The Importance of Theatrical Releases and the Desire for Filmmakers to Return to Cannes

Discover the insights of Cannes Film Festival chief Thierry Fremaux as he discusses the importance of theatrical releases and the allure of film festivals, including his desire to bring esteemed filmmakers like David Fincher back to Cannes. Learn more about the significance of the big screen and the exciting world of festivals.

Cannes Film Festival chief Thierry Fremaux recently took a break from watching movies to share his thoughts on the importance of the big screen and the need for filmmakers to prioritize theatrical releases. In a conversation with Palme d’Or winner Ruben Ostlund at the Goteborg Film Festival, Fremaux discussed the successful theatrical strategy employed by streamers like Apple.

Fremaux was impressed by Apple’s approach, particularly with regards to Martin Scorsese’s film “Killers of the Flower Moon,” which was presented at Cannes and subsequently released in theaters. The movie has since received 10 Oscar nominations and has demonstrated the power of a theatrical run in conjunction with a streaming release.

Commenting on the contrasting strategies of Apple and Netflix, Fremaux admitted that while he tries each year to entice Netflix back to Cannes, he has no regrets about the festival’s “Netflix rule.” This rule stipulates that all competing films must have a theatrical release in France. The rule came into effect after a scandal erupted in 2017 when Cannes selected two Netflix films for competition, causing tension with French exhibitors and the wider industry.

Fremaux explained that the rule was intended to create a dialogue with streaming platforms, and while it may seem like a small requirement for filmmakers, Netflix stated that it did not adhere to this rule and subsequently chose to showcase its films at the Venice Film Festival instead.

Despite this, Fremaux expressed his desire to convince Netflix boss Ted Sarandos to bring Netflix movies back to Cannes. He acknowledged that there are many excellent films on Netflix directed by renowned filmmakers, including David Fincher, whom Fremaux considers “one of the most important filmmakers in the world in recent years or decades.” However, Fremaux emphasized that Fincher’s films have a greater impact when showcased at a film festival and experienced by a festival audience.

Adding to the conversation, Ostlund, currently working on his film “The Entertainment System Is Down,” highlighted the importance of considering the festival audience when creating a film. He humorously noted that Cannes is a place where films need to create a buzz and where the red carpet is graced by celebrities walking it. Ostlund shared his own experience with his Palme d’Or-winning films “The Square” and “Triangle of Sadness,” and his role as the president of the jury last year.

Ostlund even teased his next project, aiming to create the biggest walkout in the history of Cannes, which surely left the audience wondering what he has up his sleeve.

In a nutshell, Thierry Fremaux’s conversation with Ruben Ostlund shed light on the significance of theatrical releases and the desire to have esteemed filmmakers like David Fincher return to Cannes. While streaming platforms like Netflix play a crucial role in the film industry, there is no denying the unique impact and excitement that film festivals bring to both filmmakers and audiences alike. So, here’s hoping that the big screen and the vibrant world of festivals continue to thrive in the years to come!

Share this article: