Netflix has had a tough time of it at Cannes this year. The streaming service has two films up for the Palme d’Or at the film festival – The Meyerowitz Stories and Okja – but from 2018 all entries must be released in French cinemas in order to be eligible for the competition, a rule change that has caused much debate among filmmakers.
Jury members Pedro Almodovar and Will Smth clashed over the issue on the first day of the festival, and now Netflix’s film Okja – co-written by Bong Joon-Ho and Jon Ronson and starring Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal – has been met with boos from the audience at the start of its screening earlier today.
According to reports, some of the the audience jeered when the Netflix logo appeared at the beginning of the film only for the footage to then begin playing in the wrong aspect ratio. The movie was then stopped and restarted, resolving the technical glitch.
Cannes Film Festival have since released a statement, saying: This incident was entirely the responsibility of the Festival’s technical service, which offers its apologies to the director and his team, to the producers and the audience.”
Audience members took to Twitter to report their experience:
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
The boos at the Netflix logo were immediately followed by boos at the terrible projection…— Elena Lazic (@elazic) May 19, 2017
And when the film did eventually restart, the logo was once again met with a chorus of jeers.
Still, it’s Netflix who have the last laugh as – despite a rocky start – the film wowed its audience with many taking to Twitter to sing its praises.
Okja is a sweet slice of succulent sirloin. Tremendous. #cannes— Joe Utichi (@joeutichi) May 19, 2017
As for the movie itself… Okja is masterful filmmaking. Moving, inventive, visionary. And funny too. See it on the big screen. #Cannes2017— Gregory Ellwood - Sundance- The Playlist 🎬 (@TheGregoryE) May 19, 2017
OKJA is great. A spirited, weird, poignant plea for compassion and principle. Its closing moments feel like a benediction. #Cannes2017— Richard Lawson (@rilaws) May 19, 2017
Bong Joon-ho's Okja is a wonderful family action-adventure in the spirit of Roald Dahl, Melissa Mathison and Dodie Smith #Cannes2017— Peter Bradshaw (@PeterBradshaw1) May 19, 2017
So #OKJA is a fantastic mainstream movie. Smart, funny, wild, highly lovable, about a real issue, fantastic camera work, great cast.— Julia Pühringer (@JuliaPuehringer) May 19, 2017
Okja will be available to stream on Netflix from 28th June and will get a UK theatrical release on 23rd June.