Almodovar and Smith's comments on Netflix at Cannes


The famed Cannes Film Festival will celebrate its 70th anniversary this year when it starts on May 17 along the French Riviera. One of the likeliest delights is Noah Baumbach's new film, "The Meyerowitz Stories", starring Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, and Dustin Hoffman. "I want to give them an abundance of films (to watch)".

In a statement Wednesday, the French festival announced that it has adapted its rules to require that films in competition be distributed in French movie theaters. Notably, as Variety reported in 2015, four USA movie theater chains refused to screen Cary Fukunaga's Beasts of No Nation because the film was to be released in theaters and on Netflix simultaneously, rather than abiding by the traditional 90-day delay for home debut.

Jury president Pedro Almodovar clashed with actor Will Smith during the jury press conference that opens Cannes each year, appearing at odds over the contentious issue of Netflix films being included in the competition.

As you may know, Netflix releases its movies for streaming at the same time globally.

Amid the decline of cinemas and theatres as audiences head online to streaming services, the film festival is shaking things up in its 70th year.

A movie filmed in Cincinnati past year is in the running for the highest award at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France.

Born in 1912, Saddat Haasan Manto is a popular Indian-Pakistani poet and writer whose works are lauded even today for its bold and unconventional content. Nawaz, who plays the protagonist in the film, will be attending the prestigious Cannes Film Festival with none other than Nandita Das, who is also the director of Manto.

"It is rare to have had this much creative freedom, for such a big-budget film anywhere in the world". When he was asked, Smith said: "It's two completely different forms of entertainment they go for. You must feel small and humble in front of the image that's here".

"I personally can not conceive of not only the Palme d'Or, but any other prize, being given to a film and then being unable to see this film on a large screen", he said, according to ABC News. "The only solution I think is that the new platforms accept and obey the existing rules that are already adopted and respected by the existing networks".

It was Smith who then spoke up in favor of Netflix while citing the viewing habit of his progeny Jaden and Willow Smith. 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.

Actor Smith, who was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of boxer Muhammad Ali, launched a spirited defence of Netflix, saying it "broadens my children's cinematic global comprehension". "In my home Netflix has been nothing but an absolute benefit - [they] watch films they otherwise wouldn't have seen", he said.