The 74th Cannes Film Festival will open on Tuesday (July 6), with filmmakers and cinema professionals looking forward to a “return to normal”.
This year’s event runs from July 6-17 and, with France’s coronavirus curfew lifted in June, visitors should – albeit under strict social distancing and infection control norms – be able to mingle round the clock.
Last year’s festival was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and this year’s edition takes place in July instead of May.
“I kind of knew it was going to happen, I could feel it. And now to be here is incredible,” filmmaker Joel Van der Molen said.
Organisers have set up a vaccination site and a testing centre near the festival venue.
Though wearing masks is no longer required outdoors across France, festival participants are still required to keep masks on indoors.
“It does a world of good, thinking this is happening again. We have almost returned to normal, and we are all very happy to be able to come back to the Cannes festival,” said Paris cinema owner, Claudine Cornillat.
The world’s biggest film festival opens for business on Tuesday with thousands of delegates, film professionals, journalists and members of the public due to attend in person.
“This is a moment during the year that matters, for cinema in general and for France as well, because before anything else, it’s France that welcomes the stars,” said tourist Eric Moreau.
Sean Penn and Wes Anderson are among the Hollywood heavy hitters vying for the prestigious Palme d’Or prize but, with some international travel restrictions still in place, a greater than usual proportion of visitors are expected to be French rather than high-spending foreigners.
(Production: Oliver Barth, Michaela Cabrera)