Netflix will not be present for a second time at the Cannes Film Festival and will not have films competing in any of the categories, according to an exclusive report by Variety. Talks have been in progress between Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Scott Stuber, and Cannes artistic director, Thierry Fremaux, to settle the disagreement that began last year. The dispute was initiated when Netflix wanted to release the films it entered at the film festival at the same time as their releases elsewhere. This went against the French law that requires a 36-month wait between the time a film is released in theaters and when the platform is able to stream the film. This resulted in Roma being taken to the Venice Film Festival instead and winning an award. According to a report by Vox, it appeared to reflect a more fundamental issue regarding differing views of how cinema should be treated and whether films need to be shown on the silver screens first to be considered an actual movie.
Although no settlement has been reached between both parties, a source stated that Netflix does not have a film ready to present at the festival. Cannes did, however, have its sights on Martin Scorsese’s The Irishmen but it is likely that it will not be ready in time due to special effects work. Other Netflix productions such as Steven Soderbergh’s The Laundromat, The King starring Timothee Chalamet, and the Safdie brothers’ “Uncut Gems” will also not be entered into the festival.
The lack of American films at the festival could invoke the same critiques that Cannes faced last year. Yet, other US movies outside of Netflix appear to be in the lineup. This will include Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and James Gray’s Ad Astra. Netflix has been facing clashes with traditional views of cinema recently. Steven Spielberg wished to prohibit Netflix from the Oscars, offering to instead have them compete for awards in something like the Emmys.