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Cannes Reinstates Advance Press Screenings, but Favors TV, Radio Journalists (EXCLUSIVE)

Following last year’s backlash by film critics over changes to its screenings schedule, the Cannes Film Festival has decided to reinstate morning press screenings for movies having their gala world premieres in the evening. But there’s a catch: Only a few hundred journalists — mainly from TV and radio outlets — will be admitted, and they will be hand-picked by the festival, sources close to the situation said.

The idea behind the new arrangement is to make sure that journalists who are preparing evening TV and radio shows have enough time to do so, the sources said. Indirectly, the change is also meant to ensure that the gala world premieres at Cannes get their fair share of spotlight in mainstream media outlets.

There will also be a 5 p.m. advance screening for other journalists — presumably more print reporters — two hours before the 7 p.m. gala premieres begin, Cannes chief Thierry Fremaux said Thursday after unveiling the official lineup of films. But again, not all journalists will have access to those screenings. Thierry Fremaux said the fest would weed out non-reporters/critics from advance screenings.

For films premiering at 10 p.m., the press screenings will take place simultaneously, an improvement from last year, when journalists had to wait until the following morning to watch the movies.

All reviews will be placed under strict embargo until the credits finish rolling at the public screenings. Any journalist who fails to abide by the embargo will be sent home, as happens at other festivals, Fremaux said.

The selected journalists will also have to refrain from posting anything on social media.

Last year, the festival hosted more than 4,000 accredited critics.

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