Fear and loathing in Hollywood at streamers’ stranglehold

Cate Blanchett. (AP)
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Updated 08 September 2020

Fear and loathing in Hollywood at streamers’ stranglehold

  • Several expressed unease at the dominance streamers established during the pandemic at the Venice film festival

VENICE: Hollywood stars and top directors are getting increasingly anxious about the hold streaming giants Netflix and Amazon are exerting over cinema.

Several expressed unease at the dominance streamers established during the pandemic at the Venice film festival — the first major industry gathering since the coronavirus struck. With many cinemas still closed and studios wary of releasing movies with social distancing in force, the two big US giants have virtually had the film-going public to themselves.

Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett, who is chairing the jury at Venice, said cinema needed support and warned it could be tricky “moving from a monoculture of streaming over the last six months to how we open cinemas.

“I think it will be a very important conversation to have. It’s a global issue,” said the actress, who admitted spending lockdown watching animated movies by the Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki with her family.

Legendary Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, who has argued for the regulation of all-powerful tech firms, painted a grim future where towns and cities could lose their cultural hearts, with cinemas and theaters going dark.

“The platforms have had an essential role in this period, but it’s nevertheless also negative and reason for concern,” he told reporters.

He pleaded for a return to shared experience, saying cinemas and theaters were the antidote to the “forced reclusion and imprisonment.”

“The Greeks talk of catharsis, so you find yourself crying or rejoicing with other people you don’t know, and it’s essential in our lives as humans,” Almodovar said. “If a film of mine is shown in a cinema I can hear the audience breathe, it gives me the pulse of to what extent my film excites people.

“If I put my film on a platform like Netflix, I lose that contact with the spectator,” Almodovar said.

Even those who have embraced the streamers, like Venice’s departing director Alberto Barbera — who premiered three Netflix films including “Marriage Story” last year — now have reservations.

“We are tired of seeing films in streaming,” he told AFP.

“Watching them online helped us get through the lockdown, but we cannot lose the experiences of seeing them on a big screen,” he said. But “one of the consequences of confinement is that the streamers now have enormous sway,” Barbera added.

Rising American director Gia Coppola, whose sharp new satire on online culture, “Mainstream,” is showing at Venice, told AFP that lockdowns may have only hastened the inevitable.


Cannes Lions completes jury presidents’ lineup for 2021

Updated 23 January 2021

Cannes Lions completes jury presidents’ lineup for 2021

  • “We know that after the postponement of last year’s awards, our jury presidents are eager to get going,” said Philip Thomas
  • This year, the jury president lineup is comprised of 57 percent women — the highest in the awards’ history

DUBAI: International advertising awards festival Cannes Lions has confirmed its jury president lineup for the awards scheduled to take place in June 2021.
Bozoma Saint John, global chief marketing officer at Netflix; Merlee Jayme, global president at Dentsu Mcgarrybowen; and Geoff Northcott, managing partner and chief experience officer at AKQA, complete the full line-up and join the jury presidents initially appointed for the 2020 awards.
“We know that after the postponement of last year’s awards, our jury presidents are eager to get going,” said Philip Thomas, chairman, Lions. “They will be leading juries in a unique year, awarding Lions for both 2020 and 2021 — no small job but one that will provide a crucial reflection and insight into the industry’s recent unprecedented journey.”
This year, the jury president lineup is comprised of 57 percent women — the highest in the awards’ history.
One of them, Susan Credle, global chief creative officer, FCB, who is this year’s president of the titanium jury, said: “Advertising at its creative best is one of the most powerful economic-driving, business problem-solving, culture-changing agents in the world. By celebrating the work at the Cannes lions festival, we are reminded of our potential and inspired to live into it.”
Judging will take place during the festival in June. The hope is for the judges to be physically present together but if they are unable to do so, the festival has created a remote judging experience, which was implemented at its regional awards. “It (the judging process) is a crucial part of all of our Lions awards; a human experience but also a rigorous and robust process,” said Simon Cook, managing director, Lions.
Cannes Lions is scheduled to take place from June 21-25, 2021, and will incorporate the awarding of both the 2020 and 2021 Lions.
The full list of jury presidents for 2021 is:
Titanium Lions: Susan Credle, global chief creative officer, FCB, Global
Design Lions: Pum Lefebure, chief creative officer, Design Army, US
Film Lions: Richard Brim, chief creative officer, adam&eveDDB, UK
Mobile Lions: Andrew Keller, VP, global creative director, Facebook
Outdoor Lions: Luiz Sanches, chairman, chief creative officer & partner, AlmapBBDO, Brazil
Print & Publishing Lions: Liz Taylor, global chief creative officer, Leo Burnett, and worldwide chief creative officer, Publicis Communications NA
Radio & Audio Lions: Merlee Jayme, global president, dentsu mcgarrybowen and chairman Dentsu Jayme Syfu
Digital Craft Lions: Jax Ostle-Evans, managing director, Stink Studios, UK
Film Craft Lions: Kerstin Emhoff, president, PRETTYBIRD, US
Industry Craft Lions: Jayanta Jenkins, EVP, head of marketing, Disney+, global
Entertainment Lions: Jae Goodman, CEO, Observatory (A Stagwell and CAA Company), global
Entertainment Lions for Music: Wyclef Jean, president and chief strategy officer, Carnival World Music Group, US
Entertainment Lions for Sport: Ben Hartman, chief client officer, International, Octagon
Brand Experience & Activation Lions: Vicki Maguire, chief creative officer, Havas, UK
Creative Business Transformation Lions: Geoff Northcott, global chief experience officer & managing partner, EMEA, AKQA
Creative eCommerce Lions: Tiffany Rolfe, global chief creative officer, R/GA
Glass: The Lion for Change: Bozoma Saint John, global chief marketing officer, Netflix
Sustainable Development Goals Lions: Eduardo Maruri, VP global creative board & president/CEO Europe, Grey worldwide
Health & Wellness Lions: Tom Richards, global chief creative officer, 21GRAMS
Pharma Lions: Anne de Schweinitz, global managing director, Healthcare, FleishmanHillard
Innovation Lions: Claudia Cristovao, head of Google Brand Studio, APAC
Creative Effectiveness Lions: Ann Mukherjee, chairman and CEO, Pernod Ricard NA, US
Creative Data Lions: Maurice Riley, chief data officer, Digitas, Australia & New Zealand
Creative Strategy Lions: Suzanne Powers, global chief strategy officer, McCann Worldgroup
Direct Lions: Reed Collins, chief creative officer, Ogilvy, Asia
Media Lions: Philippa Brown, worldwide CEO, PHD
PR Lions: Gail Heimann, president & CEO, Weber Shandwick
Social & Influencer Lions: Debbi Vandeven, global chief creative officer, VMLY&R

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