15 APR 2020

CANNES FILM FESTIVAL ORGANIZERS CANCEL POSTPONEMENT, EXPLORE OTHER OPTIONS

Although France's extension of the social-distancing restriction period leaves the June-July postponement out of question, Cannes festival's organizers are discussing other contingencies with industry members and public officials, including Cannes' City Halle, Ministry of Culture, and the CNC as a cancellation could negatively impact sales agents and distributors who make deals at the event.

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In March, organizers for the Cannes Film Festival, originally scheduled for 12-23 of May, announced the event's postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic, saying its hopes were to hold it in late June or the beginning of July. But, after France extended its restriction period, the postponement has now been canceled. A statement posted on Tuesday to the official Cannes website said that organizers will "explore all contingencies allowing to support the year of Cinema by making Cannes 2020 real, in a way or another." "When the health crisis, whose resolution remains the priority of all, passes, we will have to reiterate and prove the importance of cinema and the role that its work, artists, professionals, film theaters and their audiences, play in our lives," the statement said. "We are committed to it and we would like to thank everyone who is by our side, public officials (Cannes' City Halle, Ministry of Culture, the CNC), industry members as well as our partners."

On Wednesday, it was confirmed that three of the "sidebar" events that traditionally run alongside the main festival in Cannes had been cancelled. The directors' Fortnight, La Semaine de la Critique [International Critics' Week] and ACID also announced the cancellation of their 2020 editions in Cannes. The Cannes Film Festival has only been canceled once in 1968 during the nationwide student riots, in which French New Wave icons François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard also took part. Last year’s film market reported a record 12,527 participants. For the film community all over the world, the cancellation of the Cannes Festival would undoubtedly have a negative impact, especially for sales agents and distributors for which the Cannes film market is the year’s key event for dealmaking. Despite the event not taking place in its usual form, plans to hold the festival are once again being considered amid the global coronavirus pandemic.“Nevertheless, since yesterday evening we have started many discussions with professionals, in France and abroad,” the statement read. "They agree that the Festival de Cannes, an essential pillar for the film industry, must explore all contingencies allowing to support the year of Cinema by making Cannes 2020 real, in a way or another.”

When the health crisis, whose resolution remains the priority of all, passes, we will have to reiterate and prove the importance of cinema and the role that its work, artists, professionals, film theaters and their audiences, play in our lives. We are committed to it and we would like to thank everyone who is by our side, public officials (Cannes' City Halle, Ministry of Culture, the CNC), industry members as well as our partners.” Cannes Film Festival