cannes changed its rules to require that all competing films have a theatrical release in France. As Frémaux puts it: “The history of cinema and the history of the internet are two different things.”