Is it <I>le fin</I> for Cannes?

Variety editorial

Now that the army of cinefiles, dealmakers, critics,and fest junkies has retreated from Cannes and embarked on post-mortems, the people who run other festivals are tuned in with fascination.

For the consensus is that Cannes was more than a disappointment. It revealed anew the obsession with keeping Cannes a French event, not a truly international one. The near-suffocating “Frenchness” of the Cannes Film Festival will keep overseas filmmakers — certainly American ones — at bay.

All of which opens unique opportunities for Venice and Toronto to bill themselves as truly inclusive, international events that overcome the inhibitions of nationality.

Certainly Hollywood has awakened to the potential of these two fests in building an international audience for its films.

The changed dates of the Oscar campaign also heighten their importance, coming as they do in early September. The people who run Venice and Toronto covet film, not just French film. And the international community has taken notice.