European Arthouse Entity Blasts Venice Chief Alberto Barbera For Pro-Netflix Stance

In the latest salvo against Netflix from the European arthouse community the International Confederation of Art Cinemas (CICAE) has lashed out against Venice Film Festival Artistic Director Alberto Barbera for having Netflix titles screening in competition.

CICAE in a statement issued on Monday blasted Barbera for taking a different attitude than Cannes which earlier this year banned Netflix movies from competition since the streaming giant could not guarantee that they would be shown in French cinemas. 

The three Netflix movies competing in Venice that CICAE is up in arms about are Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma,”  “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” by the Coen brothers, and Italian director Alessio Cremonini’s police brutality drama “On My Skin.”

CICAE claimed their presence in the Venice competition “encourages practices that endanger an important sector of the film industry,” the statement said, adding that “cinema and television are different mediums” and also that “cinematic films are made to be seen according to high-quality standards on the big screen.”

Actually it has surfaced during the festival, where these movies have already screened, that all three will be getting theatrical releases, as Netflix revises its distribution patterns, though the streamer is still keeping distribution details under wraps.

Speaking to Variety earlier this summer about his decision to take a different approach vis-a-vis Netflix than Cannes topper Thierry Frémaux, Barbera said he did not think “there can be any form of prejudice towards industry players that we [as festival directors] have to deal with” adding that he did not think festival directors “have a role to play as mediators regarding changes in the market, nor as censors.”

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