The Cannes Film Festival will unveil a selection of movies in early June and collaborate with several festivals, including Venice, to present some films, Variety has confirmed. Organizers also seem to have ruled out the possibility of a physical festival this fall.
“As of today, a physical edition seems complicated to organize, so we are going forward with an announcement of films from the (initial Official) Selection at the beginning of June,” said a spokesperson for the festival, confirming what Cannes’ director Thierry Fremaux said on Sunday in an interview with Screen Daily.
Rather than opting for a virtual festival, Cannes will be organizing a “redeployment ‘outside the walls’ (of Cannes), in collaboration with fall festivals,” said the spokesperson. This includes Venice, as previously reported by Variety, and with whom talks have begun, as well as cinemas.
The Cannes chief, who is a fervent supporter of movie theaters, has vowed to help exhibitors lure back moviegoers this fall. “The cinema and its industries are threatened. We will have to rebuild, affirm again its importance with energy, unity and solidarity,” Fremaux told Variety in April.
Over the weekend, Fremaux said that instead of unveiling the whole of what should have been this year’s Official Selection — including out of competition and Un Certain Regard — he will only announce a list of movies that were part of the roster and scheduled to be released in theaters between now and next spring. These films will be given a ‘Cannes 2020’ label. The selection process for next year’s festival, meanwhile, will start in the fall. Some movies that were selected for this edition and have delayed their release by a year will be considered for the 2021 edition.
Cannes will be showing its “labeled” films at festivals such as Toronto, Deauville, Angoulême, San Sebastian, New York, Busan and Fremaux’s own Lumière festival in Lyon. Fremaux added the idea with Venice was to go further and jointly present movies.
Meanwhile, the Cannes Marché du Film’s virtual edition is due to run June 22-26, alongside a U.S. agencies-led virtual market.
The fate of the Venice Film Festival will be decided at the end of the month. Organizers recently distributed a short survey to industry players to gauge the level of attendance from filmmakers and talent.