The Much-Awaited Cannes Film Festival Will Be Postponed to July 2021
The latest casualty of the global Covid pandemic, this year's Cannes Film Festival, has officially been postponed from May to July. Originally scheduled to take place from May 11-22, the organisers have delayed the 2021 event to July 6-17. It's a familiar echo from last year, when after an initial postponement from May to June, the film festival was pushed to July and eventually cancelled altogether, and an selection announcement was made in lieu of a live gathering.
The Cannes Film Festival, now in its 74th year, debuted in 1946 as an invitation-only event, screening works from 21 different countries in its first outing. The festival itself is no stranger to last-minute cancellations—in fact, the first-ever Cannes Film Festival was originally set to premiere in 1939 and, well, it was cancelled.
"The day on which the Festival was to be inaugurated, the 1st September, Germany invaded Poland," according to the official website. "The opening was postponed by ten days but this decision was soon overtaken by events. War was declared on 3rd September and a general mobilisation got underway.
"The festival selection, which never even got off the ground, included films as illustrious as The Wizard of Oz by Victor Fleming, Only Angels Have Wings by Howard Hawks, Union Pacific by Cecil B DeMille for the United States, Lenin in October by Mikhail Romm for the USSR, The Four Feathers by Zoltan Korda for Great Britain, La Loi du Nord by Jacques Feyder, L'Enfer des anges by Christian-Jaque and Julien Duvivier's La Charrette fantome for France."
Rumours of a 2021 postponement began circulating earlier this month, and the festival organisers have committed to move ahead with the festival this year no matter what.
"The 2021 Festival de Cannes is still scheduled in May," a spokesperson told Deadline at the time. "However, we are waiting until later in the beginning of this year to evaluate the global situation regarding the pandemic. If it doesn’t improve, we will work on new dates, from late June to late July. But the Festival will take place this year."
Cannes is not the first major global event to have to pivot drastically due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. This week, the World Economic Forum in Davos has moved entirely online and questions continue to swirl around the fate of the 2020 Olympic Games, which were scheduled to take place in Tokyo, but have been postponed to this summer instead.
According to an announcement made yesterday by the International Olympic Committee, President Thomas Bach has held consultation calls with the National Olympic Committees on preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo and next year's scheduled Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing.
"In all these conversations and initiatives, the IOC is guided by four principles: firstly, to organise Olympic Games in a safe environment for everyone. Secondly, vaccination priority should be given to vulnerable groups, nurses, medical doctors and everyone who is keeping our societies safe. Thirdly, we encourage all the Olympic and Paralympic participants who are offered vaccination to accept it, also as an act of solidarity with the Japanese hosts and their fellow participants. Fourthly, vaccination will not be obligatory," Bach said in a statement.