Almodovar and Smith's comments on Netflix at Cannes

Oscar victor Vanessa Redgrave, twice Cannes' Best Actress, makes her directorial debut at the age of 80 with "Sea Sorrow", a documentary about the European refugee crisis.

Farhadi collected his Oscar statuette Wednesday in France, via producer Alexandre Mallet-Guy.

Sofia Coppola's "The Beguiled", one of two films screening at Cannes starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell, is a remake of the 1971 Clint Eastwood American Civil War tale of sexual tension - this time seen through the lens of a woman, rather than the famously macho "Dirty Harry" director Don Siegel.

Amid critics' praise for the Korean auteur and controversy surrounding Netflix's production and online streaming policies, the fantasy flick is likely to draw attention until the festival ends May 28.

During a press conference Wednesday with the competition jury members, jury president Pedro Almodovar read a prepared statement in which he dismissed Netflix films as viable contenders for festival's coveted Palme d'Or award. The size should not be smaller than the chair on which you're sitting. "It should not be part of your everyday setting", he added to applause from his audience. "You must feel small and humble in front of the image that's here". The filmmaker was surrounded by attractive people such as American actors Will Smith and Jessica Chastain, but also seasoned filmmakers like Paolo Sorentino and Park-Chon Woo.

Smith was an unusual pick for the Cannes jury, given his career as one of the world's biggest stars, which normally lands him in blockbusters like Men in Black, Bad Boys and last year's summer hit Suicide Squad rather than artier fare.

Netflix allows Smith's children to "watch films they otherwise wouldn't have seen". The film festival later made a decision to keep Ojka, as shown by the "official selection" moniker on the film's poster, but issued a rule that all future Cannes competitors have to get a theatrical release in France. They go to the movies twice a week, and they watch Netflix.

French cinema owners delivered a "Zut!" chorus when they learned that The Mereyowitz Stories, written and directed by Noah Baumbach and starring Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman, won't appear on big screens outside the festival. "They get to find those artists".

Smith, who has not had a film play at Cannes before, was dapperly dressed and cheerfully posing with festival-goers who screamed "Will!"

Looking dashing in black tux, Smith joked about his hometown to a group of festival goers, saying, "West Philadelphia is a long way from Cannes". This is also the first festival held since the truck attack in nearby Nice killed 86 people last June.

Festival organizers have said everything has been done to maintain a balance of safety and the celebratory atmosphere of the world's most prestigious film festival.

Three years ago European Parliament had backed a motion urging anti-trust regulators to get tough on Google. "So we need to pay attention", festival director Thierry Fremaux said in an interview.

Opening ceremony and screening of the film "Les fantomes d'Ismael" (Ismael's Ghosts) out of competition - Red Carpet Arrivals - Cannes, France.

  • Salvatore Jensen