Cannes audience 'almost rioted' after technical issues for Netflix film Okja
Netflix’s presence at the annual French film festival has caused a stir.
The screening of Netflix’s first ever film at the Cannes Film Festival was marred by technical problems and booing from the crowd.
Okja, starring Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal, was said to have been shown in the wrong aspect ratio for more than six minutes while the crowd jeered Netflix’s logo, according to the BBC.
In video clips posted on Twitter, members of the audience can be heard booing, whistling and shouting.
Indie Wire film critic David Ehrlich wrote on Twitter:
OKJA starts, huge boos at Netflix logo. Then film plays in wrong aspect ratio and Grand Lumiere almost rioted. movie stopped. #Cannes2017— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) May 19, 2017
In a statement posted on their official Twitter account, they said: “A technical incident disrupted the beginning of the screening of Bong Joon-ho’s film, Okja, which was shown this morning at a press screening at the Lumiere Auditorium.
“The session was interrupted for a few minutes but was then able to carry on as normal.
“This incident was entirely the responsibility of the Festival’s technical service which offers its apologies to the director, his teams, the producers and the audience at the showing.”
Netflix’s presence at Cannes has been deemed controversial with critics hitting out at their inclusion and a new rule introduced for next year requiring films to have had theatrical distribution in French cinemas.
In what has been considered a watershed moment for the streaming service, it has two films competing for the Palme d’Or at the 70th edition of the festival, including Okja.
Telegraph film critic Robbie Collin posted:
Cannes making an A+ case for the primacy of the cinema experience this AM by projecting the first ten mins of Okja in the wrong aspect ratio— Robbie Collin (@robbiereviews) May 19, 2017
Hollywood actor Will Smith, who is on this year’s competition jury, threw his support behind the streaming service’s inclusion at the festival earlier this week, while the jury’s head, Pedro Almodovar, said he did not conceive the Palme d’Or being given to a film not shown in cinemas.
On Sunday a second Netflix film, Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories, will be screened.