UPDATE, 01/29: The Cannes Film Festival has confirmed that the planned physical edition of its Marche du Film will run on July 6-15, concurrent with the new dates for the wider event. Registration opens March 15. Last year, the industry wing was held online in June after the cancellation of the festival. Organizers still face significant challenges even with the new timeframe and the Marche is likely to look very different from pre-2020 years once again, with reduced attendance and a greater reliance on online functionality expected.
PREVIOUSLY, 01/28: As expected, the 2021 Cannes Film Festival is delaying from its May dates. The fest will now run July 6-17, pushing back from the originally planned May 11-22 slot. Organizers cited the global health situation in announcing the decision.
As we reported earlier this month, the fest was known to be weighing up a date shift to June/July as its original schedule was looking increasingly challenging in the current pandemic situation. While the vaccine roll out has prompted hope for a return to some form of normality this summer, the recovery process will be slow and May will now come too soon for a trip to the riviera.
The city of Cannes already has a busy scheduled for June. It is due to host real estate event MIPIM early in the month, followed by advertising gathering Cannes Lions, leaving little room for the film festival. Private capital get-together IPEM is due to take place in early July at the same location, leaving the July slot fest top brass have ultimately opted for. Organizers had previously said they would not delay as late as August or September, when it would stray into Venice-Toronto territory.
Even in its new dates, Cannes will face a challenging 2021 edition. Any event that does take place is likely to be in a reduced form, with increased health measures and enhanced online components. Travel restrictions could also be a problem.
Potentially complicating matters further this week is the news that Europe is facing vaccine shortages due to production problems. Producer AstraZeneca has said that the European Union will receive 60% fewer doses than initially promised because of issues at a Belgian plant; other companies are trying to step in to fill the deficit but ultimately this could push the overall timeframe back.
If the virus spread does not recede a cancellation could still happen of course – for now it’s too early to tell. Last year, Cannes held fast until only a month prior to the event before cancelling.
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