Recently came the news that the 2020 Cannes Film Festival had been officially postponed due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. While reports suggested the French film event was looking at a possible late June or early July start, nothing is decided upon as yet.
Now, the official Cannes website has been updated and is providing answers to questions that have come up about the current situation. First up, is it possible the festival simply won’t take place in 2020. Officials say will not take that view until “the evidence compels us to abandon this year’s event.”
Indeed that’s why the scrapping of the May launch is seen as a postponement, not a cancellation, because various sectors of the film industry rely on Cannes:
“Because a postponement might be, we repeat, ‘might be,’ possible. Although Cannes is mainly famous for its arts and media side, it also plays an essential role in the economy of world cinema. When the decision to cancel the event in May was considered, every stakeholder in the sector asked us not to give up on holding it this year. No one knows what will happen in the near future, but Cannes must work towards solutions with the sector stakeholders who wish the event to take place.”
The Festival will therefore closely monitoring the changes in the global health situation. Whenever it does come back, Cannes officials say to expect a lineup announcement to take place around one month beforehand, in Paris, at a date which yet to be arranged. So any idea when those dates could be revealed:
“It is obviously not possible to give precise dates yet. We have decided to opt for the end of June because we cannot plan further ahead than that. The lockdown which France, as well as many other countries, is under is only in its second week and we will need time, patience, calm and goodwill before we know when we will come out of it. We will also need to show solidarity. It would be absurd to fixate on the dates of a cultural event when the whole world is living through such a painful time.”
A delay of Cannes could well impact how the Fall film festival circuit unfurls this year, and indeed how the awards race could shape up next year with so many films that deferred.