Scowling hotel boss wins sacking payout

The manager of the Sofitel in Cannes has won €115,000 in damages after suing the company for firing her because she failed to smile at the customers.

Scowling hotel boss wins sacking payout
How the hotel receptionist should have done it.

Nadine Freville, who had been working as manager since 2000, was fired in 2004 for having an “inhospitable attitude towards the clientele”, as well as psychologically abusing a trainee and making defamatory insinuations against the director.

But the industrial tribunal of Cannes, eight years later, ruled her dismissal was “devoid of a real or serious cause”, and ordered the hotel to pay her €115,000 in damages.

Freville, who was also the head of the hotel’s union, had reportedly had several run-ins with her manager, and even filed a complaint against him for psychological abuse.

One month after the complaint was made, Freville was sacked.

The hotel will not be appealing the court’s decision.

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Cannes Film Festival postponed to July due to Covid

The Cannes Film Festival has been rescheduled for July 6th to 17th - postponed by around two months due to the ongoing virus crisis, organisers said on Wednesday.

Cannes Film Festival postponed to July due to Covid
The 2018 Palme d'Or winner Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-Eda posing for the cameras at the Cannes Film Festival, is an annual highlight for movie lovers in France. Photo: AFP

“As announced last autumn, the Festival de Cannes reserved the right to change its dates depending on how the global health situation developed,” they said in a statement.

“Initially scheduled from 11th to 22nd May 2021, the Festival will therefore now take place from Tuesday 6th to Saturday 17th July 2021.”

The festival was cancelled last year, while rival European events in Berlin and Venice went ahead under strict health restrictions.

The Berlin Film Festival, which usually kicks off in February, said last month it would run this year's edition in two stages, an online offering for industry professionals in March and a public event in June.

France has closed all cinemas, theatres and show rooms alongside cafés, bars and restaurants as part of its Covid-19 health measures and the government has pushed back their reopening date until further notice due to rising levels of viral spread across the country.

The Cannes festival normally attracts some 45,000 people with official accreditations, of whom around 4,500 are journalists.

It had only been cancelled once before, due to the outbreak of war in 1939.

Its Film Market, held alongside the main competition, is the industry's biggest marketplace for producers, distributors, buyers and programmers.

Last year, the festival still made an official selection of 56 films – including the latest offerings from Wes Anderson, Francois Ozon and Steve McQueen – allowing them to use the “Cannes official selection” label.