In what might prove to be a highly controversial move, the prestigious Cannes Film Festival have announced that Netflix and other streaming services will be barred from entering any their original films into competition for the "Palme D'Or", the festival's highest honor.
In an interview with French magazine Le Film Français, Festival Director Thierry Fremaux announced the changes for the festivals 71st year. This is a first for the festival, as last year Netflix was allowed to submit their original films, "Okja", directed by Bong Joon-ho, and "The Meyerowitz Stories", directed by Noah Baumbach.
While the decision to ban streaming services may appear to be based on tradition, there is a legal precedent for their choice. A French law, known as the "French Cultural Exception", requires that films be released in theaters 36 months before they're allowed to be moved to streaming services. Netflix isn't known for their theatrical releases, so they refused to comply with French law to wait to release their films on their platform.
This didn't go over well with the people at Cannes, who announced last year that changes would be made, according to the New York Times.
In addition to banning streaming films, the festival decided to ban one other thing from this years festival: selfies.
This appears to have been a decision made between Director Fremaux and festival president Pierre Lescure. In his interview with Le Film Français, Fremaux stated that "At the top the red carpet, the pettiness and the hold up caused by the untimely disorder created by taking selfies hurts the quality the climbing the steps,". He also referred to selfie taking as "ridiculous and grotesque."
Are these changes for the better, or for worse? Let us know what you think.