Netflix Scores Worldwide Rights For Cannes Award-Winning Films ‘Atlantics’ & ‘I Lost My Body’

Netflix and Cannes have been hostile toward each other, but this development would soothe some nerves.

Mati Diop, winner of the Grand Prix Award for the film "Atlantique", attends the Closing Ceremony Press Conference during the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival on May 25, 2019 in Cannes, France.
John Phillips / Getty Images

Netflix and Cannes have been hostile toward each other, but this development would soothe some nerves.

Netflix’s rift with Cannes, one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, has been well documented. The French film festival refused to screen movies produced by Netflix because the streaming giant wouldn’t concede to the demand of not releasing the movies at the same time as their screenings at Cannes.

Several filmmakers sided with Cannes in this debate, but it now appears there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel, according to Variety.

Although that rift has not quite been resolved, Netflix did manage to claim worldwide rights for two movies which did outstandingly well at Cannes, namely Atlantics and I Lost My Body. While the former is a Senegalese film which won the Grand Prix award at Cannes and follows the life of its 17-year-old heroine Ada on a transcontinental emotional journey, reliving the travails of African migrants, I Lost My Body is a French animated movie that follows a cut-off hand as it escapes from a dissection lab with the goal of getting back to its body. The latter bagged the Nespresso Grand Prize at the film festival.

Netflix has reportedly landed the worldwide rights for both movies, with the exception of China, Benelux, Switzerland, Russia, and France for Atlantics, and China, Benelux, Turkey, and France for I Lost My Body. Netflix will be allowed to stream both movies on its platform over a three-year period following their release in Europe later this year.

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The director of Atlantics, Mati Diop, became the first black woman to have her film selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at Cannes. The award was eventually won by South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho for his black comedy thriller, Parasite. He is known for his cinematic thrillers Memories of Murder and Mother in his native country, while international audiences are familiar with his blockbuster hits Snowpiercer and Okja, which also competed for the top prize at Cannes a couple of years ago and is already on Netflix.

This is the second year running that an Asian filmmaker has won the Palme d’Or at Cannes after Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda won the award in 2018 with Shoplifters, according to The Guardian.

Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and Al Pacino, left empty-handed, but nonetheless received raucous applause at the festival and continues to receive fantastic reviews. Antonio Banderas was the popular winner of the best actor award at the festival for his portrayal of a filmmaker in Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory.