The Cannes Film Festival and its Marché du Film have both said they are pushing on with preparations for their 2020 editions, due to take place May 12-23, in response to growing speculation that they could be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“We’re working on the Official Selection. Films are arriving as normal,” a festival spokesperson told Screen.
She added the annual press conference announcing the Official Selection was still scheduled to take place as normal on April 16 in central Paris.
Speculation that the Cannes Film Festival might not take place intensified on Wednesday (March 4) after the organisers of the MIPTV content market announced they were cancelling its 2020 edition, which had been due to take place March 30-April 2 in Cannes, due to coronavirus.
Earlier in the week, the MIPIM property fair which was due to take place in Cannes in mid-March was postponed to early June.
Media reports have suggested that Reed MIDEM, which organises both MIPTV and MIPIM, was forced to postpone or cancel the events due to a French government ban on gatherings of more than 5,000 people to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The festival spokesperson said that this rule did not apply to the festival and market because they never gather more than 5,000 people in one enclosed place at any one time. The Palais des Festival’s largest auditorium seats 2,300 people.
”The directive does not apply to the festival because we have never more than 5,000 people at the same moment in a confined space,” she said.
As of Thursday morning, there had been 285 confirmed cases of the illness in France and four deaths. A total of 13 of the cases had been in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region where Cannes is situated…