The Cannes Film Festival has been postponed due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the festival announced Thursday following weeks of speculation that led many to believe a delay was inevitable.
This year’s festival had been slated to take place from May 12-23, but event organizers are now looking at late June/early July for the iconic festival.
“At this time of global health crisis, our thoughts go to the victims of the Covid-19 and we express our solidarity with all of those who are fighting the disease,” read a statement from the festival.
“As soon as the development of the French and international health situation will allow us to assess the real possibility, we will make our decision known, in accordance with our ongoing consultation with the French Government and Cannes’ City Hall, as well as with the Festival’s Board Members, film industry professionals and all the partners of the event.”
“In the meantime, the Festival de Cannes lends its vocal support to all of those who firmly call on everyone to respect the general lockdown, and ask to show solidarity in these difficult times for the entire world.”
Cannes had yet to announce its lineup, but films like Wes Anderson‘s The French Dispatch were expected to make the cut. That film is slated to hit theaters on July 24, and has not yet been moved by Disney (which owns Searchlight Pictures), so theoretically, it could still premiere at the festival this summer.
Cannes hasn’t been called off since 1968, when socio-economic protests forced the festival to shutter at its halfway point. The 2003 edition saw fewer attendees from Asia due to the SARS scare, but it has been 70 years since the festival didn’t happen at all. Cannes is coming off a strong year that saw it play host to Bong Joon Ho‘s eventual Best Picture winner Parasite, as well as Oscar-nominated films such as Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Pain and Glory, and Les Misérables.
The Cannes Film Market has also been postponed, and will run alongside the festival whenever it returns. There is also a virtual market being developed for industry professionals who may not be able to attend later this summer. France is currently in full lockdown mode to slow the spread of COVID-19. We’ll keep you updated as this situation develops.