Coronavirus causes postponement of Cannes International Film Festival
Mar 20, 2020
Cannes Film Festival, the world’s most important annual celebration of cinema and a major fashion and luxury destination, has been postponed, organizers announced Thursday night.
“Cannes Film Festival 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,” the Cannes International Film Festival said in a release.
“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,” the organizers noted.
Though devoted to film, Cannes is a major focus for the fashion industry. Most influential French and Italian fashion houses send large teams to the French Riviera resort each year in order to dress major league movie stars for Cannes’ legendary red carpet. Many houses also stage gala dinners and soirées in partnership with fashion publications throughout the festival.
Cannes also plays a vital role for the luxury jewelry industry, with brands like Chopard and De Grisogono hosting large events. Moreover, the coastal city boasts a huge number of top rank fashion flagship stores for the tony clientele it attracts.
Organizers stressed that they are taking a "wait and see" approach to the issue and would reserve a final decision on this year’s Cannes in the upcoming weeks.
This year’s Festival (which would be its 73rd edition) had chosen the noted American film-maker Spike Lee as president of its jury — the first black person to hold the prestigious position. Lee, who won the festival’s youth prize for his debut film She’s Gotta Have It in 1986 and its Grand Prix in 2018 for BlacKkKlansman, has called Cannes “the most important film festival in the world.”
“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,” the release read.
“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. See you very soon,” concluded the release, signed by the Cannes Film Festival team.
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