Swinton, who also starred in Bong's previous film "Snowpiercer", said she agreed to appear in the movie as soon as she saw Bong's storyboard sketches.
"Historically many films get into Cannes' film festival with no distribution at all", he told a press conference in Seoul to introduce Netflix's South Korean-directed film Okja ahead of its premiere at Cannes.
While not yet allowed to talk about the specifics, Bong said "Okja" will allow the viewers to ponder about how one views animals. The film has been bought by Netflix, which is planning to give it a USA theatrical release.
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Netflix has been banned from competing in the prestigious Palme d'Or contest at the Cannes Film Festival unless its entries have been released on the big screen across France.
The movie will enjoy a full release in Korea, but as for North American and European releases, only select theaters in the US and United Kingdom will offer screenings, according to Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer, during a press conference held at Four Seasons Hotel in Jongno District, central Seoul, on Monday. The film festival later made a decision to keep Ojka, as shown by the "official selection" moniker on the film's poster, but issued a rule that all future Cannes competitors have to get a theatrical release in France.
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The sci-fi film was produced by three Hollywood studios - Plan B, Lewis Pictures and Kate Street Picture Company - while the USA video streaming service Netflix covered the film's entire budget of US$50 million. Some companies hesitated in [investing in "Okja"] because of its large budget, and others were reluctant because it is such a bold and original film. "I was able to complete the film thanks to Netflix", said Bong.
In Korea, the film will become available in theaters in an "open-run" distribution method, according to Kim Woo-taek, chief executive of the movie's local distributor Next Entertainment World (NEW).
This file photo from Netflix shows an English-language promotional poster for "Okja". "We reached this conclusion after many discussions to distribute Okja in Korea in the most efficient way". "So I had no reason to hesitate if I was able to control this movie 100 percent", said Bong.
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