Will Smith, Almodovar open a testy Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Competition film about Jean Luc Godard's relationship with actress Anne Wiazemsky Reuters

Cannes Competition film about Jean Luc Godard's relationship with actress Anne Wiazemsky Reuters

French distributors have protested that two of this year's in-competition titles, Netflix's "Okja" and "The Meyerowitz Stories", didn't until recently have a theatrical release in France. The Golden Camera Award will be given to a first film appearing in any section of the festival by a jury presided over by French actress Sandrine Kiberlain, while Romanian director Cristian Mungiu will head a jury that will provide an award to the short and student films in the Cinefondation section.

Scores of films are submitted to Cannes each year and only a handful of them get selected for screening at the coveted film festival.

But Smith was among those not clapping and he disagreed with the Spanish director, revealing his kids are huge Netflix fans. They go to the movies twice a week, and they watch Netflix.

Netflix has been waging war at Cannes, the world's most prestigious film festival, and now Will Smith has come to the streaming giant's defense. Amazon brings Todd Haynes' Wonderstruck to the festival this year, and last year had The Neon Demon by Nicolas Winding Refn and Paterson by Jim Jarmusch in competition.

The website - which has 100 million subscribers - hit back by saying the industry must embrace change, with CEO Reed Hastings blaming the French cinema establishment for "closing ranks" against it.

Regarding Cannes' new rule, effective in 2018, demanding that all films in competition secure theatrical distribution in France, Sarandos expressed his faith that the festival would change.

Exhumed priest's DNA doesn't match evidence in nun murder
Police said DNA profiles of about a half-dozen suspects have been compared with crime scene evidence over the years. Numerous victims say Maskell abused them during his tenure at Archbishop Keough School in the 1960s and 70s.

The festival runs from May 17 to 28 and opened with Arnaud Desplechin's Ismael's Ghosts. On Wednesday, director Pedro Almodóvar, who's presiding over this year's competition jury, made a controversial statement regarding the inclusion of Netflix films in the festival.

While big Hollywood fare is thin on the ground at this year's festival, eagerly-awaited new offerings by some of the world's most acclaimed and original directors are set to screen.

At the jury press conference earlier on Wednesday, jury president Almodovar said that "it would be a huge paradox that the Palme d'Or or another award-winning film could not be seen in theaters".

Film critics questioned the future for Netflix and other streaming services, wondering whether or not directors would continue to work with them if it meant not competing at Cannes.

"In my house, Netflix has been nothing but an absolute benefit", Smith said of his children's viewing habits. It has offered theaters the opportunity of a day-and-date release (opening a movie in theaters simultaneously as it debuts on the service), something large exhibitors have thus far rejected. "There's very little cross between going to the cinema and watching what they watch on Netflix", Smith said. Festival programmers thought "they could get away with showing Netflix movies", he said.

Recommended News

  • Nottingham Forest takeover completed by controversial Greek shipping magnate Evangelos Marinakis

    Nottingham Forest takeover completed by controversial Greek shipping magnate Evangelos Marinakis

    And as well as putting a behind-the-scenes structure in place, Marinakis, who also owns Greek giants Olympiacos, has laid out his vision for the Reds.
    Brendan Rodgers urges Celtic to complete 'remarkable' unbeaten league campaign against Hearts

    Brendan Rodgers urges Celtic to complete 'remarkable' unbeaten league campaign against Hearts

    He pounced on some slackness in the Thistle defence to send another curling shot into the net from the edge of the box. But I think for the twentieth time I'm going to say he is going back to Manchester City.
    Chaffetz: House Officially Noticed Comey Hearing

    Chaffetz: House Officially Noticed Comey Hearing

    The newspaper said Comey was in the Oval Office that day with other national security officials for a terrorism threat briefing. According to the Times , Mr Comey wrote in the February memo that President Trump told him Gen Flynn had done nothing wrong.
  • Lieberman, Keating Join The FBI Director Mix

    Trump also said at the time that "the process is going to move quickly" and that he would make a "fast decision" to replace Comey. Plus, as a very special bonus, he works for the same law firm as Trump's personal lawyer. "Or who's campaigned for president".

    Chinese sanctioned by U.S. for aiding Iran missile development

    US President Donald Trump on May 17 extended wide sanctions relief for Iran called for under the 2015 global nuclear deal. Share with Us - We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article, and smart, constructive criticism.

    Stanley Cup playoffs: Josi's late goal gives Predators 2-1 series lead

    The Predators opened Game 2 on Sunday night the same way, scoring the first two goals of the game from Ryan Johansen and Neal. I saw him on his back five, six times and he stood in and made the saves he's supposed to, and some that he shouldn't.
  • Man sues woman for texting during cinema date

    Man sues woman for texting during cinema date

    Vezmar claims that the woman "activated her phone at least 10-20 times in 15 minutes to read and send text messages". Mr Vezmar asked her to stop but she refused. "It was kind of a first date from hell", he told the newspaper.
    Brazil's President Temer 'taped agreeing £120m in bribes'

    Brazil's President Temer 'taped agreeing £120m in bribes'

    The country's Bovespa stock index fell in Sao Paulo trading by about 10.5 percent, forcing a temporary trade stop for stocks. Temer is denying a report that he endorsed the alleged bribing of a jailed former congressman to keep him quiet.

    'Confident' Capitals appear poised to finish off comeback vs. Penguins

    They willed in a goal in the second on the individual, playoff-defining effort of Andre Burakovsky , suddenly reborn. The Capitals dominated the Penguins so thoroughly that Pittsburgh only had nine shots on goal after 40 minutes.
  • Trump denies urging former Federal Bureau of Investigation  chief to drop Flynn inquiry

    Trump denies urging former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief to drop Flynn inquiry

    Last week in an interview with NBC's Lester Holt, he claimed he had been planning to fire Comey and called him a "grandstander". All over the world, no matter where you go, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is special.
    Space Weather Events Linked To High-Altitude Nuclear Tests

    Space Weather Events Linked To High-Altitude Nuclear Tests

    Since VLF radio waves are very good at penetrating 40 meters or more into saltwater, they're ideal for submarine communications. Data showed that the Van Allen belts have moved further away from Earth since the 1960s, when the VLF use was limited.

    At least 8 tornadoes struck Oklahoma, killing 1

    The Rusk County sheriff's office reported the community of Conrath was "hit extremely hard" by the storm, according to an officer. Cleanup volunteers may be needed by Friday, but Fitzgerald said that information would be released to local media at that time.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.