The movie also stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Paul Dano
Netflix’s new Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal-starring movie Okja was booed and heckled during its premiere at Cannes Film Festival this week.
The film follows the story of a young Korean farmer girl called Mija (Seo-Hyun Ahn) who tries to save an environmentally-friendly, scientifically-produced mammal, the Okja, from being slaughtered. Swinton plays a pioneering livestock expert who wants Okja to be used as a food produce, while Mija’s rescue mission – which takes her to Manhattan – is aided by animal-rights activist Jay (Paul Dano). It will be released via the streaming service on June 28.
Reports from attendees suggests that some audience members jeered when the Netflix logo appeared at the beginning of the screening. Cannes’ decision to screen the film had been a controversial one, with some critics angered by Netflix’s refusal to screen the movie at cinemas in France.
The screening also suffered technical difficulties, with the movie initially being shown in the wrong aspect ratio. The movie was stopped and then restarted without any explanation.
BBC journalist Lauren Turner has said: “There was shouting from the upper seats and it became apparent the aspect ratio was wrong, so they restarted it after about 10 minutes. The second time around the audience booed the Netflix logo again. But there was also some cheering at the same time and a warm round of applause at the end.”
Indiewire writer David Ehrlich tweeted: “Okja starts, huge boos at Netflix logo. Then film plays in wrong aspect ratio and Grand Lumiere almost rioted. Movie stopped.”
A statement from the Cannes Film Festival reads: “This incident was entirely the responsibility of the Festival’s technical service, which offers its apologies to the director and his team, to the producers and the audience.”
Watch the trailer for Okja below:
Okja is one of two Netflix-funded films in competition for the Palme d’Or. Cannes recently announced that it would ban any competing films that didn’t also gain a French theatre release, meaning streaming-only titles would be banned.