This ambitious project has drawn the ire of the French cinema world

While France’s darkrooms are barely recovering from 7 months of closure, another obstacle could arise before that. His name is Netflix and he’s got a big project.

Netflix is ​​the streaming platform with the most subscribers (more than 200 million) and its strategy aims to lure more and more people into its networks. At the same time, the platform wants to tackle the video game sector, as it wants to offer a catalog of video games in addition to series and films, which it confirmed in its quarterly summer report.

With the appointment of Mike Verdu, a former executive of Electronic Arts and Facebook, to head the branch and the acquisition of Night School Studio, a video game development company, the project seems serious. However, caution is advised because video game development remains very expensive.

But the Red N has other projects on the way. We have just heard from our French film colleagues that the streaming giant has contacted several art and testing rooms in France to organize a festival for its original productions. The event would take place December 7-14 and would interest the MK2 and Utopia networks. Among the films on offer we can find Pieces of a Woman, Malcolm & Marie, The Guilty and Clair-Obscur. We are talking about ten films in total.

Here’s an initiative that doesn’t appeal to independent traders at all. The Independent Distributors Union (SDI) and the European Independent Distributors Reunited (DIRE) issued a press release yesterday expressing their deep anger.

At a time when many films, victims of the seven-and-a-half month cinema closings, are struggling to find an exhibition that lives up to their potential, we denounce the implementation of such a festival, which resembles a large-scale marketing campaign, huge advertising trailers to attract moviegoers entice them into subscribing to a paid service.

This widening gap between distributors / independents and streaming services is worrying the distributor unions. Especially since it is a new form of consumption that could emerge, with the risk of attracting cinema-goers. “If works that are on an equal footing with” cinema “are used on platforms, when Cinephiles find their account there, what does the future of cinema and all its makers and advertisers look like? (…) A short-term attraction for you viewers is a medium term suicide for our respective professions ”.

The press release calls on producers and filmmakers to act together. We also know that the platform has recently started releasing its biggest films on Wednesdays, i.e. at the same time as in the cinema.

Press release: DIRE and SDI distributors were shocked to learn of a “Netflix Festival” hosted by iconic art house cinemas in several major cities in France in December. t.co/QauKnlvfWl pic.twitter.com/JTRt904hnw

October 25, 2021

For now, Netflix assures that it will be “mostly a retrospective event, relatively modest”. The Los Gatos company has to apply for a temporary visa for each of the films announced at the CNC in order to be able to broadcast them on the big screen as an exception.

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