Arts&Culture

Cannes apologizes for projection snafu with Netflix's 'Okja'

Cannes apologizes for projection snafu with Netflix's 'Okja'

The backlash against the two streaming giants comes as Netflix refused to premiere its two Palme d'Or contenders in French cinemas.

Film journalists tweeting about the "chaos" in the screening room said riots were about to break out.

Okja launches globally on Netflix on 28 June. Then film plays in wrong aspect ratio and Grand Lumiere nearly rioted.

The screening of the movie, a competition entry directed by Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho, was stopped after 10 minutes, according to TheWrap's Steve Pond who was present. According to blogger Elena Lazic, the festival authorities did not start the movie well. But some in the audience booed the Netflix logo when it appeared on screen. 20 riotous minutes before projectionist stopped projection'. While the audience booed at the Netflix logo, it continued because of the "terrible projection" standards, Lazic said.

"But there was also some cheering at the same time and a warm round of applause at the end".

Co-written by Bong and Jon Ronson of "Frank", Okja follows a girl from a rural town who risks everything to prevent a multinational company from kidnapping a massive animal named Okja.

Bong also responded to the ongoing controversy, as well as comments made earlier in the week by Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, defending Netflix as a supporter of creative filmmaking: "Giving such a budget to a director isn't very common and i had total liberty". Maybe. Or maybe it'll be Okja - director Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer and The Host are both wild rides, and Bong has spoken glowingly about the creative freedom offered by working with Netflix. It's a fun film to watch, with the performances from the entire cast being the highlight, no matter how out-there they are. That is unusual for a director. They put no pressure on me.

At the start of Okja's debut screening on Friday, the movie was temporarily misframed on the big screen, leading to boos and jeers from the assembled worldwide press corps. "I'm very excited about the appointment of Robert Mueller", he said about the special prosecutor who will investigate Donald Trump's possible ties to Russian Federation. Considering the range of work they produce, it's hard to imagine all of these filmmakers at the same table, much less choosing the same film for the industry's most prestigious award.

During a press conference at the festival, Swinton - who plays an evil CEO in the special effects epic - told reporters (via Variety): "The truth is, we didn't actually come here for prizes".

"Let's be honest, there are thousands of films that are screened in the Cannes film festival that people don't see in the cinema", Swinton added.