Netflix vs. Cannes Engulfs Saulnier & Cuaron

The Cannes vs. Netflix debate has hit an impasse and now some of the filmmakers caught up in the streaming giant’s decision to opt out of this year’s festival are speaking up.

On Thursday came the publication of an e-mail that Orson Welles’ daughter penned to Netflix asking the streaming service to reconsider their Cannes ban so as her father’s rebuilt final film “The Other Side of the Wind” could premiere out of competition.

It has now been confirmed that the film that Netflix has which Cannes would have liked to include in competition was Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma”. Netflix would have to release the film theatrically in France and then not premiere it on their service there until well into 2021 if it wanted to participate in this year’s festival.

Another Netflix film that was under serious consideration was “Green Room” and “Blue Ruin” director Jeremy Saulnier’s “Hold the Dark”. Saulnier was asked his take by Indiewire and says:

“I respect Netflix for carving new paths that bypass traditional methods of distribution to directly connect with a humungous audience. But both entities are evolving, and I think eventually they’ll work out their differences.”

However, Saulnier is much more vocal in his opinion on the secondary debate that has cropped up in the wake of this – what constitutes a film and whether films released directly to a streaming service are really TV movies:

“With new distribution platforms and release strategies on the rise, I hear a lot of volleying back and forth in the trades as to what constitutes a movie. I’ll happily stay out of that debate as long as I can keep telling narrative stories with other people’s money. Oscar versus Emmy? Not concerned. But if anyone tries to tell me any of my modest movies aren’t actually movies they can kindly go stab themselves in the face several times and set themselves on fire,” concluded the filmmaker.”

Rest assured, the debate will carry on for some time yet.