Will Smith defends Netflix films at Cannes

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Will Smith defends Netflix films at Cannes

For some reason, Will Smith - not exactly a cineaste- is on the jury headed by Pedro Almodovar.

"I prefer absolutely to be seen in not only 190 countries, but always to be seen on a big screen", Almodóvar said to scattered applause from the press. He said he wanted everybody to witness a movie for the first time in a theater.

Size matters, he noted. "The screen should not be smaller than the chair on which you're sitting. It should not be part of your everyday setting", said the Spanish filmmaker.

"They go to the movie theater to be humbled in front of certain images and there's other films that they prefer to watch at home and there's really little to no cross". "But (while) I'm alive, I'll be fighting for the capacity of hypnosis of the large screen for the viewer". There are movies that are not on a screen within 8,000 miles of them. So when Netflix has Oscar ambitions, like it did with 2012's Beasts of the Southern Wild, it has a tendency to drop a film into a very limited theatrical release and encourage most people to watch it on its own platform. It's two completely different forms of entertainment. As Netflix and Amazon (and other new players in this field) continue to disrupt traditional business models for the financing, production and consumption of film, it will be a challenge for worldwide film festivals (such as Berlin, Venice, London and Sundance) to respond in positive ways to accommodate these new production models.

Nicole Kidman and Joaquin Phoenix will also be walking the Croisette's red carpet during the festival.

Prior Palme d'Or winners include masterpieces like Apocalypse Now, Pulp Fictionand Taxi Driver, so any recipient is in great company.

"In my home, Netflix has been nothing but an absolute benefit".

Due to a rule change for next year's festival, all movies submitted will have to be released in French cinemas.

The online giant has refused to show two of its movies in the running for the Palme d'Or in French cinemas because strict rules there mean it would then have to wait three years to put them online. "We can't pretend that technology isn't evolving". But of streaming services, she said, "They should have rights, but also duties".

Netflix, which streams films and television shows to subscribers, has two of the hottest movies in contention for the Palme d'Or - its first time in competition at the festival that France boasts is the greatest in the world.

Pedro Almodovar, president of the festival jury, has taken a break from posing for the photographers and made a decision to take a spot amongst them, being handed a camera and shot his way- until an official asked him to get back to his original duty. "It has broadened my children's global cinematic comprehension", the actor said. Netflix has not wanted to participate in the French system, and that offended some in the film industry here. "The real open question that will be given to the next culture minister is, "Can we create a modernised media chronology so a film doesn't have to wait three years to go to Netflix?'".

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