Cannes Film Festival to go ahead, despite concerns over coronavirus outbreak

Workers install the red carpet in front of the main entrance of the Festival Palace before the opening ceremony.

Workers install the red carpet in front of the main entrance of the Festival Palace before the opening ceremony.   | Photo Credit: STEPHANE MAHE

Hardly any probability of gathering of over 5,000 at same time in one location for screenings

With the French Health Minister extending the ban on gatherings of more than 5,000 people in confined spaces to May 31, fresh concerns arose on Thursday over the novel coronavirus outbreak affecting the 73rd edition of Cannes Film Festival, scheduled to be held from May 12 to 23.

Putting speculations to rest, a spokesperson of the festival told The Hindu on a long distance call, “As of today, there is nothing to indicate that it [the festival] will not go ahead as planned. Everything is going on as normal right now in the office in Paris.”

While the organisers are committed to follow the Minister’s “specific instructions”, the rules don’t seem come in the way of the festival. Two of the biggest auditoriums at the venue — Palais des Festivals et des Congres — are Lumiere and Debussy, with a capacity of 2,309 and 1,068 respectively. So there is hardly any probability of a gathering of more than 5,000 people at the same time in one location for the festival screenings. Cannes Film Market, however, may have to be more closely monitored.

Regarding fears that attendance of film personalities, media and cinephiles may dwindle this year, the spokesperson said: “We will discover in the next few weeks. It’s hard to tell how the situation evolves.” As of now, the festival is committed to announce the official selection mid April; April 16 in all likelihood.

The one time Cannes was brought to a halt in recent history, midway at that, was in 1968, when several filmmakers — including Jean-Luc Godard,

François Truffaut and Claude Lelouch — showed solidarity with striking students and workers resisting Charles de Gaulle’s government. Some like Alain Resnais withdrew their movies, while others like Roman Polanski, Monica Vitti and Louis Malle resigned from the jury.

A letter from the Editor

Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 26, 2020 7:38:03 PM |

Next Story