Orson Welles’ daughter has appealed Netflix to reconsider its decision of pulling out of the Cannes Film Festival as it will result in her father’s last film The Other Side of the Wind missing its much-anticipated screening at the French festival.
Netflix decided to pull out of the festival as new rules require that all films vying for the top spot need a theatrical release in France, something that affects its business model of releasing films on its streaming platform first.
Welles daughter has appealed Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, to reconsider their decision. Netflix financed the completion of the film.
“I was very upset and troubled to read in the trade papers about the conflict with the Cannes Film Festival. I have to speak out for my father,” Beatrice said in an e-mail sent to Sarandos, portions of which were published by Vanity Fair.
“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,” she added.
Welles shot the film, about a director (John Huston) who returns to Hollywood with a comeback film after spending years in Europe, between 1970 and 1976 but it faced a lot of difficulties with production and financing. It was eventually left unfinished for over 40 years.
In October 2014, efforts were made to complete the film but it again hit a roadblock even though the producers tried to raise money via crowdfunding. Netflix backed its completion.
The film’s producer Filip Jan Rymsza also expressed disappointment over the film being pulled out of the festival.
“Our film was selected to screen Out of Competition, as an Official Selection in the Grand Th tre Lumi re, so it was not directly effected by the ban. 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,” he said in a statement.
“Granted, I’m conflicted in my emotions. There would be no The Other Side of the Wind without Netflix, but that doesn’t lessen my disappointment and heartbreak,” he said.
The impasse between Netflix and Cannes has affected the works of some major directors such as Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, which was also scheduled to be screened out of competition.