Naperville Business Lawyer Discusses an Interesting Incident at a Well-Known Film Festival

Netflix, Naperville business law attorneysIn a recent post on this blog, I talked a little about the growing percentage of American households who are eschewing standard cable television packages in favor of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. Appropriately dubbed as “cable cutters,” these households have forced networks and officials throughout the television industry to rethink their strategies for attracting viewers. It seems, however, that the issue is affecting Hollywood too, as controversy has arisen following an incident at the world-famous Cannes Film Festival.

As a business law attorney, I recognize the importance of variety and competition in any given industry. When a select group of power players is given too much control, the result is often bad for the consumer and, as a result, the long-term health of the sector. It should not be left up to the leading companies to decide who should or should not be allowed to compete.

Netflix Movie Booed at Cannes

Last week, an audience at Cannes vocally expressed their distaste for Netflix when the streaming company’s logo appeared at the beginning of the movie Okja. The film is the latest project of Bong Joon-ho, a celebrated South Korean filmmaker, and is set for release in theaters and on the streaming service next month. The audience, however, was not upset at the work itself; rather they took issue with Netflix and the company’s current business model. Film purists—who comprise the vast majority of attendees at Cannes and similar film festivals—seem to think that Netflix is thumbing its proverbial nose at the “rules” by not using an old-fashioned theaters-only release schedule before making movies available for in-home streaming.

In the wake of the incident, the Cannes Film Festival actually changed its own rules to prevent the entry of any film that does not have a theatrical release in France—the country where Cannes is located. While claiming to be a supporter of emerging technologies, the festival’s jury president Pedro Almodóvar maintained that certain honors—including those given at Cannes—should be reserved for films that follow the 100+ year tradition of theatrical experiences.

Streaming Offers Newcomers a Chance

Independent filmmakers across the country have faced a number of struggles in recent years as they have tried to make their movies accessible to a larger audience. Many cannot break into the largest studios—companies wrought with multi-billion dollar franchises that easily produce sequel after sequel and countless licensing opportunities. Smaller studios do not guarantee theater releases either, at least not in most of America. Sure, there are arts communities and independent theaters in cities like New York or Los Angeles, but the window is closing fast in the rest of the country.

Both Netflix and Amazon have committed significant amounts of money to develop new, original movies and “television” shows. Fledgling filmmakers and veteran indie directors alike are beginning to see the opportunities available and would be foolish, in many cases, to hold out just for the sake of tradition.

We Can Help

While competition is healthy in any industry, the current leaders do not always see things that way. If your business is struggling to gain traction in the marketplace, contact an experienced business law attorney in Naperville. We can help you develop strategies and best practices so that you can achieve your personal and professional goals. Call 630-756-1160 for a confidential consultation at The Gierach Law Firm today.




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