Director Orson Welles’s daughter Beatrice has written to Netflix asking them to “reconsider” their decision to pull out of the Cannes Film Festival, Vanity Fair reported.
The streaming platfom decided to withold its titles from the prestigious film festival after it instituted a rule banning films that do not have a theatrical release in France. The new rule was enforced by festival director Thierry Fremaux after the inclusion of Netflix titles Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories in 2017 attracted protests from French filmmakers last year. Netflix could still screen its titles outside the competition, but declined.
The decision has had an impact on Welles’s last film The Other Side of the Wind, which was scheduled to be premiered out of competition at the festival, but will now not be screened at all. Originally shot between 1970 and 1976, the film features John Huston, Bob Random, Peter Bogdanovich, Susan Strasberg and Oja Kodar. The Other Side of the Wind is a satire on classic Hollywood and avant-garde filmmakers of the 1970s.
“I was very upset and troubled to read in the trade papers about the conflict with the Cannes Film Festival,” Beatrice Welles reportedly said in an email to Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “I have to speak out for my father. 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. I would so hate to see Netflix be yet another one of these companies.”
Welles pointed out that her father had shared a healthy relationship with Cannes throughout his career. Welles had won the festival’s top honor in 1952 for his Othello adaptation before the creation of the Palme d’Or and had also won the best actor trophy in 1959 for his performance in Compulsion. “Please reconsider and let my father’s work be the movie that bridges the gap between Netflix and Cannes,” Welles said.
The Other Side of the Wind producer Filip Jan Rymsza wrote on the movie’s official Indiegogo page that Netflix’s decision has resulted in disappointment and heartbreak. “Our film was selected to screen Out of Competition, as an Official Selection in the Grand Théâtre Lumière, so it was not directly effected by the ban,” Rymsza wrote. “What’s sad and most difficult to come to terms with is that everyone loses in this decision — Cannes, Netflix, film lovers and all of us who worked so hard on this historic endeavor.”