The jury were welcomed with a festive and musical atmosphere for 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, chaired this year by the Spanish director Pedro Almodovar.
It's the first time any Netflix movies have been considered for the prestigious Palme d'Or award - and it will be the last.
In defence of Netflix, French laws also prohibit any theatrical release from moving to a streaming service for 36 months, a wait that would make no sense for a film readily available on tablets and other small screens in the rest of the world later this year.
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.
He said he's willing to "acknowledge (and) celebrate the new technologies and the possibilities that they offer to us", but he'll stop short of giving them prizes if they result in films destined only to appear on TV and computer screens.
"Zvyagintsev is a genuinely great filmmaker, who came on the scene in recent years and took the movie industry by storm with Leviathan (2014) and I hope that his new film will clearly demonstrate to all in Cannes the real achievements of modern cinema", said Thierry Fremaux, director of the Cannes Film Festival. On Wednesday, director Pedro Almodóvar, who's presiding over this year's competition jury, made a controversial statement regarding the inclusion of Netflix films in the festival. "Awesome film that theatre chains want to block us from entering into Cannes film festival competition".
The 70th annual Cannes Film Festival will showcase some of the best new films of the year from May 17 to May 28.
"I do acknowledge them, but (as long) as I'm alive, I'll be fighting for one thing that I'm afraid the new generation is not aware of: the capacity of hypnosis of the large screen for the viewer". "You really have to have the feeling of being humble and small compared to the big screen", he added.
Neither won any prizes, unless you count the Palme Dog awarded to Nellie, the bulldog in Paterson.
Madonna at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival.Dave Hogan/Getty ImagesThe Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off its 2017 run on Wednesday, is an exclusive, invitation-only film festival that started in 1946.
It was Smith who then spoke up in favor of Netflix while citing the viewing habit of his progeny Jaden and Willow Smith. "There's very little cross between going to the cinema and watching what they watch on Netflix", Smith said.
That's how much Cannes's population swells to during the festival.
"They are two different forms of entertainment". With Netflix they get the benefit to watch what they never would have seen, it brings great connectivity to them to the world. "In my home it has done nothing but broaden my children's cinematic global comprehension".