Netflix Withdraws from Cannes Film Festival

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. make the cut / meɪk  ðə kʊt / (idiom) – to qualify for something

    Out of the 20 contestants, only three made the cut.

  2. reputable / ˈrɛp yə tə bəl / (adj) – respectable; with a good reputation

    I think the products are good because they are from a reputable company.

  3. level playing field / ˈlɛv əl pleɪ ɪŋ fild / (idiom) – a fair situation

    The new rule intends to create a level playing field among the contestants.

  4. change of heart / tʃeɪndʒ ʌv hɑrt / (idiom) – a change in one’s opinions or feelings about something

    The decision is not yet final, so I hope that the judges will have a change of heart.

  5. lose-lose / luz luz / (adj) – describing a situation wherein all parties are at a disadvantage

    I will not argue with you because it will only lead to a lose-lose situation.


Read the text below.

Popular US-based streaming service Netflix has withdrawn its films from this year’s Cannes [kan] Film Festival, a yearly event in France that shows international films of various genres.

In 2017, two Netflix-produced films made the cut for the reputable film festival. However, this sparked protests among French theater owners who argued that the films should not be included because they have not been screened in France. As a result, the event organizers set a new policy that prohibits a film that was not shown in French theaters from participating in the festival starting this year.

Although Netflix still had the option of participating in the festival without competing, its chief content officer Ted Sarandos was against the idea. He asserted that the company wanted to have a level playing field with other filmmakers. He added that he did not want Netflix’s films and filmmakers to become the object of insults at the festival.

Despite that, Netflix respects the organizers’ decision. Sarandos also stated that they remain hopeful that the organizers will eventually have a change of heart.

A number of Netflix filmmakers have also shared their thoughts on the issue. Movie producer Filip Jan Rymsza [rim-zhuh] got disappointed upon knowing about Netflix’s withdrawal. He felt that it resulted in a lose-lose situation for everyone—including the festival, Netflix, movie fans, and filmmakers. American film director Jeremy Saulnier [SAWL-nee-eh] also expressed his frustration over the issue, saying that it only contributes to endless arguments on what defines a movie.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you support Cannes Film Festival’s new policy? Why or why not?
• Do you consider Netflix’s decision to not screen its movies in theaters a good move? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• Do you think movie streaming services can replace movie theaters in the future? Explain.
• What strategies do you think movie theater businesses can do to keep their audience? Discuss.