While the Cannes Film Festival is one of the most prestigious film events, Netflix will not be in attendance. The 75th Cannes festival is underway and will continue till May 28. Unfortunately, this means that the much anticipated Ana De Armas film, Blonde would not play at the Croisette. Although the director, Andrew Dominik was keen for the streamer to premiere the film at the festival.
Why is Netflix absent from the Cannes Film Festival?
Netflix’s last appearance at the Cannes Film Festival was in 2017. The streamer had played Bong Joon-ho’s Okja and Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories. Netflix would have continued to appear if French exhibitors had not protested. They weren’t happy that Netflix films were already streaming before their release in the local theatres. Cannes had no choice but to change the rules for all its competitors. Filmmakers now have to agree to a condition that states all competing films will have to first release in the local theatres in France. Only after 36 months, the film can start streaming. Cannes improved this rule later and the window was reduced to 15. But it was still a deal-breaker for Netflix.
However, Netflix remains the first-ever streamer to sign a deal with Cannes.
Back in 2020, Thierry Fremaux, Cannes chief had convinced Netflix co-CEO and CCO Ted Sarandos to come back to Cannes. Netflix had agreed to premiere Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods. But due to the pandemic, organizers were forced to cancel the event.
Netflix has played its films in other film festivals
Netflix recently prefers the Venice Film festival over Cannes. It had played The Hand of God and The Power of the Dog at the festival. Both of them became Oscar-nominated films. Meanwhile, Cannes showcased some spectacular films like Drive My Car, The Worst Person in the World, and Flee. All three earned multiple Oscar nominations. Elsewhere, Titane’s director Julia Docournau earned a BAFTA nomination and Cannes’ pick Parasite had the historic best picture win at the Oscars.
Like the rest of us, Dominik will have to wait until Netflix and Cannes can come to an agreement.