Cannes it: Alejandro González Iñárritu backs cinema over streaming

Cannes jury president Alejandro González Iñárritu lauded the “communal experience” of watching movies in cinemas as the French film festival – locked in a row with streaming services such as Netflix – got under way yesterday.

The Mexican maker of ‘Birdman’ will help pick the winner of the top Palme D’Or prize on May 25.

At a time when streaming companies like Netflix are turning out serious award contenders, Iñárritu defended movie theatres.

“I’m a true believer that to watch is not to see a film … Cinema was born to be experienced, in a communal experience,” he said, with the French Riviera event set to open with the zombie-fest ‘The Dead Don’t Die’.

Iñárritu said he did not have anything against “watching something on a phone”: “It’s great that they exist in TV, but why not give people the choice to experience them in the cinema.”

Cannes dictates that films in competition cannot be streamed for the following three years.

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