As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to put populations at risk and countries into lockdown, organizers of the Cannes Film Festival have announced, as expected, that the 2020 edition of the festival, slated for May 12-23, will be postponed.
As France tightened its regulations concerning public gatherings and upon non-EU nationals entering the Schengen zone, of which France is a part, there was little alternative for organizers but to follow the lead of other notable entertainment conferences and festivals, including MIPTV and the Cannes Lions, and to put the May event on hold.
“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,” read a statement issued by organizers.
“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.
“In the meantime, the Festival de Cannes lends its vocal support to all of those who firmly call on everyone to respect the general lockdown, and ask to show solidarity in these difficult times for the entire world,” the statement concluded.
As of March 19, the death toll from the coronavirus in France stood at 372.
(Image: Antonin Thuillier / AFP)