After a well-documented and controversial back and forth, Netflix decided that it would not be attending Cannes this year. But that doesn't mean the streaming giant hasn't got its buyers at the festival, and they're reportedly looking to snap up Everybody Knows, a Spanish-language drama starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.
The movie opened the festival this year, and if Netflix does manage to gain the rights it would yet again bring up the question of whether Netflix, despite being a streaming platform, should be allowed to be eligible for competition slots. For that to happen, however, Cannes rules would have to be changed.
It wasn't always this way. In 2017 two Netflix original productions, Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories, premiered at Cannes to critical acclaim. Cannes changed its ruling for the 2018 festival, however, so that any movie showing at the festival would have to adhere to strict streaming rules set up to shield cinema proprietors. The rules state that movies must have a theatrical release in France, and can't be made available for home streaming for three years after that run.
For obvious reasons this doesn't suit Netflix's model, so it pulled all its movies from the festival, including those playing out of competition.
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Although Netflix stands by its decision, in a recent interview CEO Reed Hastings admitted that the Cannes situation did go further than anyone expected.
“Sometimes we make mistakes,“ he said at a recent talk (opens in new tab). “We got into a bigger situation with Cannes than we meant to.”
While this doesn't change the current situation, it may well mean the icy relationship between the two movie giants will thaw a little in the future. It also looks like Netflix will focus more on TV in France, with Hastings explaining that its focus would now be on series.
“Standup, docuseries – there is so much we can do without being a disruptor on the movie side,“ he revealed.
Until then, according to Variety, there's a good chance that Netflix will take some of the biggest Cannes headlines by buying up one of the festival's highlights.
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