We all are aware of the rocky road surrounding the controversy between Netflix and the Cannes Film Festival. However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings recently discussed how the company might have made strategical errors regarding the handling of the whole situation while speaking at Series Mania in France.
Here is a quote from Reed Hastings regarding the conflict:
“At times we have a reputation as a disruptor, and sometimes we make mistakes. I think we got into a more difficult situation with the Cannes Film Festival than we meant to because, you know, we’re not trying to disrupt the movie system; we are trying to make our members happy. We make our content for them.”
Last year films were allowed in competeition for the Palme d’Or, the highest award at Cannes. Netflix, however, refused to show the films in French theaters because of a French law that requires a 36-month waiting period before films can stream on any platform. Thierry Fremaux decided to ban Netflix from competition this year, although they could still be shown at the festival, following the outcry of disapproval; Netflix, in return, refused to even screen their films at the festival.
Hastings seemed reluctant to partner with the festival going forward.
“We are trying to treat our movies as series and release them directly to our members and not trying to compete with the theatrical system. What we’ll do now is mostly focus on series and standup, docuseries and great content we can do without disrupting or being perceived to disrupt the movie sector,” he added. “We love the film festival, and we still have buyers going. The festival is very sincere in trying to find a model that works for them and works for us.”
As far as French laws are concerned, Hastings doesn’t believe in pushing for change. “I think it’s up to the French people to figure out how they want to organize the cinema industry. It’s been pretty successful,” he said. It will be interesting to see how the situation plays out next year and determine what exactly this means going forward for SVOD films within festival circuits.
What do you think of the controversy overall? Let us know in the comments below!