The Cannes film festival will be delayed from its customary May slot until July, it has been reported.
According to Variety, the festival’s organisers will announce new dates for the 2021 edition this month, after last year’s event was called off following a series of postponements. According to the report, the organisers have confirmed their resolve to host a physical event in 2021, after the cancellation of Cannes in 2020 dealt a body blow to the international release circuit.
If the festival does move from May, July appears the most likely timeslot: later in the year would precipitate a clash with major festivals such as Venice and Toronto, which normally take place in the last week of August or the first week in September; while space in Cannes in June is already taken by the Cannes Lions advertising festival, which is due to go ahead as planned.
Variety suggests that the Cannes hotel organisation, the Syndicat des Hotels de Cannes et du Bassin Cannois, has been already told the festival will move to July – normally peak tourist season, but currently badly hit by the pandemic travel restrictions. A local hotelier is quoted as saying: “The dates we’ve agreed on are between July 5-25. So, the festival could start roughly around July 5, or a few days later.”
According to an interview in French magazine Les Inrockuptibles, Cannes general delegate Thierry Fremaux has also raised the possibility of extending the festival’s length due to the likelihood of a backlog of high-quality films delayed by the pandemic.
After the festival was called off in 2020, Fremaux presented a selection of over 50 films, including Wes Anderson’s as-yet-unreleased The French Dispatch, Pixar animation Soul, which premiered on streaming platform Disney+ in December, and Lovers Rock and Mangrove from Steve McQueen’s Small Axe anthology for the BBC.