Friday, May 19, 2017
Netflix’s ‘Okja’ Booed at Press Screening in Cannes
The early morning press screening of the Netflix film “Okja” was interrupted by boos and angry applause in the Palais des Festivals on Friday at the Cannes Film Festival in France.
The streaming service has divided film professionals at the festival, though some of the boos also seemed aimed at problems with the sound and framing at the Grand Theatre Lumiere, where the film was shown.
Update: A spokeswoman for the festival said a “mechanical problem” had interrupted the screening but was not more specific.
At the 8:30 a.m. screening of the movie, a competition entry directed by Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho, a smattering of boos greeted the initial appearance of the Netflix logo on screen, as well as other mentions of the streaming service in the opening credits. As the opening scene continued and sound and framing problems became evident, the boos and derisive shouts, as did rhythmic clapping.
The screening was stopped after 10 minutes, according to TheWrap’s Steve Pond who was present. When the film restarted, the Netflix logo was once again booed, though by fewer people, but the rest of the film played without incident. At the end of the screening, the audience responded with significant applause and no boos.
Cannes audiences are notoriously opinionated and often show their reactions at screenings.
Netflix has two films in competition, “Okja” and “The Meyerowitz Stories.” French exhibitors are angry that the festival accepted films that do not have a theatrical release first, and consider Netflix a threat to the established order of large-screen filmgoing.
The issue has even divided the Cannes jury. Jury President Pedro Almodovar seemed to rule out voting for either of the Netflix films at the opening press conference for the festival this week, while another jury member, Will Smith, defended streaming movies.
Source: the wrap feed