- Title: Netflix debate heats up after 'Okja' screening at Cannes
- Date: 19th May 2017
- Summary: CANNES, FRANCE (MAY 17, 2017) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** DESPLECHIN WALKING ON RED CARPET WITH ACTRESS MARION COTILLARD
- Embargoed: 2nd June 2017 13:39
- Keywords: Netflix controversy news conference Okja Cannes film festival
- Location: CANNES, FRANCE
- City: CANNES, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Film,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA0066HI6KP9
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:'Okja' director, South Korean director Bong Joon-ho and actress Tilda Swinton defended Netflix on Friday (May 19) after heckles at an advance press screening at the 70th Cannes film festival.
When the Netflix logo appeared in the credit at the beginning, some boos were heard. The film halted five minutes in after what the festival called "a technical incident".
Speaking at a news conference after, director Bong said he was unfazed by the technical difficulties.
"What happened this morning, I am happy with it, because you people can watch the opening sequence twice, so many information and story elements there, very educational, I love it," he said.
"Okja" is one of the hottest movies at this year's festival but is divisive because U.S. video-on-demand company Netflix has refused to screen it in French cinemas.
Jury president Pedro Almodovar said films should always be seen on the big screen and he was "concerned" about the issue. The festival has also tightened its rules so that in future any in-competition film will have to get a theatre release - effectively barring Netflix after this year.
Directors for two of the films in competition, 'Wonderstruck' and 'Ismael's Ghosts', gave their support to that decision.
"Okja" tells the story of a giant pig raised in part by a young South Korean girl, Mija. Their idyllic life is threatened when a TV zoologist, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, turns up to reclaim the animal for a company called Mirando, whose CEO is played by Tilda Swinton.
An Seo-hyun, 13, who plays Mija, says she was profoundly affected by the film's message.
"In fact, before shooting the film, I was a real carnivore, and pork in particular. After shooting the film, I found that I had been greatly influenced by nature, and I better understood what animals go through. Okja is captured and suffers, and ever since, I have adopted the viewpoint of Mija (An's character), and I am sure I won't eat as much meat as before," she said.
A total of 19 films are in contention for the Palme d'Or at the 70th Cannes film festival which ends on May 28.
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