Netflix has been making some huge strides into the feature film space recently, backing a number of smaller outings. This year marked the first time that the company had been nominated for an award at the prestigious film festival – allowing it to showcase its upcoming film Okja. That hasn’t stopped the natives fighting back, heckling and doing all they can to show their displeasure at the emergence of the streaming service.
During the first screening of the highly anticipated Okja, the live audience wildly booed the Netflix logo that popped up before the movie. This went on well into the first five minutes of the movie, as it became apparent that the film was being showcased in the wrong aspect ratio – cutting out large chunks of the film’s star Tilda Swinton.
So toxic was the atmosphere in the room that the screening was halted as the issue was fixed.
Adding to this embarrassment, head judge at Cannes Pedro Almodóvar opened the festival by saying that he felt films without cinematic distribution shouldn’t b considered for the festivals top Palme d’Or prize.
It’s all just further bumps on the road for Netflix, who have been attempting to move into the movie production game for a while now. Backing movies like Okja was intended to deliver them critical prestige, helping to transform the platform from a casual outlet into a seriously considered producer of media. Sadly the Cannes crowd haven’t taken to their presence at all.
It’s unlikely to affect the movies eventual release – which lands on June 28th. It just goes to show that even in 2017, there are some who refuse to accept the inevitable shift to streaming platforms. Netflix may be producing quality content of its own, but it’s got a long road to trek before it’s seen as a serious player in the industry.