Cannes Film Festival considers postponement, among other scenarios
- The festival has acknowledged the impossibility of its 73rd edition going ahead from 12 to 23 May, and the evolution of the crisis will determine whether postponement to June-July is an option
In the tragic context of the spread of Coronavirus and all the illness, death, nationwide self-isolation and economic shutdown that comes with it, the team behind the Cannes Film Festival have officially concluded that it will no longer be possible for the 73rd edition of the event to unfold as planned between 12 and 23 May.
There is, however, a glimmer of optimism in this realistic decision made in the face of the pandemic’s current progression (the festival team first and foremost making clear the solidarity they feel towards those affected by the virus and calling for a global sense of solidarity and strict compliance with the self-isolation directives in place), because among the various hypotheses under consideration, "the main one would be to simply postpone it to the end of June–beginning of July 2020." An eventuality which will obviously depend on "the evolution of the healthcare situation in France and worldwide" and a subsequent consultation between the French State, the Mayor of Cannes, the festival’s board and partners, and film industry professionals.
It’s all still very much up in the air. Meanwhile, the teams behind the Official Selection and the festival’s parallel sections (Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week) are continuing to evaluate the films which are still being sent to them (with sales agents already negotiating on behalf of certain titles which are well on their way to selection). 16 April still seems to be the date on which Thierry Frémaux will unveil the Official Selection but, interestingly, this wasn’t reiterated in the festival’s last press release. We can assume, then, that a definitive decision will no doubt be made ahead of this date. Either way, several Cannes Film Festival specialists are suggesting that even if the festival were cancelled, the label "selected in Cannes" would still prove highly beneficial for a great many films.
Speculation is rife and whilst all cinephiles and international professionals are clearly nurturing the hope that Cannes 2020 will take place at some point, the sad reality is that France and a number of other countries are still far from reaching the peak of the pandemic and, as such, organising an international event as large as the Cannes Film Festival over the next few months seems highly unlikely. It also raises questions over the Marché du Film (read our news), for example, and the domino effect which postponing the Cannes Film Festival might have on the dates of other international festivals. To be continued…
(Translated from French)
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