With the Cannes Film Festival in the rearview, the next big festival to focus on this fall will be the 78th Annual Venice Film Festival. Major films are already tipped to debut there, Denis Villeneuve‘s sci-fi blockbuster “Dune” Kristen Stewart’s Princess Diana drama “Spencer,” “Halloween Kills,” and new films by Pedro Almodovar and Jane Campion.
Netflix is said to have a rather large footprint at the film festival. While Deadline didn’t dish their entire lineup, as expected, they revealed that the streaming giant is expected to have “a heavy presence” at the festival. With one sales executive telling the outlet, “This will be Netflix’s Venice.” Indicating that we’ll see a bulk of Netflix’s awards caliber projects make a splash at Venice.
You might be wondering why Netflix is so keen on pushing their films at Venice and not so much with Cannes. Well, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos spoke at the Film Companion Front Row via Variety and lamented Cannes changing its rules to effectively exclude streaming entries without theatrical releases from the competition.
“The only thing that happened between Netflix and Cannes is they changed the rules,” Sarandos explained of the company’s issues with Cannes. “And I just thought, I don’t want to bring our films if we are uniquely excluded from [playing in] competition. And you know, my first year in Cannes , we brought ‘The Meyerowitz Stories’ and ‘Okja,’ we had a remarkable experience.”
Sarandos also rebuked comments made by Cannes’ festival artistic director Thierry Fremaux, who stated streaming platforms don’t discover talent in the same way as more traditional methods do.
“Cannes [has] been at this for 75 years, and we’ve been making our own original movies for about three. So we’ve got some work to do, for sure. But I would be remiss not to point out that Thierry was actually kind of a little bit wrong.” Adding a direct example of Netflix discovering young talent, “Just pointing out quickly, there’s a young filmmaker named Stefon Bristol, who we took directly out of film school at NYU, introduced to me by Spike Lee, who made his first feature called ‘See You Yesterday’ that won an Independent Spirit Award, was nominated for another and he’s going to be an amazing new voice.”
He also cites projects such as their $90 million budgeted western “The Harder They Fall” from director Jeymes Samuel and Mati Diop‘s “Atlantics,” the latter of which ironically debuted at Cannes.
The outlet mentions that their films, such as Jane Campion’s “The Power of The Dog” and Paolo Sorrentino’s drama “The Hand of God,” are heading to Venice. Given the tip-off of a Netflix-heavy Venice, it’s easy to speculate that films such as “The Harder They Fall,” “Tick, Tick… Boom!,” Andrew Dominik‘s “Blonde,” Adam McKay‘s “Don’t Look Up,” “The Guilty” (previously said to debut at TIFF), and many more could be contenders to join that Netflix lineup. Keep your eyes peeled as Venice organizers should be unveiling that full line-up soon.