Cannes Film Festival chief Thierry Frémaux says there will be no press screenings ahead of the evening red carpet premieres at this year’s event. He’s also confirmed to Deadline that there will be no selfies on the red carpet — something the festival has previously evoked a distaste for but has officially banned for the first time.
Fremaux discussed the changes in an interview with French trade magazine Le Film Français, which was published today (in French).
In a move that’s been presaged, and is certain to meet with criticism from critics, press screenings will no longer be held the morning of a world premiere. Members of the press will see the 7PM showings at the same time as audiences in the Lumiere theater discover them, but will be watching from the Debussy. “It will be total suspense,” Fremaux said.
It should also go some way to avoiding bad — or good — buzz ahead of the evening. Cannes critics are notoriously among the harshest in the world and some films have seen their fates sealed even before everyone puts on a gown or a tux.
The 10PM screenings will be shown to the press the following morning, Fremaux also told the magazine. However, nothing has changed for the afternoon premieres in Competition or Un Certain Regard which have long been a mix of press and public.
Meanwhile, the dreaded selfie has been banned on the red carpet. “With (festival president) Pierre Lescure, we decided to totally ban them. At the top of the red carpet the triviality and slowdown of flow provoked by the disorder of selfies ruins the quality of the red carpet, and thus the festival entirely.”
Fremaux added that there will be more Masterclasses, responding to demand from festival attendees. Further, there will be a new Three Days At Cannes initiative for 1,000 people aged 18-28 who will be invited for the last three days of the fest.