2020 Cannes Film Festival postponed as coronavirus pandemic continues
UPDATE: After previously announcing that, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, its 2020 edition could not begin on May 12 as originally planned, the Cannes Film Festival announced Tuesday it is eyeing several options for a new launch window — particularly late June or early July. The decision was reached during ongoing discussions with the national and local government, the festival's board members, other film industry professionals, and Cannes sponsors, while the festival further explained it will confirm finalized dates as soon as the international health situation improves.
EARLIER: The Cannes Film Festival — one of the most prestigious and influential cinema events in the world — announced Thursday that it will not hold the annual festival in May because of the spreading coronavirus pandemic.
"Due to the health crisis and the development of the French and international situation, the Festival de Cannes will no longer be able to take place on the dates planned, from May 12 to 23" reads a festival statement tweeted from the group's official account, seemingly leaving the door open for rescheduled dates in the future.
In a press release, the festival team says future dates are being considered at the end of June or beginning of July. "As soon as the development of the French and international health situation will allow us to assess the real possibility, we will make our decision known, in accordance with our ongoing consultation with the French Government and Cannes’ City Hall as well as with the Festival's Board Members, Film industry professionals and all the partners of the event," the statement reads.
Cannes' announcement comes after the coronavirus outbreak — which has killed nearly 10,000 people worldwide — resulted in recent postponements and cancellations of several projects and events across the entertainment industry.
Festival president Pierre Lescure recently told France's Le Figaro newspaper (per a translation by The Hollywood Reporter) that the Cannes crew remained "reasonably optimistic in the hope that the peak of the epidemic will be reached at the end of March and that we will breathe a little better in April," though he stressed his team was "not oblivious" to the severity and would cancel if the situation got worse.
In the wake of the virus' spread, the SXSW Film Festival canceled its 2020 event, Coachella has been postponed to October, Daniel Craig's No Time to Die moved its release date from April to November, Madonna's Madame X tour cut its final shows in Paris as cases in France rise, Korean boy band BTS has nixed four shows from its ongoing tour, the RuPaul's DragCon Los Angeles convention has been delayed to 2021, and Paramount has altered its production plan for the filming of Tom Cruise's seventh Mission: Impossible film, among other developments tied to the outbreak.
Usually held at the tail end of spring each year, Cannes is arguably the most esteemed film festival on the global scene, often launching hotly anticipated new entries from world-renowned filmmakers into its Palme d'Or competition. Over the last two years, the Cannes jury — led by Cate Blanchett in 2018 and Alejandro González Iñárritu in 2019 — has overseen a main competition lineup including Oscar-bound titles like Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman, Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Pedro Almodóvar's Pain and Glory, and Bong Joon Ho's eventual Best Picture winner Parasite, which won the Palme d'Or last year.