Cannes audience 'almost rioted' after technical issues for Netflix film Okja

Cannes audience 'almost rioted' after technical issues for Netflix film Okja

The Cannes Film Festival stopped the world premiere screening of the Netflix movie Okja after five minutes on Friday after sustained heckling from the audience. The audience launched into a display of histrionics reminiscent of a prison riot, which forced the festival into restarting the film with the correct technical set-up. When the movie started for the second time, there was booing again at the Netflix logo.

With elements of "King Kong", British magazine Sight and Sound said the "snazzy science fiction succeeds as both a critique of the modern meat industry and a bittersweet tale of the bond between a girl and a mighty beast".

The audience booed the Netflix logo, which appeared before the film started, and it then became clear the film was playing in the wrong aspect ratio.

Cannes quickly apologized for the incident in a statement, saying the faulty exhibition was "completely due to the technical staff of the festival".

The Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown director said he could not conceive the Palme d'Or - or any other prize - "being given to a film and then not being able to see the film on a big screen".

Festival organizers last week unveiled a new requirement for competition films to have traditional theatrical distribution in French theaters after the French Cinema Federation (FNCF) objected to the inclusion of two Netflix films in Cannes' official selection. The Snowpiercer director's latest is premiering, unsurprisingly, as a competition title at the Cannes Film Festival, but it comes via the auspices of Netflix Original Films. While Netflix's gamble screams to be seen on the big screen, this colorful fantasy should be warmly received by global subscribers when it goes live on June 28th.

The movie stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Tilda Swinton.

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The festival later issued an apology over the technical issues.

The film follows the story of a young Korean farmer girl called Mija (Seo-Hyun Ahn) who tries to save an environmentally-friendly, scientifically-produced mammal, the Okja, from being slaughtered.

"The platform of a film, how far it can reach, to how many people it can get to to communicate a message is extraordinarily important". I loved the film nearly from the off.

'I think it's truly a blessing when any art gets to reach one person, let alone hundreds of thousands upon millions of people'.

"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 - the most lovely, the most esoteric films that people never see in the cinema", said Swinton.

About the streaming giant, the actress said: "Netflix has given Bong the freedom with this film to make his absolutely liberated vision and for that I'm so grateful".

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