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Pedro Almodovar & Will Smith clash over Netflix at Cannes Film Festival

20 May 2017, 12:06 | Anna Nguyen

Pedro Almodovar & Will Smith clash over Netflix at Cannes Film Festival

Pedro Almodovar & Will Smith clash over Netflix at Cannes Film Festival

Whooping with excitement and high-fiving reporters, Will Smith looked like he was ready to have fun as a member of the Cannes Film Festival jury that assembled in this French Riviera resort on Wednesday.

Almodovar, the filmmaker behind Julieta and Volver, added he doesn't "perceive the Palme d'Or [should be] given to a film that is then not seen on the big screen".

The Cannes Film Festival is famous for its spirited arguments.

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"They go to the movie theater to be humbled in front of certain images and there's other films that they prefer to watch at home and there's really little to no cross". "In my home, Netflix has had absolutely no effect on what they go to the movie theatre to watch".

New rule created to exclude Netflix Netflixs two movies Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories will remain in circulation at this years festival but the French movie theater owners have pushed through a new rule that effectively bans Netflix from participating in Cannes next year. He said younger generations in particular were losing touch with "the capacity of hypnosis of a large screen for a viewer".

The ruling could mean trouble for Netflix and similar online distributors, which normally don't show their movies in theatres (Netflix did a limited release for Beasts of No Nation to qualify if for some United States awards, and Amazon's Manchester by the Sea did well at the Oscars, partially thanks to its theatrical release).

"I wish you 12 days full of enthusiasm", Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi said as he declared the festival officially open alongside actress Lily-Rose Depp, daughter of Johnny Depp. They get to see movies that aren't on a screen within 8,000 miles of them.

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"In my house, Netflix has been nothing but an absolute benefit", Smith said, explaining that his kids "get to see films they absolutely wouldn't have seen".

This time, it's official: the Cannes Film Festival is back on the Croisette.

Hollywood's great streaming debate rages on at France's prestigious Cannes Film Festival, where Netflix prepares to make its debut for the first (and possibly the last) time. "They get to find those artists".

Security was greater than ever at the French festival, with stepped up efforts to restrict access and even an anti-drone system.

Stars are arriving under tighter security than in previous years, 10 months after the truck attack in nearby Nice that killed 86 people.

The jury will be presided over by Spanish writer-director Pedro Almodovar, with Jessica Chastain, Will Smith and Paolo Sorrentino also joining the panel.

Arnaud Desplechin's "Ismael's Ghosts", with Mathieu Amalric, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Cotillard, was the opening-night film.



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