Netflix Flick ‘Okja’ Press Screening In Cannes Halted After Jeers From Crowd
On May 19, Friday, South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho's latest film 'Okja' was slated to hold a press screening at the Cannes Film Festival in France. However, the event was disrupted by several jeers and boos from the crowd that was present at the event.
The Netflix film drew hisses and taunts as soon as the logo of popular streaming service Netflix appeared on the screen. Shortly after the 'Okja' press screening began at the Lumiere Theatre in Cannes, it was temporarily halted at around 8:38 A.M. after noises from the crowd disturbed the event. The screening resumed after the film festival's authorities asked the jeering reporters to leave the premises.
Cannes was recently criticized for changing its rules to exclude films that have no commitment to a French release from the previous year. The local film industry then expressed dismay against the Netflix film's advance to the competition of this year's festival. 'Okja' is a story about a small-town girl who risks her life saving a huge creature named Okja from being taken by a corporation. The film is co-written by Bong Joon-Ho and Jon Ronson. According to Bong, the story conveys a message about humanity and capitalism.
"We feel pleasure as well as pain from living in a capitalist world. We sometimes feel stressed and tired. I made this film out of the idea that animals would feel the same way," he said during a news conference about the movie. 'Okja' will be the first Netflix movie to premiere in the Cannes official competition section.
The sci-fi movie is produced by 3 Hollywood studios including Plan B, Lewis Pictures, and Kate Street Picture Company. Netflix paid for the budget that amounted to $50 million. 'Okja' is noted for its impressive cast, which includes Jake Gyllenhal, Tilda Swinton, Steven Yeun, and Paul Dano. The Hollywood stars are also joined by several South Korean actors like An Seo-hyun, Byun Hee-bong, Choi Woo-shik and Yoon Je-moon.