The French annual international film festival has officially been postponed following the advisories in view of the growing coronavirus pandemic.
Cannes Film Festival postponed with the coronavirus pandemic on the rise in France
Mumbai - 20 Mar 2020 11:46 IST
The Cannes Film Festival has officially been postponed in view of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The festival organisers put out a press release announcing the official rescheduling of the festival. However, there has been no new date decided for the festival as yet.
The press statement from the organisers read, "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."
It further read, "Today, we have made the following decision: The Festival de Cannes cannot be held on the scheduled dates, from 12 to 23 May. 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."
With Europe being declared as the epicentre of the pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the organisers of the Cannes festival wrote, '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."
While there is no news about the competition section opting for a digital screening, the marketing platform for the festival, Marché Du Cinema, has announced a 'standalone virtual market' for sales companies and film marketing.
The website read, "In the event that the Marché du Film is cancelled in Cannes, the same tools will be used to create a standalone virtual market. The online screenings – including feature films and promo reels – will still follow the same screenings schedule to keep up the Marché momentum even from afar. Sales companies will also have the option to run catch-up screenings of their films. The platform will also offer curated 1-to-1 meetings, as an online counterpart to our speed-meetings.'
The last time the Cannes Film Festival was suspended was in 1968, when France was reeling under a student revolution. Several prominent directors including François Truffaut, Claude Lelouch, and Jean-Luc Godard even sided with the students demanding the festival to be shut down in view of the ongoing student struggle.
Cannes is the latest in a slew of international film festivals which have been cancelled. These include the Beijing International Film Festival, Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, and the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival as well.
The Indian International Film Awards (IIFA) has also been postponed indefinitely, with Zee Cine awards opting for a televised indoor ceremony.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected more than 2,20,000 people across the world, resulting in more than 8,000 mortalities. France has been in partial lockdown with over 9,000 infections and more than 240 deaths so far. Several international stars like Idris Elba, Tom Hanks, Kristofer Hivju, and Indira Varma have also been affected by the virus.