After years of being snubbed by the world’s most famous film festival, the streaming giant will be in attendance on the Croisette for the first time in 2017. Two of its original films, Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) and Bong Joon Ho’s Okja have been programmed In Competition. They will both have their world premieres at the 70th Cannes festival, before being released on Netflix later this year.
“The Cannes Film Festival’s commitment to giving an exceptional platform to distinct stories from the world’s most acclaimed auteurs is second to none. We are thrilled at the opportunity to premiere two of our highly-anticipated films from directors Noah Baumbach and Bong Joon Ho in this prestigious forum,” says Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer.
“I’m honored to be returning to Cannes, most especially this year with Okja and my partners at Netflix – it is wonderful to bring their first produced original film to premiere In Competition,” adds Bong Joon Ho.
Written and directed by Noah Baumbach, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) stars Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, and is the intergenerational tale of adult siblings contending with the influence of their aging father. Director Bong Joon Ho’s Okja stars Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano and Giancarlo Esposito, and is the story of a young girl (An Seo Hyun) who must risk everything to prevent a powerful, multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend – a massive animal named Okja.
It’s a big step for the streaming giant, which has previously faced challenges from France’s restrictive distribution rules, which mean that any film screened in cinemas cannot debut online until three years later. Netflix originals therefore tend to bypass French cinemas altogether, so they can premiere online alongside the rest of the world. Indeed, last year, the streaming giant acquired Divines, which won the Camera d’Or prize at Cannes, but it has not yet been released on Netflix for French subscribers.
Netflix’s Cannes debut also follows a game-changing year for the festival, with Amazon opening the 2016 event with Woody Allen’s Cafe Society, and screening no fewer than five titles over the fortnight. Since then, Amazon has won Oscars for Manchester by the Sea and The Salesman. Amazon is far from out of the Cannes frame, though: the streaming service has one film screening In Competition: Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck, which stars Amy Hargreaves, Michelle Williams and Julianne Moore. With Academy Awards now under the belt of each streaming service, their eyes are firmly set on a new prize: the Palme d’Or.
The rest of the line-up is full of familiar names, from Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here – another Amazon title) and Yorgos Lanthimos (The Killing of the Sacred Deer) to Sofia Coppola (The Beguiled) and Michael Haneke (Happy End). But Netflix’s arrival on the French Riviera continues a gradual shift for this most established of festivals: breaking with a previously strict line on screening theatrical titles, 2017’s Cannes will also show TV for the first time, including Season 2 of Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake and two episodes from David Lynch’s Twin Peaks revival.
The 70th Cannes Film Festival runs from 17th May to 28th May. We’ll be there every step of the way to bring you latest from the festival, so stay tuned for reviews, news of the latest VOD acquisitions on the Croisette and more. In the meantime, you can read on for the full list of Un Certain Regard and In Competition titles, watch the trailer below, or head to the official site for more information.
Un Certain Regard
Barbara, dir: Mathieu Amalric
La Novia Del Desierto (La Viancee Du Desert/The Desert Bride), dir: Cecilia Atan & Valeria Pivato
Tesnota (Etroitesse/Closeness) Kantemir Balagov
Aala Kaf Ifrit (La Belle Et La Meute/Beauty and the Dogs), dir: Kaouther Ben Hania
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