Will Smith, Pedro Almodovar open testy Cannes Film Festival

Watch the bonkers trailer for Bong Joon-ho's 'Okja' and prepare for the dawn of the superpig

Watch the bonkers trailer for Bong Joon-ho's 'Okja' and prepare for the dawn of the superpig

Netflix has been waging war at Cannes, the world's most prestigious film festival, and now Will Smith has come to the streaming giant's defense. Sarandos added that finding great storytellers from around the world and giving them the ability to distribute their films globally is what Netflix does to expand the movie industry. "From now on, any film that wishes to compete in Cannes will have to commit itself to being distributed in French cinemas", said a statement.

This year's Cannes Film Festival takes place from May 17-28. The model dictates that movies must be released exclusively in movie theaters before they are made available at home. But Mr. Hastings - whose Silicon Valley-based operation now has 100 million subscribers - placed the blame squarely at the door of French cinemas.

In addition to Almodovar and Smith, this year's jury also includes Jessica Chastain, Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, German director Maren Ade, South Korean director Park Chan-wook, Chinese star Fan Bingbing, French actress Agnes Jaoui, and French-Lebanese composer Gabriel Yared. Festival organisers tried to negotiate a compromise, with a "limited release" of the movies in France mooted. There are movies that are not on a screen within 8,000 miles.

The films will vie for the coveted Palme d'Or, which was previous year won by British director and Cannes stalwart Ken Loach for his searing benefits drama I, Daniel Blake. Farhadi's presence in Cannes sharply contrasted with February's Academy Awards ceremony, which the filmmaker (whose "The Salesman" won best foreign language film) boycotted to protest President Donald Trump's proposed travel ban on visitors from several predominantly Muslim nations.

At the heart of the Cannes-Netflix clash is what's known as the French cultural exception, a law that requires a percentage of all box office, DVD, video on demand, television and streaming revenues to be pooled to finance homegrown films and help finance foreign films. Smith, who stars in Netflix's upcoming "Bright", gave his opinion shortly after. Films are prohibited from streaming or appearing on subscription video on demand for three years after playing in theaters.

"They go to the movie theater to be humbled in front of certain images and there's other films that they prefer to watch at home and there's really little to no cross".

"Since Sept. 11, Cannes has. maximized security measures", festival director Thierry Fremaux said in an interview.

While numerous figures on the jury are familiar to the world of Cannes - Maren Ade and Park Chan-wook, both of whom had films in competition a year ago, professed their relief at being on the judging side of the panel - one jury member, it was pointed out, is not. "The only thing, as we are talking about movie theatres, is that at a certain moment in the day, several times a day, the lights go out and we watch a film - together - and that's cinema".

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