Cannes 2017 got off to a rough start today when the jury met the press. For some reason, Will Smith — not exactly a cineaste– is on the jury headed by Pedro Almodovar. At the press conference, immediately the subject of Netflix vs. Cannes came up– Netflix is showing two movies that won’t be in French cinema, only on their service. Because of this, next year all movies will have to be available in French theatres or they can’t compete at the festival.
Almodovar, of course, is for movies having theatrical releases. He’s an artist, after all. So when he was asked, that’s what he said.
But Smith has a $90 million movie called “Bright” coming to Netflix only, in December. So when he was asked, the star of recent flops like “Concussion” and “Seven Pounds” advocated for the streaming service. When he was asked, Smith said: “It’s two completely different forms of entertainment they go for. In my house Netflix has been nothing but an absolute benefit because they get to watch films that they never would have seen. Netflix bring a great connectivity to them to the world. There are movies that are not on a screen within 8,000 miles. And now they get to find those artists and they get to look them up online and they make contact. And there is this whole underground world of artists that gets born from that kind of connectivity. In my home it has done nothing but broaden my children’s cinematic global comprehension.”
Nothing like making friends on Day 1. Smith also indicated that he was worried about how long Cannes runs (10 days) and the number of films he has to see a day (3, at least) beginning at 8:30am.
This should be interesting!