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The future of Netflix, other streaming films’ eligibility at festivals and awards shows

A view of Netflix
A view of Netflix "The Meyerowitz" signage during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at on May 16, 2017 in Cannes, France. It was announced late last week that Netflix and other streaming services will no longer be eligible for awards at the prestigious festival.
Matthias Nareyek/Getty Images

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Streaming giant Netflix took a couple hard shots this week after Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux announced in an interview with the French magazine “Le Film Français” that the highly-respected festival would no longer allow films from Netflix and other streaming services to be considered for awards.

In last year’s festival, Netflix’s ‘Okja’ and ‘The Meyerowitz Stories’ were allowed to compete, which created controversy because of a law known as French cultural exception, which lays out requirements for when films can move frm French theatres to streaming and on-demand platforms.

Separately, acclaimed director Steven Spielberg told ITV news in an interview about his new film ‘Ready Player One,’ which opened in theatres nationwide this week, that Netflix films shouldn’t qualify for Oscar consideration, even if they do have a theatrical release. He argues that the rise of streaming platforms as distribution services has a chilling effect on directors fundraising for their films in the hopes of getting traditional studio backing. Instead, he says, it will encourage directors to opt for Amazon or Netflix so they don’t have to pay to four-wall a film in a movie theater.


Lael Loewenstein, KPCC film critic; she tweets @LAELLO

Wade Major, film critic for KPCC and