U.S.-based streaming giant Netflix won’t be participating in this year’s Cannes Film Festival at all.
Netflix’s CCO Ted Sarandos spoke with Variety, explaining that the streaming service won’t be participating due to new French rules that prevent films that don’t play in French theatres from participating in competition.
“We want our films to be on fair ground with every other filmmaker,” said Sarandos, in an interview with Variety. “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.”
Sarandos also told Variety that while he won’t personally be attending the Cannes festival, Netflix will be sending representatives “who are in the business of acquiring films, because many films will be there without distribution,” according tot the streaming service.
Netflix’s decision comes in the wake of Cannes announcing that only those films that screen in French theatres can compete for the prestigious Palme d’Or prize.
While more progressive members of the international film community have welcomed Netflix’s presence at film festivals, members of the French film community have expressed their criticism, arguing that Netflix’s presence is an attack on the traditional values of film.
Netflix will no doubt continue to make an appearance at other film festivals, in spite of its absence at this year’s Cannes.