Netflix gets the can
The Cannes Film Festival has decided that Netflix original films, along with films from other streaming services, will not be permitted to compete for the Palme D'Or competition, the year's top prize, at the 2018 festival.
Last year, Netflix caused a stir at the Cannes Film Festival when two of its original films premiered as selections at the festival. Okja, directed by Bong Joon-ho, and The Meyerowitz Stories, directed by Noah Baumbach, were met with boos at the festival as the Netflix logo preceded the films.
Netflix has received backlash from many for not releasing their films in the traditional fashion, by releasing in theaters before streaming worldwide.
Most recently, Steven Spielberg expressed his thoughts that Netflix films should not be considered for Academy Award nominations. Currently, Netflix films that buys slots in theaters for one week before becoming available to stream with the service can qualify for Oscar nominations.
Unlike the Academy, this is no longer true for the Cannes.
"The Netflix people loved the red carpet and would like to be present with other films. But they understand that the intransigence of their own model is now the opposite of ours," says Cannes Festival President Thierry Fremaux.
Netflix can still screen their movies at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, but they cannot compete with films with traditional releases.
This would be strange for last year's Netflix films, as Bong Joon-ho and Noah Baumbach are two top-tier directors regardless of who is funding their films. Noah Baumbach was nominated for Best Original Screenplay in 2006 for his film The Squid and the Whale.
Right now, Netflix is in a sort of limbo. Many people believe they shouldn't qualify for top film festivals or Academy Awards. If this is the case, this would take away the nominations from people who truly deserve it.
In 2015, Idris Elba was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture at the Golden Globes. His role in Beasts of No Nation was one of the year's best and helped diversify a list of nominees that was very white.
This year, Dee Rees' Mudbound was nominated for four awards. Dee Rees was a rare black woman nominee in the category of Best Adapted Screenplay. Not to mention that Rachel Morrison grabbed the first nomination for Best Cinematography by a woman ever. In 90 years.
Ban Netflix films from the Academy Awards and you rob the opportunity for these talented individuals to be recognized for their tremendous work. And you rob the opportunity for young, aspiring kids who want to see people like them make big-budget films.
The film industry is changing. Netflix is making high caliber films with top-tier directors and who is to rob them of their achievements?
What do you think about the Cannes decision to not consider Netflix films? Do you agree?