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Coronavirus in Cannes? Festival Monitoring ‘Carefully’ as First Case Confirmed

The Cannes Film Festival has addressed the spread of coronavirus in Europe, mere hours after news broke on Friday of Cannes’ first case.

“The Festival de Cannes is monitoring carefully the developments and the latest guidelines provided by the local, national and international authorities regarding the coronavirus, and is in direct link with the Alpes-Maritimes’ administrative office,” a festival spokeswoman told Variety, adding that, “as of today, it is still premature to express assumptions on an event scheduled in two months and a half.”

“In due course and depending on the occurrences, the Festival de Cannes will naturally take all the necessary measures, aiming at ensuring the protection of all attendees and preserving their health during the event in Cannes, under the responsibility of public authorities, in particular the State and the City of Cannes.”

The statement — which follows Nice mayor Christian Estrosi’s confirmation Friday morning that a woman in Cannes had tested positive for the virus — said festival staff “continues to prepare the event,” which will take place May 12-23. The official selection of films is expected to be unveiled mid-April.

Meanwhile, Reed Midem, the organizer of MipTV, which is due to take place March 30-April 2, has also confirmed that the international TV showcase will go on as planned, albeit without key Chinese buyers and delegates.

We are continually monitoring developments and following the latest guidance from local, national and international authorities and the World Health Organization as it relates to travel to MipTV and clients’ on-site experience,” said Reed Midem in a statement.

“We are also working with the City of Cannes and the Palais des Festivals venue in Cannes to put in place measures, such as…(a) reinforced medical team at the venue (and) increased standards of hygiene and cleanliness in the (Palais des Festivals),” said Reed Midem in a statement.

This year’s edition of MipTV will take place entirely within the Palais — a move first unveiled to delegates last year in a bid to concentrate the spring market, for which attendance has dwindled in recent years. The close quarters, however, could pose a cause for concern if the spread of the virus continues unabated over the next month.

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