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The Cannes Film Festival will not take place in late June


- The decision from public authorities to forbid all festivals in France until mid-July due to the current health crisis undermines the initial postponement dates that Cannes was hoping for

The Cannes Film Festival will not take place in late June
The Palais des Festivals and the International Village – Pantiero of the Marché du Film during a previous edition of the festival (© FDC)

Initially set to unfold from 12 to 23 May 2020, then considering a postponement to late June - early July (depending on the evolution of the health crisis in France and internationally), the 73rd Cannes Film Festival saw this option go up in smoke last night, Sunday 13 April, as French president Emmanuel Macron announced during his speech that “large festivals and events gathering a large public will not be able to take place at least until mid-July” in France.

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The team from the Cannes Film Festival, presided by Pierre Lescure, will no doubt soon publish an official reaction, certainly after consulting its board of directors. Will it cancel the 2020 edition, like the Avignon Film Festival did immediately last night? Nothing is less certain, as the combative character of Artistic Director and General Delegate Thierry Frémaux is now well established. In any case, the announcement of an official Cannes selection for 2020 would apparently still be part of his plans, no matter what. Whether other dates for postponement will be suggested remains to be seen. Moreover, according to the most recent rumours, the festival’s parallel sections (Directors' Fortnight and Critics' Week) would be considering going it alone in the autumn, with events exceptionally organised in the French capital, while the Marché du Film would currently be very active working on an online alternative.

An official reaction from the festival was published today, in the late afternoon: "It is clearly difficult to assume that the Cannes Film Festival could be held this year in its original form. Nevertheless, since yesterday evening, we have begun many discussions with professionals, in France and abroad. They agree that the festival, an essential pillar for the film industry, must explore all contingencies allowing it to support the year of cinema by making Cannes 2020 real, in one way or another (...) Each and every person knows that many uncertainties still reign over the international health situation. We hope to be able to communicate promptly regarding the shape that Cannes 2020 will take." To be continued…

Also worth noting among the French president’s announcements are the decision to keep cinemas closed in France when the country hopefully begins to leave confinement on 11 May, and the announcement that the cultural economic sector will benefit from additional specific support funds which should be detailed soon.

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(Translated from French)

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