Netflix has unveiled the trailer for South Korean helmer Boon Joon-Ho’s latest film Okja, which is premiering in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. The title, which stars Seo-Hyung Ahn, Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano and Jake Gyllenhaal, sees a young girl who risks everything to save Okja, a massive animal and even bigger friend, who has been kidnapped by a powerful, multimational conglomerate.
Here we see Mija’s innocent friendship with the unique animal in her home of South Korea before he’s cruelly kidnapped by Swinton’s powerful company and taken to New York with the intent on breeding the strange animal for profit and using it for purposes of mass food production. Mija embarks on a long journey to save the shy and introverted animal with the help of Jay (played by Dano) as the leader of an animal-rights activist group, in what looks set to be a fast-paced and unique story.
Okja, which is an English-language Netflix original film, has been the subject of much controversy here in Cannes as it is one of two titles from the streamer that is playing in competition at the festival. French exhibitors have been up in arms over the decision from festival director Thierry Fremaux, as these pics would not be set for a theatrical release in the territory. France has a stringent rule that films released theatrically must wait 36 months before heading to SVOD.
The controversy prompted the festival to respond by saying from 2018 going forward, all films in competition will have to be committed to a local theatrical release.
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