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Power outage in Cannes due to strike

Concern surrounds delayed, canceled screenings

Everything in Cannes becomes a drama.

A power outage across the city Tuesday afternoon caused a frenzy among industryites and locals alike.

The outage was caused by the French electric utility EDF, whose workers went on strike and decided to let everyone know about it, in the time-honored French way.

Although the Palais and a few venues weren’t affected, most offices and stores around the Palais and along the Croisette — such as the Majestic and Carlton hotels — were left in the dark for more than three hours.

While it was blindingly sunny outside, that was no tonic for harried execs.

“People have been complaining that it’s too dark, and they can’t do research online because there’s no wi-fi,” said Eun Jin Kim from the Korean Film Council. “We can’t show them any clips and we can’t even offer them coffee.”

Sales agents already worried about the recession slowing down dealmaking fretted that their screenings were going to get canceled.

“This could be a huge problem for us,” said Olivia Alighiero, publicist for Marco Bellocchio’s competition pic “Vincere,” which was skedded for a 10 p.m. unspooling.

“If our screening is delayed we won’t be able to get audience reaction to the film from the Palais in the Italian newspapers tomorrow, because it will be past their deadline” Alighiero said Tuesday afternoon.

While some screenings were interrupted, most seemed to be unaffected Tuesday afternoon. And industryites at the Hotel du Cap and aboard yachts were oblivious to the outages.

(Nick Vivarelli contributed to this report.)

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