Ted Sarandos has announced that Netflix will not be going to Cannes Film Festival this year.
The announcement followed a row between Cannes and Netflix, which was banned from competing for Cannes’ Palme d’Or after Thierry Fremaux made a new rule that films competing required a cinema release in France.
The new ruling corresponds with the controversy faced last year when two Netflix films, Okjka and The Meyerowitz Stories, were entered, despite not being released in cinemas. The screenings were met with boos from the audience when the Netflix logo appeared on screen.
Responding to the new rules, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings wrote on Facebook: “The establishment is closing ranks against us.”
In an interview with Variety, Netflix’s chief content officer responded to a question about screening movies so they can be taken to the festival. Sarandos responded:
“No. I don’t think there would be any reason to go out of competition. The rule was implicitly about Netflix, and Thierry made it explicitly about Netflix when he announced the rule.”
He also said:
“We want our films to be on fair ground with every other filmmaker. There’s a risk in us going in this way and having our films and filmmakers treated disrespectfully at the festival. They’ve set the tone. I don’t think it would be good for us to be there.”