Industry Expos

Cannes Film Festival Faces Possible Postponement Due To Pandemic - Report

The Cannes Film Festival could face delay, due to Covid-19 pandemic, Variety has reported. The prestigious film fest is set to announce whether it will keep its May 2021 dates or postpone to summer by the end of the month. The festival is currently looking at dates between July 5-25, the American publication says.

Last year, the industry's biggest film festival was postponed to October, but that didn't happen due to the pandemic, the festival was eventually cancelled altogether.

According to Variety, the syndicate of Cannes hotels (Syndicat des hotels de Cannes et du Bassin Cannois) was advised by organisers that the Cannes Film Festival would most likely be pushed or postponed to July 2021.

"We'd much prefer if the festival happens in May, obviously, but we've said we'll be happy to get prepared to welcome the festival in July; the dates we've agreed on are between July 5-25. So, the festival could start roughly around July 5, or a few days later," said the owner of a hotel located near the Palais des Festivals.

In a typical year, having the festival unspool in July would have sparked hotel owners' protests because Cannes is a French Riviera hot spot for tourism. July, like August, is peak season and hotels are usually jam-packed with holiday tourism. However, the pandemic has hit the hospitality industry hard economically. Most hotels on and around the Croisette have been closed for months since the festival and all trade shows — notably Mipcom, MipTV, Mipim and Cannes Lions — were cancelled one after another in 2020. The Carlton, meanwhile, is closed until spring 2023 for renovation works.

Cannes organisers are also considering the festival's extension due to several compelling films in the pipeline. Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux suggested in an interview with French magazine Les Inrocks that one idea being discussed is to start the festival one day earlier and end it one day later, which could mean that Cannes would begin on a Monday, and end on a Sunday. The question is whether these extra days can fit into the festival's budget.

A plan C previously mentioned by Cannes organisers involved alternative dates at the very end of August. Still, that slot — which brushes up against the Venice Film Festival — isn't being seriously considered at this point. However, it could find itself back on the table if the pandemic prevents the festival from happening sooner.

After last year's cancellation organisers have vowed to host Cannes in 2021, the Cannes, the world's biggest film festival, could be the first international film event.

In the period in-between, the Palais des Festivals, where stars usually walk the red carpet during the film premieres, has been turned into a 'Vaccinodrome' where locals can get the new COVID-19 vaccine.

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