Beatrice Welles, the daughter of Hollywood icon Orson Welles, is speaking out after Netflix announced it won’t premiere the star’s final movie at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, told Vanity Fair Wednesday the streaming giant is pulling five films from the prestigious movie event after the festival announced new rules that disqualify the streaming service’s films from appearing.
Cannes earlier banned any films without theatrical distribution in France from its Palme d’Or competition, ruling out Netflix movies. In France, it’s a law that films can’t be released on home entertainment platforms until 36 months after their theatrical release.
“We want our films to be on fair ground with every other filmmaker,” explained Sarandos. “There’s a risk in us going in this way and having our films and filmmakers treated disrespectfully at the festival. They’ve set the tone. I don’t think it would be good for us to be there.”
Vanity Fair reported Thursday Beatrice pleaded with Sarandos in an email to reconsider his decision.
“I was very upset and troubled to read in the trade papers about the conflict with the Cannes Film Festival,” wrote the 62-year-old. “I have to speak out for my father.”
The magazine added Netflix has financed the post-production of “The Other Side of the Wind” and had planned to premiere the film at Cannes before its release on the streaming platform this fall.
The movie, which was shot by Welles in the 1970s, tells the story of a director who returns to Hollywood after spending years in Europe. It stars actor/director John Huston, who passed away in 1987 at age 81.
Beatrice revealed how her father battled with studios and producers throughout his career just to share his stories with the public.
“I saw how the big production companies destroyed his life, his work, and in so doing a little bit of the man I loved so much,” she explained. “I would so hate to see Netflix be yet another one of these companies.”
Beatrice added, “Please reconsider and let my father’s work be the movie that bridges the gap between Netflix and Cannes.”
For Netflix, skipping Cannes means those or other releases won’t get the worldwide promotion afforded by the festival, nor the much-sought honor of being a Cannes selection. Lacking theatrical distribution or massive marketing expenditures, Netflix has depended heavily on film festivals as launch pads for its movies.
Representatives for Cannes didn’t immediately comment Wednesday.
Welles passed away in 1985 at age 70.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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