Culture&Arts

Netflix Sets 'Okja' Korea Theatrical Release; Helmer Talks Co-Existence

Netflix Sets 'Okja' Korea Theatrical Release; Helmer Talks Co-Existence

The Spanish director, who has had five films in the competition since 1999 - most recently Julieta previous year - was asked by a journalist if he would rather have his films seen in 190 countries (i.e., on a streaming service) or win a Palme d'Or.

Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said Cannes should live up to its core mission of "celebrating arts" regardless of platform.

Just as Netflix is planning limited theatrical runs in the US and the United Kingdom, it also sought for the same compromise in the French marketplace. "My film portrays their adventure and love", Bong said of the new film and its title character. "The festival is always changing and is always the same", he said.

This year's program also points to changes shaking up the film industry, including the march on Hollywood by streaming giants Netflix and Amazon and the arrival of virtual reality.

Other cast members include Paul Dano, Lily Collins, Devon Bostick, Byun Heebong, Shirley Henderson, Daniel Henshall, Yoon Je Moon, Choi Woo Shik, and Steven Yeun.

South Korean director Bong Joon-ho speaks during a news conference to promote his new film "Okja" at a Seoul hotel on May 15, 2017.

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The filmmaker also expressed particular thanks to Netflix and the producers for fully trusting in him as an artist. Netflix, along with Amazon, has been an increasingly powerful player at film festivals, actively acquiring films and using festivals as glitzy worldwide launchpads for its movies. Some companies hesitated in [investing in "Okja"] because of its large budget, and others were reluctant because it is such a bold and original film.

For a writer-director like himself, the most important factor in choosing a business partner was whether he can have freedom of creation and the final editorial right, he explained.

"I think streaming services (like Netflix) will co-exist with theaters eventually".

Kidman joins forces with Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, creator of the absurdist film The Lobster, for his latest project The Killing of a Sacred Deer. The size of the film made them hesitant as well.

"I'm proud to say that I've made a lovely film, and I can't wait to share it so that I can talk about it", Bong said.

But he confessed that it was scary, too, since it means he is 100-percent responsible for the outcome.

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"Okja will be available on Netflix in 190 countries on June 28 in the US, but actually June 29 here, but will be released in the same moment everywhere in the world".

But Cannes isn't just for film industry insiders as a host of stars from across the entertainment industry and fashion world like to soak up the sun and pose for a photo or two on the Croisette.

"Distribution is something that will be argued for many years, because innovation is hard", he said.

Mr. Hastings took to his personal Facebook account to claim that "the establishment is closing ranks against us", after Cannes effectively slapped a ban on future Netflix-backed movies at the world's leading film festival.

"The Festival de Cannes is aware of the anxiety aroused by the absence of the release in theatres of those films in France", the statement added.

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