Directors’ Fortnight and Critics Week, the two sections running alongside the Cannes Film Festival, have canceled their 2020 editions.
The joint decision comes two days after France’s President Emmanuel Macron said all festivals and events gathering large crowds would be banned in the country until mid-July.
“The Directors’ Fortnight, La Semaine de la Critique and ACID regret to announce the cancellation of their 2020 editions in Cannes.”
“The health crisis we are all presently facing makes it impossible to anticipate the practical course of events,” said the release.
However, “each section, in consultation with the Cannes Film Festival, is looking at the best way to keep on supporting the films submitted to its 2020 edition,” added the release.
The Cannes Film Festival, meanwhile, said on Tuesday that it would not be hosted in late June due to the coronavirus pandemic, and was exploring other options.
For many arthouse movies, the cancellation of these parallel sections in a large blow. Critics’ Week, headed by artistic director Charles Tesson, is dedicated to first and second films. Last year’s selection included Jérémy Clapin’s animated feature “I Lost My Body” which went on to earn an Oscar nomination.
Over the years, Critics’ Week has played a key role in turning the spotlight on promising directors who went on to earn worldwide acclaim, notably Wong Kar-wai, Guillermo del Toro, Jacques Audiard, François Ozon, Gaspar Noé, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Andrea Arnold, Jeff Nichols and David Robert Mitchell.
Directors’ Fortnight, led since last year by Paolo Moretti, has world-premiered films by Martin Scorsese, Ken Loach, George Lucas and Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne since being created in 1969 as an alternative to Cannes’ official selection. Highlights of the 2019 edition include Roger Eggers’ “The Lighthouse” with Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe.