In its 70th year, the illustrious Cannes Film Festival may finally be warming to filmmaking beyond the cinema.
The Cannes Film Festival, for the first time this year, has included two Netflix originals in its official film selection. It will screen Okja, from South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho, and Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories, featuring Netflix hit-maker Adam Sandler, in competition for the Palme d’Or.
Both movies will have theatrical runs, and make their world premieres at the festival in May.
Rival streamer Amazon screened five films at Cannes last year. But the competition had so far eluded Netflix, which has an online-first distribution model that is at odds with the festival’s.
The festival’s home in France has strict rules that govern film releases. There, subscription-video-on-demand services like Netflix have to wait three years after a movie hits cinemas to release it online. There is some talk of shortening that window, but the rule still applies for now—including to these films debuting this year.
Netflix usually releases its movies simultaneously online and in theaters, if they’re shown in cinemas all. Amazon, meanwhile, puts out its movies the old-fashioned way, in theaters for a period, then online. The Seattle-based digital service has one movie in this year’s competition, Todd Haynes’s Wonderstruck, with Julianne Moore.
Two highly anticipated TV series will also be screened at Cannes for the first time, including two episodes of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, and the full second season of Jane Campion’s mystery drama Top of the Lake. The shows are part of the festival’s special 70th anniversary events and not in the competition.
Cannes festival director Thierry Frémaux said the titles selected, regardless of how and where they were released, belonged at Cannes because they used ”the classic art of cinema” to tell stories, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Though this is Netflix’s first year in the Cannes rotation, it has had a presence on the Croisette before. In 2015, chief content officer Ted Sarandos addressed a somewhat heated crowd at the festival. And the company sends its acquisition team to scout titles, like Divines, a French film it picked up last year. (The movie is available everywhere on Netflix except in France, where it will be released in 2019, in line with local law.)