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Netflix films banned from Cannes Film Festival competition

Netflix has been banned from competing for the Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious Palme d’Or award, according to a new report.

The streaming giant, rather controversially, competed for the prize for the first time last year, entering two Originals − The Meyerowitz Stories and Okja − but it appears that nothing of the sort will be happening this May.

Neither of those titles got a French theatrical release, instead going straight up on the company’s online service.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the head of the Cannes Film Festival, Thierry Frémaux, has said the company is still welcome to screen its films at the festival, but won’t be able to compete for its top prize.

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“Last year, when we selected [The Meyerowitz Stories and Okja], I thought I could convince Netflix to release them in cinemas. I was presumptuous, they refused,” he said.

“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.”

From now on, only films that are released in French cinemas will considered for the Palme d’Or.

Steven Spielberg has also stuck the boot in, telling ITV that TV posed “a clear and present danger” to filmgoers.

“I don’t believe that films that are given token qualifications, in a couple of theaters for less than a week, should qualify for Academy Award nominations. Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie. If it’s a good show, you deserve an Emmy. But not an Oscar,” he said.

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