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CANNES 2021 Marché du Film

Pre-Cannes Screenings pushed to late June

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- The online screenings reserved to industry professionals will now take place from 21-25 June, two weeks before the 74th Cannes Film Festival and the Marché du Film's physical edition

Pre-Cannes Screenings pushed to late June
(© FDC)

The time has come for the Cannes Film Festival to make its final adjustments before it can finally go forward, should the authorities allow that to happen. The 74th edition of the festival is scheduled for 6 to 17 July 2021, but its exact shape and contours will depend on the results of the flexible confinement measures currently in place in France and set to last at least until 3 May.

Once this situation is cleared and the protocols for the reopening of cinemas are set, the Cannes team will finally be able to set in stone the practical solutions which will be put in place in July on the Croisette and which, for the moment, remain only hypotheses (limited seating capacity with social distancing measures in place, number of screenings, access and circulation of the accredited attendees whose number could be calculated with great precision, etc.). All of that without omitting, on an artistic level, the viewers’ ability to absorb an unprecedented amount of potential films, which guarantees an exceptional selection (with names such as Jacques Audiard, Nanni Moretti, Paul Verhoeven, Leos Carax, Asghar Farhadi, Ildiko Enyedi, Nadav Lapid, Kirill Serebrennikov, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Semih Kaplanoglu, to cite just a few of the favourites expected to get a slot in the competition, with whispers already placing Bruno Dumont, Xavier Giannoli and Stéphane Brizé in Venice instead). According to certain rumours, Thierry Frémaux might be trying to channel this surplus of works in several ways, one of them being a re-invented structure for the Un Certain Regard section, which would be divided into a competitive part for the most recent films, and a non-competitive part for works that have already been ready for a year. But rumours being a common phenomenon in the weeks before the various Cannes line-ups are unveiled, we will have to wait for late May / early June to be certain of that.

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Regarding the Marché du Film, the situation is slightly different, since the event headed by Jérôme Paillard had already announced that it would unfold in two parts: four days on online Pre-Cannes Screenings (read the news) initially set for 25-28 May and reserved to sales agents and buyers with an accreditation for the Marché du Film, which is itself set to unfold in a physical edition from 6 to 15 July. But here too, adjustments had to be made, and the calendar has shifted under the pressure of the most important American and British sales agents, who were preparing their own informal virtual market for late June. The Cannes team therefore spoke to the buyers and sales agents in order to best adapt to their needs, and with two-thirds of them stating they would prefer the Pre-Cannes Screenings be delayed to late June, the online event will finally unfold from 21 to 25 June. It is worth noting however that a shadow of pessimism hovers over the final lines of the Marché du Film press release: “it remains to be seen whether, or how, the Cannes Film Festival and market will take place in July, given the ongoing high rates of infection in Europe and slow vaccine rollout." A caution which certainly isn’t shared by the combative Thierry Frémaux, who is back in an arena still marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, but where everything is still to play for. To be continued…

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(Translated from French)

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