Cannes keeps a close watch on virus

Assurances given on protection of film festival attendees

by Richard Mowe

Close encounters in Cannes where the town and festival authorities are monitoring the spread of the coronavirus
Close encounters in Cannes where the town and festival authorities are monitoring the spread of the coronavirus Photo: Richard Mowe
With the first case of coronavirus reported in the Riviera resort of Cannes the film festival authorities have said that they are monitoring the situation carefully ahead of the 73rd annual edition which runs from 12 to 23 May.

A festival spokesperson said: “The Festival de Cannes is monitoring carefully the developments and the latest guidelines provided by the local, national and international authorities regarding the coronavirus, and is in direct link with the Alpes-Maritimes’ administrative office. As of today, it is still premature to express assumptions on an event scheduled in two months and a half.

“In due course and depending on the occurrences, the Festival de Cannes will naturally take all the necessary measures, aiming at ensuring the protection of all attendees and preserving their health during the event in Cannes, under the responsibility of public authorities, in particular the State and the City of Cannes.”

The full Cannes programme will be unveiled in Paris in mid-April.

The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has confirmed that a woman in Cannes had tested positive for the virus. It is likely that Chinese buyers will be noticeable by their absence at the film festival and also the upcoming television festival MipTV running from 30 March to 2 April. Their scarcity already had been noted at the current Berlin Film Festival which has its closing awards ceremony tomorrow (29 February).

The organisers of the TV event Reed Midem have said in a statement: “We are also working with the City of Cannes and the Palais des Festivals venue in Cannes to put in place measures, such as a reinforced medical team at the venue as well as increased standards of hygiene and cleanliness in the Palais itself.”

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