Cannes snap decision

Selfies banned from red carpet

by Richard Mowe

No more selfies on the red carpet at Cannes - and that’s official
No more selfies on the red carpet at Cannes - and that’s official Photo: Festival de Cannes
With three weeks to go before the official launch of this year’s Cannes Film Festival programme, artistic director Thierry Frèmaux has announced that press screenings will not now take place ahead of the red carpet premieres for Competition films - and selfies will be definitively banned from official Festival premieres.

The new rules for the 71st edition from May 8 to 19 are designed to avoid reviews and comments being posted ahead of the official screening while the selfie prohibition is aimed at preventing the “untimely disorder created by the practice of selfies”, often delaying the red carpet processions. Previously the Festival organisers had tried to stop self-snapping but to little effect.

Thierry Frémaux, Cannes artistic director: 'We felt it was time to shake up things'
Thierry Frémaux, Cannes artistic director: 'We felt it was time to shake up things' Photo: Richard Mowe
The press and the public will now watch Competition titles on the main evening slots at the same time, thereby preserving “the allure and prestige of a premiere at the Festival.” The press will not see the 22.00 screenings until the following morning.

The Festival this year starts a day earlier on a Tuesday and will conclude with the prize-giving and the award of the Palme d’Or and other accolades on the Saturday rather than the Sunday.

Another factor governing the earlier date is that films premiered at the Festival can launch in French cinemas the following day - Wednesday in France is the traditional release day.

“After reaching the 70th anniversary last year we felt it was time to shake up things,” Frémaux was quoted as saying in an interview with the French industry publication Le Film Français, who noted that the Cannes market where films are bought and sold would also commence on Tuesday.

In another initiative to promote more inclusiveness at the festival, 1000 youngsters between the ages of 18 and 28 will be invited to attend for the final three days to sample the atmosphere and the films.

The programme launch for this year’s 71st edition will be on April 12.

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