Closing prize ceremony from 2019 Cannes Film Festival Photo: Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival
In a media release, it is suggested that any confirmed move to new dates would be governed by the state of the world situation in relation to the spread of the virus.
The festival team would assist participants in any reorganisation of the dates and are happy to respond by email or social media to any concerns.
To those who have suggested that it would be better to cancel the event now, the organisers say that they are not the only interested party, and cite the national film body the CNC, the town of Cannes, the hotel owners and the State as all being part of any discussions. The festival would not take place without the green light being given by the French Health Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the regional police force, and the town hall.
In response to criticisms that the festival left it a bit late to announce the postponement, the organisers point out that the Monaco Grand Prix, also in May, made the announcement of that event’s postponement on the same day.
The organisers said they have until 15 April in which to assess the situation in a responsible way. If the event goes ahead at the later date then the programme would only be revealed at a press conference one month ahead of the new dates rather than the previously suggested 16 April. Journalists and professionals who have already had their accreditation approved, would simply have them transferred to any new dates.
Meanwhile the first French-language online film festival (organised by UniFrance) MyFrenchFilmFestival, has rallied round to make freely available to internet users around the world more than 50 French short films, subtitled in many languages. Full details can be found on MyFrenchFilmFestival.com.
The films which will be available online from 27 March to 27 April 2020, will illustrate that cinema and culture can play a beneficial role in the in the current health crisis.