Hollywood's great streaming debate rages on at France's prestigious Cannes Film Festival, where Netflix prepares to make its debut for the first (and possibly the last) time.
"In my home, Netflix has had absolutely no effect on what they go to the movie theatre to watch", he said.
Smith also argued that services like Netflix give his children access to films and filmmakers they might otherwise not have experienced.
Sofia Coppola's "The Beguiled", one of two films screening at Cannes starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell, is a remake of the 1971 Clint Eastwood American Civil War tale of sexual tension - this time seen through the lens of a woman, rather than the famously macho "Dirty Harry" director Don Siegel. Festival organisers tried to negotiate a compromise, with a "limited release" of the movies in France mooted.
"The Killing of the Sacred Deer" is one of the 19 films selected to compete for the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) in the main competition selection. There are movies that are not on a screen within 8,000 miles of them. "The only solution I think is that the new platforms accept and obey the existing rules that are already adopted and respected by the existing networks". Farhadi's presence in Cannes sharply contrasted with February's Academy Awards ceremony, which the filmmaker (whose "The Salesman" won best foreign language film) boycotted to protest President Donald Trump's proposed travel ban on visitors from several predominantly Muslim nations. And Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, accused cinemas of "strangling cinema".
However, since neither film was originally slated for French cinema release after first being shown online, the National Federation of French Cinemas (FNCF) complained strongly to festival organisers.
Many read his statement as indicating that neither of Netflix's highly touted films ― Okja starring Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal, nor The Meyerowitz Stories with Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller ― would win anything. "You must feel small and humble in front of the image that is here to capture you".
"Since Sept. 11, Cannes has. maximized security measures", festival director Thierry Fremaux said in an interview.
The festival runs from May 17-28 and will open with Arnaud Desplechin's Ismael's Ghosts.
Apparently very happy to be part of this jury presided by the enormous Pedro Almodóvar, Will Smith - particularly seductive - spent a long time cuckooing and sending kisses to the onlookers who came to applaud him and his co-jurors.
"Netflix made a decision to go first via the internet, so French theatres protested, and they are right, because cinema is first of all in theatres", he added.