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Will Smith brings fresh air of West Philly to Cannes jury

20 Mai 2017

Elsewhere at the festival, veteran British actress Vanessa Redgrave on Wednesday unveiled her first film as a director - "Sea Sorrow", a documentary about Europe's migrant crisis.

"The only solution I think is that the new platforms accept and obey the existing rules", he added.

"It would be an enormous paradox if the Palme d'Or went to a film that can not be seen in cinemas", he said in the jury's first press conference.

"Some of the world's most picky fans would gather in a French rural village and see my movies, which makes me feel like a fish in a burning frying pan", he said during his first news conference to promote the much-anticipated film. "I have a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old and a 24-year-old at home".

But, in a country where movies shown in cinemas can not be streamed for three years, Netflix refused to arrange distribution across France - meaning "Okja", starring Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal, and "The Meyerowitz Stories", with Ben Stiller and Dustin Hoffman, will not be seen on the big screen after their Cannes premiere.

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"Netflix made a decision to go first via the internet, so French theatres protested, and they are right, because cinema is first of all in theatres", he added. His new film Bright, a fantasy cop thriller co-starring Noomi Rapace, is scheduled for a Netflix-only release in December. They get to see movies that aren't on a screen within 8,000 miles of them.

The films will vie for the coveted Palme d'Or, which was past year won by British director and Cannes stalwart Ken Loach for his searing benefits drama I, Daniel Blake. Because streaming services (both Netflix and Amazon) are becoming increasingly important distributors and even producers of good movies (Martin Scorsese's next feature, "The Irishman", is a Netflix production), the main effect of this rule will only be to further weaken the festival's lineup. "From now on every film wishing to be in competition at Cannes must be shown in French cinemas afterwards", they said in a statement.

The inclusion in the competition strand of two Netflix-funded films caused a heated controversy in the days before Cannes - which will doubtless continue throughout the festival.

Netflix has not responded to requests for comment but CEO Reed Hastings said on his Facebook page: "The establishment closing ranks against us". Their offerings: Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho's Tilda Swinton-starring film Okja and American indie dramedy darling Noah Baumbach's The Meyerowitz Stories. "Incredible film that theatre chains want to block us from entering into Cannes film festival competition". "In my home Netflix has been nothing but an absolute benefit - [they] watch films they otherwise wouldn't have seen", he said.

"When the festival kicks off, it's just swarming here with people who are in film, who want to be in film, who love film - and you don't really get that atmosphere anywhere else in the world". "They get to find those artists".

Will Smith brings fresh air of West Philly to Cannes jury