By James Mottram in Cannes

ACCLAIMED Scottish filmmaker Lynne Ramsay has weighed in on the issue dominating this year’s Cannes Film Festival: streaming or screening. Speaking at the press conference for her latest movie, You Were Never Really Here, which is competing for the prestigious Palme d’Or prize, Ramsay made her position clear.

“I believe in movies being projected,” she said. “Obviously, seeing a film on the big screen – that’s an experience. So obviously, as a filmmaker, I believe in that.”

With cinemas increasingly under threat from streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, this 70th edition of the world’s most famous film festival has seen the topic hotly debated.

Two titles in competition, Bong Joon-ho’s Okja and Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories are Netflix-owned.

The festival began with protests from the National Federation of French Cinemas over their inclusion, given neither film will be shown in theatres in France.

The festival responded by changing the rules for next year’s selection, noting that all competition entries must be released theatrically in France.

Ramsay, however, was careful to not bite the hand that feeds, given Amazon Studios contributed financing towards You Were Never Really Here.

“Ted Hope, the head of Amazon, is a film buff. He knows every movie and he’s really helped me,” she said.

Noting that she’d been impressed by the level of quality on television, citing shows like Twin Peaks and Top Of The Lake, both of which were unveiled in Cannes last week, Ramsay added: “It’s a tough time [for cinema], but I really hope we always have theatrical releases.”

Her film, which stars American actor Joaquin Phoenix as Joe, a war veteran who rescues a young victim of a sex trafficking ring with disastrous consequences, arrived at the festival unfinished.

Ramsay only shot in New York last September, and was cutting the film right up until two days ago. She expressed a desire to return to the edit suite and further use the score composed by Radiohead band member Jonny Greenwood, who previously worked on Ramsay’s 2011 film We Need To Talk About Kevin.

Despite arriving in this raw state, the film garnered some remarkable reviews. Variety called the film “astonishing … a stark, sinewy, slashed-to-the-bone hitman thriller”.

Screen International said the film was “worth the wait” following the director’s six-year hiatus.

“This could be Ramsay’s most commercial prospect to date,” it said, tipping Phoenix for further awards in the coming year.