by Mike Winslow
(AllHipHop News) Will Smith and Pedro Almodovar opened the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday (May 17) by clashing over Netflix movies.
The filmmaker and the “Suicide Squad” star are part of the jury selecting the best films at the event in France, and this year’s competition includes two Netflix projects – Tilda Swinton’s “Okja” and “The Meyerowitz Stories,” which stars Emma Thompson and Ben Stiller.
It’s the first time any Netflix movies have been considered for the prestigious Palme d’Or award – and it will be the last.
Due to a rule change for next year’s festival, all movies submitted will have to be released in French cinemas.
Jury president Almodovar agreed with the Netflix ban, insisting films should not be considered for important prizes if they had not had a cinema release.
“All this doesn’t mean I’m not open, or don’t celebrate the new technology and the possibilities they offer to us, but while I’m alive, I will be fighting for the one thing the new generation is not aware of – the capacity of hypnosis of a large screen for a viewer,” he said, earning applause from members of the media at the jury’s first press conference.
But Smith was among those not clapping and he disagreed with the Spanish director, revealing his kids are huge Netflix fans.
“There’s very little cross between going to the cinema and watching what they watch on Netflix,” he told the press, insisting cinema movies and Netflix fare are “two different forms of entertainment.”
Smith and Almodovar are joined on this year’s Cannes Film Festival jury by Jessica Chastain, filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino, German writer/director Maren Ade, French movie composer Gabriel Yared, and Chinese actress Fan Bingbing.