The world’s most prestigious film festival announced on Thursday that 2020’s festival would not take place in late May as planned, due to the continuing wide spread of coronavirus in Europe. Cannes Film Festival was expected to take place on May 12-23 this year. Though this news may have been inevitable with major studios and films postponing as well, this marks one of the biggest business and entertainment event casualties due to the virus.
Organizers are hoping to hold the festival at a later time, eyeing dates in late June or early July instead of the traditionally held date in mid-May.
The festival released a statement in response to the outbreak:
“At this time of global health crisis, our thoughts go to the victims of the COVID-19 and we express our solidarity with all of those who are fighting the disease.
Today, we have made the following decision : The Festival de Cannes cannot be held on the scheduled dates, from May 12 to 23. Several options are considered in order to preserve its running, the main one being a simple postponement, in Cannes, until the end of June-beginning of July, 2020.
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, in accordance with our ongoing consultation with the French Government and Cannes’ City Hall as well as with the Festival’s Board Members, Film industry professionals and all the partners of the event.”
Cannes also released a statement on twitter:
Marché du Film, the film market that runs alongside the Cannes festival, announced plans to only run alongside the festival as a virtual market and will most likely match Cannes’ new dates.
The festival hasn’t had to cancel since 1968 due to socio-economic protests. Even then, that was only halfway through the event. The Cannes festival remains one of the most well-attended, anticipated, international event of all time for launching top-tier films each year.
France is currently in lockdown, and became one of the countries that was hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak, with more than 9,000 recorded cases and over 240 deaths to date.