Cannes film festival postpones 2020 edition over coronavirus restrictions

France’s premier event will not go ahead in its traditional May slot after government measures forced its hand

The Cannes film festival has postponed this year’s edition, it has announced.

The festival made the news public on Thursday, saying that “several options are considered in order to preserve its running” – its preferred one being a shift of the festival to the end of June. The festival’s management added: “As soon as the development of the French and international health situation will allow us to assess the real possibility, we will make our decision known.”

The move follows increasing pressure from a new set of government restrictions announced on Friday to combat the coronavirus outbreak, banning public gatherings of more than 100 people. On Tuesday France also joined the EU-wide lockdown preventing non-EU nationals from entering the Schengen zone.

Similar events based in the town had already announced changes. The Cannes Lions festival, focussing on advertising, was due to take place in June but has moved to October. MIPTV, the international television market and TV festival CanneSeries, both scheduled for the end of March, were cancelled two weeks ago. Leading figures in the industry have already started organising a “virtual market” in the assumption that a cancellation would happen.

Last Wednesday festival president Pierre Lescure had said he was “reasonably optimistic” the 2020 event would go ahead, after suggesting the coronavirus pandemic would peak “at the end of March and that we will breathe a little better in April”. At that point, the government had banned gatherings of 1000 people.

The festival was due to start on 12 May and run until 23 May.


Andrew Pulver

The GuardianTramp

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