The Cannes Film Festival is about to announce the lineup for next month’s event, but not before film and theater workers and students aligned in front of the stage at the UGC Normandie cinema to silently voice their upset with proposed reforms to French labor legislation. Holding signs that read “There are no more festivals” and “When will it be Avignon,” “When will it be Cannes,” a group of about 20 young people were organized as part of a growing movement against the Loi du Travail. Particularly in the entertainment sector, this involves what are known as the “intermittants du spectacle” who say their unemployment and health insurance benefits would be severely affected.
The protesters believe this could also ultimately affect film and theater festivals, notably the theater fest that takes place in Avignon each summer. I asked a few of them if they intended to manifest during the Cannes Film Festival. While they nodded their heads, they admitted nothing is organized for the moment but said they hoped to be able to pull something together.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Cannes faced such an issue. In 2004, violent protests broke out on the Croisette over a similar situation. At the time, Michael Moore, whose Fahrenheit 9/11 was about to win the Palme d’Or, joined in the marches.