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Cannes 2020: festival not possible even in July; Market transferred online, parallel programmes cancelled  

The 73rd edition of Cannes Film Festival will not be possible even in July, an option considered mid-March. The festival market, Maché du Film, has been transferred online, while the prestigious parallel programmes (Directors' Fortnight/Quinzaine des réalisateurs, International Critics’ Week/La Semaine de la Critique and the l'ACID) have been cancelled.    

After French President Emmanuel Macron’s announcement that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the nation’s ban on large public gatherings will remain in effect until mid-July, it is clear that the Cannes Film Festival will not be possible even then.     

“We recognize that holding the festival in late June or early July is no longer an option. It is hard to assume this year’s edition will be held in its original form. However, we are in communication with many professionals both in France and abroad and they all agree that the Cannes Film Festival, which is an essential pillar of the film industry, needs to explore all contingencies in order to keep providing support to the world of film in 2020,” said the official press release of the Cannes Film Festival, which was originally supposed to be held 12th – 23rd May.     

The organizers have added that, in light of this, the festival and its annual market, Marché du Film, will persist in demonstrating the importance of film, artists, professionals, cinemas and audience, and will continue to communicate the latest developments.    

This year, the Cannes film market, Marché du Film, which yearly attracts more than 10 thousand accredited film professionals, will be held in virtual format, 22nd – 26th June. All technical details on how this will work can be found here. 

“An Online Marché du Film cannot replace the real-life experience, however, the digital edition will recreate a part of its essence by offering film professionals an efficient and cutting-edge platform to screen and buy films, finance projects and meet potential partners. We are also experimenting with a new market model that will allow professionals who otherwise would not have the means or the time to come to Cannes in person to participate in the market,” said Marché du Film Executive Director Jérôme Paillard

The prestigious programmes held each year as parallel events of the Cannes Film Festival, Directors' Fortnight/Quinzaine des réalisateurs, International Critics’ Week/La Semaine de la Critique and the l'ACID (Association pour le cinéma indépendant et sa diffusion/Association for the Distribution of Independent Cinema), have been cancelled.

“It is impossible to predict how the current global health crisis will affect the course of events. In consultation with the Cannes Film Festival, each of the parallel programmes is looking for the best solution in order to keep supporting the films submitted to their 2020 editions,” said the organizers of parallel sections in a joint press release.    

Titular photograph taken from the official festival website
(*73rd Festival de Cannes © Antonin Thuillier / AFP)

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