(LEAD) 'Okja' press screening in Cannes temporarily halted by technical glitch
(ATTN: REWRITES headline, lead; ADDS more info throughout)
CANNES, France, May 19 (Yonhap) -- The press screening of South Korean director Bong Joon-ho's "Okja" at the Cannes Film Festival was temporarily stopped on Friday (local time) due to a technical problem, the event's organizer said.
Boos, claps, and whistles erupted from the audience when the Netflix logo rolled onto the screen minutes after the film's press screening began at Lumiere Theater in Cannes, France, at 8:30 a.m.
The noise continued to interrupt the screening as the lights were turned on and the screening was stopped at about 8:38 a.m. before resuming after about ten minutes.
The stop was first seen as being due to the jeers from some audience opposing the Netflix-invested title's presence at this year's event. But the organizer said it was a technical glitch, apologizing for the incident.
"This incident was entirely the responsibility of the Festival's technical service, which offers its apologies to the director, his teams, the producers and the audience at the showing," read a statement.
Cannes recently changed its rules to exclude films without a commitment for French theatrical release from next year, facing strong protests from the local film industry against the Netflix movie's advance to the competition category of the 70th edition of the festival.
Co-written by Bong and Jon Ronson of "Frank," Okja follows a girl from a rural town who risks everything to prevent a multinational company from kidnapping a massive animal named Okja.
The sci-fi film was co-produced by three Hollywood studios -- Plan B, Lewis Pictures and Kate Street Picture Company -- while Netflix covered the film's entire budget of US$50 million. It stars Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal of "Nightcrawler" and "Everest," and Paul Dano of "Love & Mercy" and "12 Years a Slave," and has Korean actors such as An Seo-hyun, Byun Hee-bong, Choi Woo-shik and Yoon Je-moon among its cast.