Cannes Film Fest 2020: Cancelled due to Pandemic

April 14, 2020–The Cannes Film Festival, previously postponed due to the coronavirus, said Tuesday that it won’t take place in its originally planned form.

France is one of the countries worst hit by the virus, with more than 136,000 people infected with COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, and 15,000 deaths attributed to the disease as of Tuesday. The country has been under lockdown measures since March 17.

President Emmanuel Macron has extended lockdown measures until May 11. But large public gatherings of all kinds, from those in bars and restaurants to concerts, movie theaters and festivals, will remain banned until mid-July.

The 2020 festival was originally scheduled for May 12 to May 23, but was postponed due to health concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
There were widespread calls for Cannes to cancel the festival altogether, but organizers held out hope that the event could take place if authorities judged the crisis to be over. They continued to hope the 2020 Festival du Cannes could be held in late June to early July.

Those hopes were dashed Monday night, when French President Emmanuel Macron announced new measures extending France’s national coronavirus lockdown and banning all public events, including festivals, until mid-July.

On Tuesday, festival organizers acknowledged that “the postponement of the 73rd Cannes Film Festival, initially considered for the end of June to the beginning of July, is no longer an option.” They added it was “difficult to assume” that the Cannes Festival could be held this year “in its original form.”

The festival did not close the door entirely. Instead of canceling outright, organizers said they are exploring contingencies to make “Cannes 2020 real, in a way or another” and have begun discussions with members of the industry in France and abroad to do so.