Cannes Film Festival Hopes to Stage Special Cinema Events After Coronavirus Postponement

While admitting that ‘a physical edition of Cannes 2020 is hard to envisage,’ artistic director Thierry Fremaux is determined to protect the cinemas by putting together plans to screen select movies.

AceShowbiz -Cannes Film Festival bosses are putting together plans to screen movies originally due to premiere at the postponed 2020 event directly in theaters as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The May event was initially rescheduled to late June, and then the beginning of July, but last month (April), festival chiefs accepted the fact that Cannes was unlikely to go ahead “in its original form.”

However, officials appeared to oppose calls for the usual South of France bash to go digital, like New York’s Tribeca Film Festival, and instead, they are hoping to take Cannes to the people by staging special cinema events.

In a new interview with ScreenDaily.com, published on the eve of the original Cannes launch, the festival’s artistic director Thierry Fremaux admits he “could never have imagined” ever cancelling the glitzy bash, a decision which has left him “overcome with a great sense of melancholy and nostalgia.”

“Under the circumstances, a physical edition of Cannes 2020 is hard to envisage, so we’ll have to do something different…,” he shared. “Everyone understands that (it is) impossible this year.”

As an alternative, organizers will be making an early June announcement, unveiling the full list of films which had been due to receive the red carpet treatment, and explaining their vision for what Fremaux dubbed, “Cannes outside the walls.”

Among the movies originally picked for Cannes debuts are Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch“, Spike Lee‘s “Da 5 Bloods” and animated Pixar project “Soul“.

“The aim is to start organizing events in cinemas,” he explained, while also suggesting Cannes bosses sponsor screenings at other festivals slated for later this year, such as those in Toronto, Canada, Deauville in France, San Sebastian in Spain, and Italy’s Venice Film Festival, which is currently still slated for a September launch.

Fremaux didn’t go into detail about how the plan would work, but he called on world leaders and members of the public to show their support for the movie theater industry, which has been shuttered in many territories with coronavirus lockdowns in place.

“There will need to be protection measures, especially around rents, and economic safeguards,” he said. “The way the Germans do it: no dismissals, and everyone stays ready for a return to normal.”

“We protected the banks in 2008, so let’s protect cinemas, theaters and bookshops in 2020. Personally, to live, I need my bank. But I also need cinema.”

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