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Pedro Almodovar & Will Smith clash over Netflix at Cannes Film Festival

19 May 2017

As the 70th Cannes Film Festival kicked off in the south of France Wednesday, tensions were high even among the festival's star-powered jury.

The filmmaker and the Suicide Squad star are part of the jury selecting the best films at the event in France, and this year's competition includes two Netflix projects - Tilda Swinton's Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories, which stars Emma Thompson and Ben Stiller.

French theatres, which have strict rules regarding streaming service films, rebelled at the thought of a movie that will not play on the big screen winning the Palme d'Or - the biggest film award next to an Oscar.

Jury president Pedro Almodovar, from left, jury members Jessica Chastain and Will Smith pose for photographers during the photo call for the Jury at the 70th worldwide film festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May.

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He said he could not imagine "the Palme d'Or nor any other prize being given to a film, and then not being able to see that film on a large screen".

The comment was striking coming from the head of the jury that will decide the award, potentially meaning that the Joon-ho and Baumbach films are already out of luck. The size [of the screen] should not be smaller than the chair on which you're sitting.

Jury president Pedro Almodovar clashed with actor Will Smith during the jury press conference that opens Cannes each year, appearing at odds over the contentious issue of Netflix films being included in the competition.

"In my home, Netflix has had absolutely no effect on what they (his children) go to the movie theater to watch", he said.

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Hollywood's great streaming debate rages on at France's prestigious Cannes Film Festival, where Netflix prepares to make its debut for the first (and possibly the last) time. There are movies that are not on a screen within 8,000 miles of them. "They get to find those artists". "Will!" "West Philadelphia is a long way from Cannes", joked an enthusiastic Smith, referring to his hometown. France has been under a state of emergency since the November 2015 Paris attacks. "A piece that does not remain in the annals of the great French song but it illustrates quite well the atmosphere in Cannes for a few hours since, that's it, let's go for the 70 th edition of Cane Festival s. So we need to pay attention", festival director Thierry Fremaux said in an interview.

Stars are arriving under tighter security than in previous years, 10 months after the truck attack in nearby Nice killed 86 people.

70th Cannes Film Festival - Opening ceremony and screening of the film "Les fantomes d'Ismael" (Ismael's Ghosts) out of competition - Red Carpet Arrivals - Cannes, France.

Jury members Jessica Chastain, right, and Will Smith greet each other upon arrival at the photo call for the Jury at the 70th worldwide film festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 16, 2017.

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Pedro Almodovar & Will Smith clash over Netflix at Cannes Film Festival