Netflix still has a great director to discover, says Cannes chief

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According to the head of the Cannes Film Festival, Netflix and other streaming companies have yet to identify a great director.

On the eve of Cannes, Thierry Fremaux added fuel to the fire between the world’s largest film festival and the US platform when he challenged reporters to “find me a director who has been discovered by a platform.”

“It hasn’t happened yet, even after ten years…” As journalists struggled to come up with a name, Fremaux added arrogantly.

Netflix has been virtually boycotting Cannes since 2018, when it was told that if it wanted its films to compete for the Palme d’Or, it had to show them on the big screen in France.

While Fremaux complimented Netflix for its “amazing achievement” since it began streaming in 2007, he was eager to defend the enchantment of the big screen.

“The 125th anniversary of the invention of film was just celebrated. Let’s see whether we can celebrate the platforms’ 100th birthday in 100 years.” He said, “I don’t think Netflix or the others will be able to boycott the Cannes Film Festival.” “In our line-up, you will see the names of the future…,” he concluded. “That is why the lines of communication must be opened.”

Cannes’ relationship with the Californian internet behemoth deteriorated in 2017 after French cinema owners challenged the inclusion of two of the streaming service’s films in the main competition.

A more serious situation

Cannes altered its rules the following year, mandating a French release for films competing for the Palme d’Or while exempting streaming-only films from the competition. Netflix replied by pulling three films from the Cannes Film Festival at the last minute, in a move that appeared to be designed to generate maximum havoc.

Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings eventually conceded that they had gone too far, with the film community shocked and Cannes cast as the champion of the big screen and conventional cinema. “We all make mistakes from time to time. We got ourselves into a deeper mess with Cannes than we intended, “he stated

Both parties have appeared eager to kiss and make up in public. They were “friends… We talk all the time,” Fremaux stated on Monday. Despite this, Netflix continues to give Cannes the cold shoulder, while Amazon is content to follow the regulations.

This year’s Cannes Film Festival features two Amazon films, including the opening film “Annette,” starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard.

While Netflix maintains that a French rule prohibiting streaming companies from screening films for three years after their initial release is excessively restrictive, Fremaux’s patience appears to be wearing thin.

“But Netflix does not want to abide by even that, nor does it want to import films that are not in competition,” he added, adding that the French law was already being evaluated.

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