Cannes film festival postponed as France remains on lockdown

Cannes film festival postponed as France remains on lockdown
Photo: AFP
The Cannes film festival will not take place as planned in May because of the coronavirus, its board said Thursday, with its directors looking at postponing it until late June.

While a slew of other major events including the Eurovision Song Contest and the French Open tennis championship have fallen victim to COVID-19, the world's biggest film festival has been bullish about its chances of survival.

Director Thierry Fremaux said last week that you “cannot look at May through the lens of March”.

But the Cannes board conceded on Thursday that in the light of the severity of the pandemic they were now looking at rescheduling the 12-day festival, which was due to start on May 12, until “the end of June-beginning of July”.

Several other smaller film festivals, including Tribeca, SXSW and Edinburgh have already been cancelled or put back.

Doubts still remain though about whether Cannes will be able to go ahead, with film shoots halted or called off across the world.

The board said postponement was the main one of “several options” it was looking at.

France is currently on lockdown with everyone ordered to stay at home and only venture out on essential errands. Anyone leaving their home is required to fill in a travel certificate.

READ ALSO France's coronavirus lockdown: What are the rules?

The current restrictions are in place until the end of March, but health chiefs say it is highly likely they will be extended.

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